Piano Donation Available

Baldwin Piano purchased new 1945-1948 Baldwin Upright Piano circa 1940s

NOTE: Free piano available:
“An Everett Upright Piano 60+ years old, needs refinishing, has some chipped keys and needs tuning. Has been in one family all of its life. I would like to donate, if someone is willing to pick up. I would like to have it out of my house by 9/26.
These photos are taken with my cell phone. Not the best quality, but I think you can get the general idea. We had a musician play it and he said its definitely functional but needs tuning for sure. Ultimately refinishing would be a good idea. There are a few chipped keys. There is a bench also. You are certainly welcome to come look at it. Please let me know if you are interested in accepting this piano as a donation.
Thank you for your consideration.”


Please Contact: offthewallschoolofmusic@gmail.com or 206-407-9610 for contact information



10 Songs That Are All About That Bass

One of the biggest hit singles of this summer has been Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”.

A good summer jam is often highlighted by a prominent bass riff that will get any listener up & moving.

In a top 10 list made for VH1.com, Trainor names some of her favorite songs, for any time of year, that really ARE all about that bass.

Check with your instructor about learning any one of these.


Michael Jackson “Billie Jean”

On a song centered almost completely on drum machine, the thumping bass riff is what grabs the listener at the beginning. Surprisingly, that lengthy intro was almost cut from the final recording.


Chic “Good Times”

Probably the bass line that launched a million rap tunes, it was sampled for the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”, the first rap song to cross over to the pop charts & become a national hit.


Queen “Another One Bites The Dust”

Bass guitarist John Deacon was directly inspired by “Good Times” to create his own classic riff for this song, which became the band’s biggest hit & was suggested by friend Michael Jackson for release as a single.


Parliament “Flash Light”

Although this song’s bass line was actually played on synthesizer by keyboard player Bernie Worrell, it is one that can easily be accomplished on a bass guitar.


The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”

As the band did not have a bass guitarist, the descending riff was actually from Jack White’s guitar after it was altered by a recording trick to lower its pitch.


For 5 more look here:  http://www.vh1.com/music/tuner/2014-08-20/10-songs-that-are-all-about-that-bass/



May 18th Recital Awesome-ness!!

We had so much fun at our May 18th Spring Recital at the Hard Rock Cafe!! All of our students did an amazing job!!

Recitals provide an opportunity for students to showcase their talents and practice performance skills in a safe and fun environment. We are so proud of all of our students for performing and hope that they had as much fun as we all did.

We wanted to share with you just a taste of this great event.

Here is a video recap of our 11am youngsters doing their thing!

We look forward to the next recital and hope that you can join!



4 Songs That Will Turn You Into A Jazz Fan

Jazz has a rather undeserved reputation as background music to put on while having a dinner party, reading a book, or meditating. However, if you have never considered yourself a fan of jazz in the past, there is a good chance you may have already liked a jazz song, but never realized it. It could be a tune that is later used in several movies or TV shows, or as a popular sample in a rap song.

Here are just a few jazz numbers that you might find yourself liking more than you thought you would.

Check with your teacher about learning some of these.

“In A Sentimental Mood”

Duke Ellington recorded this song many times after he wrote it in 1935. His 1963 version with John Coltrane has been used in more TV shows & movies than you can name. Originally performed in D minor, the Coltrane take was recorded in B-flat minor


The title track to his 1976 album & a cover of a song by the late Bobby Womack (1944-2014), guitarist George Benson’s version of “Breezin’” was later used by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince for their song “Time To Chill”.

“Ode To Billie Joe”

Although a saxophonist, Lou Donaldson’s take on the Bobbie Gentry classic “Ode To Billie Joe” has had its drumming sampled on several songs, including Lauryn Hill’s “To Zion”.

