Andy grew up in a Chicago suburb and always had a piano near him to play and enjoy. He and his three siblings all learned to read music and play piano from the familiar red and white John Thompson books. His mother, who could not read music, played jazz ballads by ear. Andy began pursuing piano lessons more consistently in 6th grade with his math teacher, who taught him all about jazz, chords, and relationships between math and music. Those lessons went on through high school.
On moving to Seattle, Andy resumed private piano lessons with Peter Kok, who taught at Cornish College. Meanwhile, he began taking music theory and composition courses at the University of Washington. Soon after, he began combining music and computers, learning the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI). Upon retiring from a long career in computer programming, Andy again resumed private lessons from jazz and salsa instructors. Most recently, Andy participated in group piano lessons at Creative Music Adventures.
Seattle Drum School was also an influence on Andy's playing as he took 6 months of drum lessons. Andy is now learning about Music Technology and is producing music using Digital Audio Workstation software (DAWs). He has published more than 70 scores to MuseScore and has uploaded dozens of tracks to SoundCloud. Andy enjoys movies and has always had a strong interest in film scores. Henry Mancini was the first composer who piqued his interest in film scores. He studied film scoring from Hummie Mann and Hans Zimmer. Soon enough, Andy started performing with other musicians and played Gypsy jazz for pizza, beer, and tips at a local Seattle restaurant. The Meetup group, Seattle Piano Players, often has Andy playing and telling jokes.
Before joining LIYH, Andy enjoyed teaching computer programming at elementary schools while working for Coding With Kids and he tutored kids in math and reading while at a Huntington Learning Center. Andy has also taught a variety of subjects at UW and Seattle community colleges. He knows that students learn differently - some are visual, some auditory, some kinesthetic. Moreover, he believes "practice makes permanent," not necessarily perfect. He believes that learning should first be fun. High on his list of instructor attributes is also patience and a sense of humor.