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.



Introducing Melody Joy Morgan- Our Newest Addition to Off The Wall!

Hi Off the Wall Friends, Fans, and Students!


We wanted to take a moment and introduce you to the newest addition to our Off The Wall team! Melody Joy Morgan! Melody is pretty awesome! She teaches Piano (over 20 years experience), Voice (over 11 years experience), and Beginning Guitar (over 2 years experience.)


We would love to take a moment and have you get to know her better! We’ll have more information on our website faculty page soon!

Check her out, and book a lesson today.



Have You Heard of Jamiroquai?

Jamiroquai are an “English jazz funk” and “acid jazz” band formed in 1992. “Acid Jazz” is a combination of  jazz, funk and hip-hop. It is also influenced by soul, house, and disco music. The keyboard player of this band we think is pretty awesome. His name is Matt Johnson.

Matt Johnson is a very creative musician. He’s able to play the keys perfectly to fit each song and its style.

Here’s a cool video of him making a ‘crap tune’. (That’s what he says). Let us know what you think about his quick mix.

Here’s a video of Jamioquai live:

Here’s a video to help you learn a little more about Matt Johnson


We think he is pretty cool. What do you think? Would you like to learn to play like him?



Here Are Your Opportunities to See Pearl Django in September!

Hello Pearl Django Fans,

We are happy to say we are following up a very busy summer with a very busy fall!  There is a lot going on in the
Pearl Django world this month.  Two trips to Canada and three jazz festivals including an appearance with our favorite
itinerant guitarist, Martin Taylor, at Djangofest Northwest.  Dinner shows in Northbend, Shoreline and Everett are
also on the docket this month as well as a concert in Friday Harbor…so, plenty of opportunities to catch a show.
We hope to see you at one!

Wednesday, September 12 7pm
101 W North Bend Way, North Bend WA     425-292-9307


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


Saturday, September 15  7pm
Under the Red Umbrella
1502 Rucker Ave. Everett WA             425-252-9193
Reservations very recommended…


Sunday, September 16    3pm
Pender Harbour Jazz Festival
Pender Harbour BC Canada


Wednesday thru Sunday, September 19 – 23
Djangofest NW
Langley WA (on Whidbey Island)
Tickets are now on sale at WICA         800-638-7631
Pearl Django will perform on Friday, Sept 21 with the brilliant guitarist, Martin Taylor


Saturday, September 22  7:30pm
San Juan Community Theater
100 2nd Street, Friday Harbor WA                360-378-3210


Sunday, September 23    Afternoon
Quamichan Inn
1478 Maple Bay Road, Duncan BC Canada   250-746-7028


Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30
Rain or Shine Festival in Aberdeen WA
Multiple sets at multiple locations, details to follow

Thank you for supporting live music!

Pearl Django



Determination and Passion Pay Off- Check out “Karmin”

Karmin started their band at Berklee College of Music. Once they reached a certain level they began promoting themselves on YouTube. Their talent was immediately recognized by a tv show host, which opened the doors to them meeting other people in the  music industry who adored them and began to help them out. They soon were able to play at bigger venues with larger acts.

In order to get where they are they had to work very hard at Berklee, and practice often. Their determination and passion for their  music paid off!  This is a cover of the song “Pumped up Kicks”, and serves as an example that shows you can play any song on piano and make it sound cool!



Check Out The Awesome-ness of Summer Rock Band Camp!

Here’s a short video of some of the kids at one of this years Rock Band Camps. This is what they have to say….. Don’t they sound like they had a blast?


Here’s a short video of an ordinary day at camp!




Musical Jello!

Check out this fun video and instructions how to make your own Jello Theremin Kit!




Pearl Django is Rockin the Month of August

If you missed your opportunity to catch Pearl Django last month…..you have more opportunities in August!


Here’s a note from Pearl Django!

August is another busy month for the band, starting tonight with a concert in Lake Burien School Park. Gigs in
Bellevue, Seattle, Bainbridge and Langley; concerts in Burien and Gig Harbor; Music and Arts Festivals in Anacortes
and Oak Harbor and the KPLU Jazz Cruise smack dab in the middle of the month!  The cruise is already sold out so if
you didn’t get tickets yet, you are out of luck.  Fortunately, though, there are lots of opportunities to catch the
band live this month, probably someplace near you!

Also, looking ahead to next month.  We’ll be in Leavenworth at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts September 1st for a
Jazz, Champagne and Chocolate event.  Now, if that doesn’t sound like a little slice of heaven, we don’t know what
does!   Could you ask for more?  If you are going to be east of the Cascades over Labor Day Weekend, come on out
for this one!

Thursday, August 2              6:30pm
Burien Thursday Night Concerts
Lake Burien School Park, 14640 18th Ave SW, Burien WA


Friday, August 3                        7pm
Crossroads Shopping Center
15600 NE 8th St, Bellevue WA


Saturday, August 4              5pm
The Anacortes Arts Festival -KPLU Stage
Anacortes, WA                           (360) 293-6211


Sunday, August 5                5pm
Bake’s Place Bellevue
This is free event. We will be out on the terrace, Parisian style!
155 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA  (425) 454-2776


Thursday, August 9              5:30pm
Interbay Golf Course
2501 15th Ave W Seattle, WA             (206) 285-6079


Sunday, August 12               10am
KPLU Jazz Brunch Cruise
Sold Out!


Friday, August 17               6pm
Friends of Farms present “Farm to Table Dinner”
Madrone Lane (between Blackbird Bakery & Dana’s Showhouse) Bainbridge Island WA
(206) 842-5537 or  info@friendsofthefarms.org for more details


Saturday, August 18             6pm
Whidbey Island Winery
5237 Langley Rd, near Langley WA


Tuesday, August 21              6:30pm
Music in Skansie Brothers Park
3207 Harborview Dr, Gig Harbor WA


Wednesday, August 22            Noon
Seattle “Out to Lunch” series
2 Union Square, Seattle WA


Friday, August 31               7pm
Oak Harbor Music and Jazz Festival
Downtown Oak Harbor
This will be a quintet performance, not quartet as the web site states


*September, 2012*

Saturday, September 1           7pm
Jazz, Champagne & Chocolate!
Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, Canyon Wren Recital Hall
7409 Icicle Road, Leavenworth WA         (877) 265-6026


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

Pearl Django




When Angry Birds Attack!

Rock Band Camp Students had a blast! They certainly bonded quickly. Check out this fun clip of them having a blast!



The Death of Music- The Piano Burial Ground

Photo by: Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times
James A. Fox, left, and Bryan O’Mara with a haul. “You hate to see them go,” said Mr. O’Mara, whose company was founded by his great-grandfather in 1874.

Many of us have grown up around pianos. The traditional upright is often seen in schools, at fancy restaurants/hotels, in church, at nursing homes, or in private homes.  A piano is often a glowing symbol of music, celebration, and life. It is often the centerpiece at many great events and is surrounded by happy carolers, blushing brides, inspired students, and aspiring composers. Pianos have been a classical centerpiece in our lives and many homes for centuries. They were once a symbol of class, and beauty within the home.

That is why it was so depressing for me to read this article about a new age for the piano. The traditional upright piano is finding itself more and more obsolete with the invention of digital pianos, the cuts in music schools and funding, and the increased price of upkeep. People are being forced to turn their pianos over to movers and take one final trip to a piano graveyard of sorts.

You can learn more about this tragic turn of events here: http://nyti.ms/OAxZYs

How do you feel about the future of pianos? What do you think should be done?