“Inner City Blues”

Organist Reuben Wilson’s performance of Marvin Gaye’s classic “Inner City Blues” stands out for its funky bass line, which was sampled by A Tribe Called Quest for their song “Youthful Expression”. A Tribe Called Quest was one of the first rap groups to heavily sample from jazz music for their songs.



For more information and songs check out this article:





Piano Scavenger Hunt Free Lesson Schedule!

Hey Guys! Don’t forget to check out our Piano Scavenger Hunt!

We’ll be playing / teaching / pulling people in around the pianos for whatever fun stuff happens at the following times until the pianos are gone on August 17th

Here is our schedule for the weekends until then!

We will update if anything changes!

We will be at the following pianos:

Fridays 3:00-4:30pm

  • Ballard

Saturdays 5:00-6:30pm

  • Greenlake

Sundays 1pm-2:30pm

  • Ballard
  • Greenlake

We would love to see you all there! Don’t forget to upload your videos with#muralcontest and #pianoscavengerhunt to Youtube and our Facebook page!!

Act Fast! Pianos are only there from July 17-Aug 17
Here are a list of parks where the pianos are located:http://pianosintheparks.com/find-a-park-piano/

For a review of Piano Scavenger Hunt information review this blog post: http://offthewallschoolofmusic.com/2014/enter-our-piano-scavenger-hunt/

Or check out our Facebook!



Enter our Piano Scavenger Hunt!

Screenshot 2014-07-25 11.55.56


Off the Wall is having a piano scavenger hunt! We’re giving away prizes to kids that record themselves at the Pianos in the Parks.

– Introduce yourself and what piano you’re playing on- Don’t play piano? That’s fine! Play your guitar, violin or other instrument beside a piano!
– Say Off the Wall School of Music rocks in the video or write it on a sign
– Upload the video to YouTube and share it on our wall
– Add a hash tag #muralcontest (no spaces) to your video

– Record one video and we’ll give you a free shirt.
– Record three videos at three different pianos and we’ll give you a free 30min lesson.

Act Fast! Pianos are only there from July 17-Aug 17
Here are a list of parks where the pianos are located:http://pianosintheparks.com/find-a-park-piano/


We also will be having our teachers at a few of the pianos this weekend offering free lessons!!! 

All times are estimated.

FRIDAY 7/25/14 – SARAH:
Ballard 2pm-3pm
Seattle Center 3:30pm-4:30pm
Westlake 5:00-6:00pm
Westlake 4-5pm
Pier 62/63 5-6pm
SUNDAY – Sarah:
Ballard 3-4pm

Now get out there and practice! We can’t wait to see you!



Casablanca Piano Up For Auction!

An important and iconic piece of movie history is set to be auctioned off later this year, and is expected to receive bids of at least a million dollars.


Used in the classic 1942 movie Casablanca, this beautiful piano was played by Dooley Wilson’s character of Sam.

Items in Movie May Appear Larger Than Actual Size!
The piano used in the film was actually ¾ the size of a real upright to make the actors look bigger!

As the movie was in black and white, the unique color and design was not apparent. This picture proves what a work of art it is. Does the piano you play and practice on have a special history behind it?

Although he did not actually play piano in real life, and pretended to onscreen, that is Wilson’s voice singing “As Time Goes By”, the special song of main characters Rick and Ilsa.

Thanks to its use in Casablanca, “As Time Goes By”, a song which was unsuccessful when first released years before, finally became a hit and has remained a standard to this day.

Seattle Pianos In the Parks!
The pianos in the parks around Seattle are also being auctioned off. They all look amazing and some of the talented artists around Seattle have been used  to paint them. The Seattle pianos are probably not going to get the same price as the piano from Casablanca which is expected to get anywhere from $600k to over $1 million dollars! The pianos around Seattle are being auctioned off with the bidding starting at $250. A much more reasonable price.



“It takes a village”

We’ve heard throughout the centuries that “It takes a village to raise a child.” The warmth and love of a community can go a long way in shaping the children of tomorrow. When we came across this heartwarming example of community support we knew we had to share!

