My priority is to help students build a strong foundation of musical knowledge in the belief that possessing a deeper understanding of music leads to a greater enjoyment of playing and fosters a more creative relationship to music. I believe in giving my students, whatever their age or ability, the tools to figure out how to read an appropriately challenging piece of music, learn a simple or not-so-simple song by ear, and to compose and improvise music as I also believe that learning how music is structured helps open student’s minds to the exciting, limitless possibilities of music. My lessons are structured to build those skills through a mixture of technique exercises; learning songs from sheet music, by rote, and/or recordings; and fun improvisation and composition exercises that go hand in hand with learning scales and chords. While that may sound like a lot of work, I strive to make assignments that always attainable and fun, attenuating my lessons accordingly to each individual student’s abilities and interests. I also strongly believe in bringing in videos and recordings to share with my students and encouraging them to listen to music at home to help inspire them and expose them to a wide variety of musical genres. I hope that this approach rewards every student of mine with the same sense of excitement and curiosity that has fueled me to keep learning and composing new music and deeply enriched my life.
Brian Friedland first started teaching private lessons and co-directing a elementary school jazz choir in 2001 through participation the University of Southern California’s JazzReach program, which brought music students to urban neighborhoods of Los Angeles that were lacking music programs. After graduating from USC, he taught private and group lessons at several Los Angeles schools and community music organizations. Since moving to Boston in 2007 to pursue graduate studies in jazz composition at New England Conservatory, Friedland has taught private classical and jazz piano lessons, composition lessons, and jazz ensembles at the Chelmsford Academy of Music, Concord Conservatory of Music, the Waldorf School of Belmont, and also has accompanied children’s ballet classes at the Marblehead School of Dance.
Composer/pianist Brian Friedland’s music displays relentless creativity and deep musical thought through a large body of works for jazz and chamber ensembles. His recorded works include music for chamber orchestra, big band, strings, brass quintet, saxophone quartet, prepared piano, and various sized jazz groups, influenced by genres ranging from the classical avant-garde to Balkan folk music. His current projects include an ongoing series of comedic songs inspired by commercial products, childhood poetry, and spam email; “Rhombus,” a six piece band fusing jazz, rock, and Balkan music; “The Keydrum Project,” a quartet that blends sonic exploration, pop covers, and keyboard drums; and writing for jazz trio, tentet, and big band. He has released two albums and performed his original music at the Lima Jazz Festival, the Cole Porter competition, on tour in Korea, and many Los Angeles and Boston venues. In 2011, Friedland participated in the prestigious Banff International workshop in creative music where he studied and performed alongside jazz greats such as Dave Douglas, Geoff Keezer, Robin Eubanks, and Donny McCaslin and the band Kneebody. Friedland’s music has been praised by acclaimed composer/performers Dave Douglas, Jerry Bergonzi, Kim Richmond, and Frank Carlberg and jazz critic Scott Yanow. In addition to being an active composer and bandleader, Friedland is also in demand as a freelance pianist. He has toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Il Divo, and recorded on several creative music projects including an album by Grammy nominated composer Kim Richmond. Friedland has studied with jazz composers Vince Mendoza, Kim Richmond, Ken Schaphorst, and Frank Carlberg and pianists Shelly Berg, Allan Pasqua, and Danilo Perez.
B.M. Jazz Performance, University of Southern California; M.M. Jazz Composition, New England Conservatory