Maple Leaf Music Lessons

Creative Music Instruction in North Seattle

Andrew Olmstead

Piano & Keyboards

Andrew Olmstead has been an active part of the Seattle music scene since he moved here in 2010 from Texas.

In addition to writing and performing in his own solo projects, he plays regularly as a sideman in several other bands including Honey Noble, Ings, and Spooky Action. He also helps present the weekly Racer Sessions music series, a corresponding improvisation clinic, and periodic events for the local record label Table & Chairs.

About Lessons with Andrew

I believe that student engagement is the most important element a teacher brings to music lessons. Everyone is capable of realizing their musical goals, but many students lose interest, particularly during the intimidating early stages. By setting goals that are both realistic and challenging, I've helped students read music, improvise with other people, and even compose their own songs. My lessons with advanced students teach methods for overcoming creative mental blocks and motivational low points.

I pride myself on working well with students of all ages. The piano teacher who expects too much of your five-year-old is sadly a common trope which I'm familiar with. It's almost as bad as the teacher who treats a busy adult student in a patronizing manner. Many people quit piano because of negative experiences like these. I am not writing this to be disrespectful to other teachers. I just want people to know that learning piano can be fun and enriching – just like learning anything else.

The core of each lesson includes music theory, repertoire building, and safe technique, but each of these elements changes drastically depending on the student's goals. Long term lesson plans are shaped by the styles a student enjoys, such as pop, classical, jazz, folk, or rock. If the student is interested, I am also able to teach digital and analog synthesis techniques which are common in modern keyboard instruments.

Most importantly, music is a beautiful tool for self-expression. I try to give students an opportunity to express themselves, no matter how simple the music. For me, teaching music is a way of channeling my desire to help other people.