Meet Dylan- The 8 year old who showed us all the power of community.



What did you think of that story?



100 Basslines

Every band needs a bass player.


Whether in jazz, blues, funk or rock, the role of the bass player is to create a solid steady foundation that locks in with the drums. This video has a bunch of the most famous fun, funky bass lines that get stuck in your head! After watching the video, ask your teacher to help you learn a few of these awesome basslines!

Some basslines are simple patterns, others are more melodic, keeping the song anchored, but you can still hear their greatness even with other instruments added.


Warning: watching video & practicing the music contained within may result in involuntary head-bobbing & general getting down.



Remembering Horace Silver

Horace Silver (September 2, 1928-June 18, 2014) passed away at the age of 85. He penned one of our favorite tunes, “Song For My Father”. A lot of our piano students have been learning it lately.

Steely Dan based their hit “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” on the bass riff that begins “Song For My Father”. Silver was known for combining jazz, blues, Latin & gospel to create his own unique sound.

Silver’s music has influenced other pianists, such as Ramsey Lewis, who, when speaking about Silver after his death, said, “Horace Silver was one of the hardest swinging piano players in jazz, both as a section player and a soloist… Moreover, he was one of the finest human beings that walked the earth.”

The saxophone, not piano, was Silver’s first instrument. With whatever instrument you play, where do you think your lessons will take you?



Turn your Keyboard into a Musical Instrument!


We’re always looking for cool, new music, gadgets and gizmos a plenty to share with our students here in Seattle! Music involves a lot more than just playing a piano, singing a song, strumming a guitar or playing a tune on the violin. Music utilizes all of your senses, even ones you do not expect.

We already know that taking piano and other music lessons will help your brain, increase your math skills and your mood. Did you also know that music can help you hear smells and see sounds? Crazy, right?

We came across this very cool site the other day! http://www.patatap.com/

This site was created by Jono Brandel in collaboration with the melody design unit of Shawn James Seymour and Yoshimi Seymour. Their aim was that “with each sound they try to bring out the everyday wonder of overlooked moments and make the mundane seem magical.”

Patatap is an animation and sound kit that allows you to turn your keyboard into a musical instrument! With just a few keystrokes, the touch of your finger allows your keyboard to create melodies charged with moving shapes. It can be used on any device and browser. It seems to work the best with Chrome.

Patatap was created to introduce more people to “Synesthesia.” This is where stimulation of one sensory allows you to automatically experience stimulation of another sensory. An example would be hearing smells or seeing sounds. Sounds crazy, right? The history of this artform of musical expressions stretches back into early paintings done by Kandinsky and Mondrian. This program was meant to take components from their artwork and key elements and present their art form in a more direct and simple way.

You should try it and play all you like! Pressing Space Bar is a way of hitting ‘refresh’ on your art and clearing the color palette and sounds so you can start again.

For more information here are two other articles on it:




But…. if I were you.. I’d just try it!  http://www.patatap.com/







Introducing Stephen Bent!

We just wanted to take a moment and welcome a new member to our team! Stephen Bent! He will be teaching piano, voice and beginning guitar on Monday’s at Off the Wall!

You can learn more about him here http://offthewallschoolofmusic.com/stephen-bent-piano-voice-beginning-guitar-and-ukulele/



Will music help you win the Nobel Prize someday?

We stumbled upon this cool little article, and wanted to share it with you!


Meet Thomas Sudhof! He is a Nobel Prize winner for medicine and physiology. He says his music teacher helped him win! Find out why: http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/10/nobel-medicine-winner-says-i-owe-is-all-to-my-bassoon-teacher.html



Want to write your own song?

Check this out!!

Its a free songwriting class:

From pat pattison –
He had john mayer and gillian welch and many other now famous songwriters in his classes at Berklee. He developed the first songwriting college course in the country a long time agon and has lots of experience teaching this stuff.

