Teaching

Website for composer/pianist Neal Kirkwood

I’m very happy to be on the faculty of two wonderful institutions - Third Street Music School in New York City since 2007 and Kutztown University in Kutztown Pennsylvania since 2011.

At Third Street Music School I teach jazz piano, direct four jazz ensembles, and hold the position of Jazz Coordinator. My students range in age from 8 to 80. The ensembles have stayed engaged during the pandemic on Zoom, working on recording projects including a collaboration with the dance department playing arrangements of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s Nutcracker Suite.

At Kutztown I teach jazz piano and direct the jazz vocal ensemble Afterhours. We have also been focused on recording projects this fall, including a world premiere recording of my Darwin Songs, a setting of the last paragraph of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species.

I am a dedicated teacher, and I am available for on-line lessons via Skype, FaceTime or Zoom. When the pandemic has receded I will of course be available for in person lessons. In addition to jazz piano I teach improvisation for all instruments, composition, arranging, orchestration, and interpretation for singers.

Compositions for young people of all ages include “Little Book of the Blues” and “Five Groovy Pieces.”