Sandra Barba

Jazz Studies/Teacher Training

   I am a private and small group piano teacher of over 35 years. I am an active member of MTAC and NGPT. My main focus in teaching is literacy and making music a vital part of a students life, therefore; I teach many styles of piano music. I really never found a Jazz book that could help students actually learn to think about making Jazz sounds themselves until I discovered these books. Most beginning books can teach you to play songs, but that's it.

The 1st book, "Let's Play Jazz", has value in developing listening skills using the CD. I couldn't believe that adult as well as young students didn't hear staccato-legato-slurs-accents! To reproduce the piano technique of the right hand is a good lesson in tone production too. Never enough time for that! The composer left the left hand out and only hinted at the harmony, so the student must realize it for themselves. Then they will understand the function of the chords much better. Then they add the bass and fills. They must improvise. The student has done much more than learn to play a tune.

Rob's Jazz Piano Voicings book is more of a challenge. This book will be of interest for intermediate to advanced students. The sound is truly beautiful and an important theoretical support to play tunes.

The Blues Step by Step is a fun play along and again a "make you think" series of lessons.

Rob teaches teachers how to play and teach Jazz. His workshops and private lessons are most helpful for teachers who have students who want to play in Jazz Band and adults who prefer to learn Jazz. His teaching method makes it easier to switch from the Classical style to the Jazz style. You can use your classical skills to learn to improvise and actually make the music sound like Jazz and not some Holiday Inn Gig!

Thanks Rob!----Sandra Barba

  President: Clorinda Moore


President's Message:

A thank you is in order to Sandra Barba for bringing Rob Mullins to speak at our January 9th meeting at Jennifer Watt's beautiful home. Rob gave us an inspirational and entertaining program into the world of jazz! Another dialect in the language of music!

January 9th Meeting Summary

The general January 9th meeting was held at the lovely home of Jennifer Watts at 10:00am. Thank you, Jennifer! Rob Mullins was our guest Jazz lecturer, comedian, pianist, and composer. His topic was from Classical to Jazz. He explained how Jazz is a different language than Classical, because of the pronunciation. Pronunciation being the phrasing, articulation, and most certainly accents. These techniques along with tone production can change the melody from the Classical Style to the Jazz Style.

By using CD's and careful listening, we as teachers and students can speak in the Jazz Style. Rob had several teachers play as he introduced us to his method books.

(1) "Let's Play Jazz" shows how to pronounce the RH and how to create a LH given 1 note, 12 bars I7, IV7, and V7.

(2) "Jazz Piano Voicings", is also available at Morey's Music Store. It showed how to play Jazz chords with an intriguing, neo-new age sound & how to switch the chord to the LH and improvise with the RH.

(3) "The Blues Step by Step" shows how to play the Blues. This could be a workshop for next year or take a private lesson from Rob. You'll find his 16 CD's, books, & further information on his web site:

Thanks Rob for a super fun and informative meeting!!



Audio Sample:


Message from Rob

Steve Likens from Fields Pianos sent Sandra Barba to me for jazz piano lessons. An accomplished classical pianist and teacher, Sandra had not found any curriculum that was easy to understand and that was helpful to her in the jazz idiom. We started with Let's Play Jazz, and then onto my Jazz Piano Voicings Book. She learned quickly and was very thorough in her studies. Within six months, she was able to start teaching many of her classical students about jazz in a correct way, and she has done a lot to spread the word about the usefulness of my jazz studies curriculum in the MTAC and Piano Guild. I would highly recommend her as a great teacher capable of teaching both of these books of mine correctly, and she is a great classical teacher as well.