He makes it really clear, fun and easy to understand and the course will make your songs much more developed and better!

If you want to get better at songwriting this free 6 week course is the fastest and most convenient way to get there!

This course lasts 6 weeks and there is about 6-8 hours of work each week. No prior musical experience is required!

Don’t miss out….

Hurry! It starts March 1st!



A Warm Welcome to Jason Cairati!


Please welcome our new piano teacher Jason Cairati! He’ll be teaching private piano lessons and Rock Band on Saturday mornings and afternoons.

You can read Jason’s full Off the Wall profile here: http://offthewallschoolofmusic.com/teachers/jason-cairati-pianorock-jazz-and-classical/



MIDI is 30!

Technology continue to change and evolve on an almost constant basis. It always seems that the minute you purchase the newest and greatest thing, the next best toy is already on the product line. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with! While many things continue to be tweaked and improved, one thing has remained the same- MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).


I guess the saying goes…”When you get something right, leave it alone!”


We have lots of synthesizers and keyboards at the school, and incorporate how to use the technology in our piano classes. Last week a student brought in a looping pedal and a microphone and worked on looping beat boxing patterns.
Other times students will work on various forms of synthesis. Understanding how to connect keyboards, and other gear up to speakers with audio and midi cables are some of the basics we teach before students can move on to crafting sounds on the synthesizers.



Check out this article to learn more about the 30th anniversary of MIDI and it’s impact on music today!






Do you like to Jam online with your friends?

Check out this cool new Google Chrome experience! You can Jam with friends. We thought it looked pretty unique. What do you think?


Download it here:

jam with chrome:



Here is the latest news from Pearl Django! December Shows!

Happy Holidays Pearl Django fans,

Whether your holiday spirit is already in full swing or if you are in need a little jump start to get into a festive mood, you’ll want to tune in this Thursday (Dec 6th) to KPLU at noon.  We’ll be live on the radio playing holiday favorites with the Pacific Lutheran University’s  Jazz Ensemble!  We’re also in Shoreline, Conway, Yakima, North Bend, Bellevue and Tacoma this month, playing concerts, dinner shows, club gigs and festivals.

Looking into 2013, we are proud to have the fine Minneapolis based vocalist, Connie Evingson, as our special guest at Jazz Alley this year.  We be there with Connie January 2nd through the 6th!


Happy Holidays to you and peace and goodwill all ’round!

Saturday, December 8
The Conway Muse                 7:30pm
This really is a fun place – come on out!
18444 Spruce (@ Main), Conway WA        360-445-3000


Sunday, December 9
Bake’s Place Bellevue           7pm
155 108th Ave NE, Bellevue WA           425-454-2776


Thursday, December 13
Boxley’s                         7pm
101 W. North Bend Way, North Bend WA    425-292-9307


Friday, December 14
North City Bistro               8pm
Reservations are recommended…
1520 NE 177th St, Shoreline WA          206-365-4447


Saturday, December 15
The Seasons At Seasons Performance Hall         7:30pm
101 N. Naches Ave. Yakima WA            509-453-1888


Monday, December 31
Tacoma First Night       8pm
New Year’s Eve Festival!
Rialto Theater 310 S 9th St, Tacoma WA


Thanks for supporting live music.  We hope to see you at a show!

Pearl Django



Jazz Legend Dave Brubeck Passes Away Today Leaving Behind a New love of Jazz

Dave Brubeck was a jazz musician that captured the attention of even those who didn’t have any particular interest or knowledge of jazz. The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s best remembered and top selling album piece is “Take Five.” His music was known for employing unusual time signatures, and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities.

He experimented with time signatures throughout his career. He was also well known for composing sacred and orchestral music.

Here is one of his well known songs done in 9/8 time.

Dave Brubeck you will be missed.

What was your favorite of his pieces?



Music and Life

We came across this video and thought it was awesome! Let us know what you think.