Hi, I’m Jon!

I come from a musical family, and have been immersed in music from a very young age. I began lessons in first grade, studying classical piano until high school, where I fell in love with indie rock and new wave music. At 15 I began teaching myself guitar and bass, and inevitably moved into the world of songwriting and production from there.

I later went on to study Music Technology at NYU with a focus on recording and production, and produced records for a number of local bands before finding an even stronger passion in music education after graduation. Since then, I have also written, recorded, and produced an album of original songs, and have been composing music for short films. In my free time, I’m teaching myself how to play the drums: as a musician, you’re never done learning!

My Approach To A Typical Lesson

My lessons are goal oriented, with a focus on physical technique and essential music theory, supplemented by ear training. It is important to me to challenge my students to overcome difficulties in a piece of music, and show them that they can accomplish anything if they set their minds to it.

My Advice For Students

What every teacher will tell you: practicing a little bit every day is always better than practicing a whole lot once a week. Our brains learn best with consistency and repetition! Learning music takes time. Take pride in your accomplishments, even if they seem small. The best thing my piano teacher ever taught me was how to listen to myself when playing. Listening, like playing, is a skill that takes lots of practice. There’s always something new that you didn’t notice before.

My Favorite Local Places

I’m a sucker for good food, and fortunately there’s a lot of that nearby. St. James’ Gate in Maplewood and Bay Leaf in South Orange are a couple of my favorites. I also enjoy stopping by my local music store, Finlay and Gage, in Maplewood, NJ.

My Music

I recently released an album under the name Tom Shape. All writing, lyrics, instruments, and production are done by myself. I’m currently working on a follow up.