song-writing theory & performance
Music production specialist
Grant Burgess has been playing piano since he was 14 years old and has been singing in choirs since middle school. He is a keyboardist and back-up vocalist in two bands in the DMV area--Hit or Mix and Up All Night--and can be found jamming out with both groups every weekend in bars, venues, and restaurants all over the DC and NoVa area.
He is also the music director and pianist for Unity Church in Chantilly, and currently plays solo gigs all over the DMV area. These include monthly performances at Fat Tuesday’s, and regular shows at all manner of local retirement communities, for which he’s been playing at for over 3 years.
His wide repertoire includes show tunes, Frank Sinatra, gospel classics, popular music from and all of the upbeat oldies that will get crowds up on their feet.
“I treat each student as an individual and therefore I don't use the same methods with every student I come across. I always stress teaching the fundamentals, such as learning chords, scales, arpeggios, and proper finger positioning and usage; but beyond that, my method varies depending on what the student's goals are and what they like to play.
I enjoy most the moments when a student actively wants to learn something and then finally is able to play it, so I will oftentimes ask the student what kind of music they enjoy the most and what kind of songs they eventually want to learn and build the teaching experience around those things.
I will often use my computer's arranging software to create level-appropriate versions of songs that the student requests to be taught, which works to keep them engaged and feel involved in the teaching process. I also encourage learning by ear alongside regular note-reading, as I think it's important to be able to do both.”