I am a native of Rock Island, Illinois (located a couple of hours west of Chicago). Growing up in a musical family and continuously hearing the Dixieland sounds of Bix Beiderbecke inspired me to be a professional musician from early on. Many gifted and accomplished local jazz musicians were enormously influential during my early years of formation in the Quad-Cities (Al Frandsen, Warren Parrish, and Jack Scott, to name just a few).
After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in music from St. Ambrose University, I headed south to attend graduate school at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). Considered by many the best collegiate jazz program in the world (which it is), NTSU (UNT) is where I would have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of learning from jazz legends Dan Haerle, Rich Matteson, and Jack Peterson. It was a fantastic environment, a constant thrill, and a dream come true!
Likewise, during my Master’s and Doctoral studies at the University of North Texas, I was blessed to have the opportunity to study with internationally renowned music education philosopher and sociologist Dr. Hildegard Froehlich. Under her guidance (and wisdom), I conducted extensive research on community music education which was the focus of my dissertation.
My passion for teaching, music education research, and entrepreneurship led to the vision and founding of The Dallas School of Music, where I currently serve as President and CEO and have done so for the past 30 years. Likewise, I am the founder and developer of JazzPianoSkills, a site dedicated to introducing aspiring Jazz Pianists to professional Jazz Piano Skills. From an insightful and motivating weekly Jazz Piano Podcast to comprehensive, interactive, and sequential Jazz Piano Courses, along with private and group online Jazz Piano Classes, the JazzPianoSkills Program offers something for everyone – from the beginner to the advanced player.
You can easily reach me at 972-380-8050 Ext. 211 or feel free to email me at drlawrence@JazzPianoSkills.com. I look forward to getting to know you and helping you discover, learn, and play jazz piano!
Dr. Bob Lawrence