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Instructor Profile

Experienced Music Educator

John Tussey
Piano, Contemporary Theory, Improvisation, Composition instructor
Pearl City, Hawaii   map-it (approximate for privacy)

Skills Taught: Piano, Keyboard, Performance, Music Theory, Other
Instruction Specialty: Contemporary Music Styles
Instructs Levels: All Levels of Student Skill
Instruction Location: Travel to Student only
Student Age Range: 4 through 99

$30.00 / half hour
$60.00 / full hour

M-TH 9:00am to 8:00pm
Sat. 9:00am to 6:00pm

Students outside of Central Oahu (Aiea, Pearl City, Waipahu, Mililani, Wahiawa) pay $75.00 per hour.
References are available upon request.
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I give in-home lessons on the island of Oahu, saving you time and gas.


In addition to being a keyboard recording artist, I am also an arranger, composer/songwriter, instructor, accompanist, studio musician, speaker, writer member and publisher member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and hold membership in the Honolulu Piano Teacher's Association.

Teaching Experience

I have been teaching privately for more than 14 years.

In addition to teaching classical music, I also enjoy teaching contemporary jazz elements, blues, rock and r&b. Gospel and contemporary pop are my specialties.

I also teach Contemporary Music Theory to private students as well as Contemporary Music Theory Seminars for keyboardists and guitarists (who understand the keyboard).

Topics for the seminar include:

1. Chord Building in Depth
2. Methods for Creating Chord Progressions and Tools for Composition including Diatonic Harmony, Circle of 5ths, Chromatic Harmony, 2-5-1, Extended Chords, Pivot Tones, Substitute Chords, Altered Chords, Quartal Harmony, Etc.
3. Methods for Improvising
4. Creating the Sounds of Contemporary Pop, Rock, Blues, Gospel and Jazz
5. Using Chord Charts
6. Playing Effective Background Music (Padding)

I have played synthesizers for years and also teach how to play and arrange organ, string, brass and pad lines as well as other synth sounds.

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy and practice provide a positive, encouraging environment promoting excellence while also affording the students the freedom to learn without the pressure to be perfect. My students are exposed to the best teaching materials available today along with my own original methods for teaching chords, chord progressions, and improvisation. My passion as a music teacher is that each student achieves excellence in sight-reading, technique, theory, repertoire, ear-training, improvisation, composition, and arranging ... that each student is helped to realize and enjoy the potential of their musical gifts and talent.

Personal Performance Style

In piano performance, my desire is to play music that deeply touches the heart and brings healing to the soul. I have performed before audiences on the US mainland as well as in the Hawaiian Islands and the Philippines.

Recording Credits

In 1996, I recorded a keyboard instrumental CD entitled, "Free Flow" of mostly original music. The musical moods/styles are majestic, mellow, and jazzy. There are also serene synthesizer soundscapes included. The CD has been distributed in Hawaii, the Philippines and purchased by distributors in Spain, Portugal and India. In October, 2006, I released my second keyboard instrumental CD entitled, "Serenity." In March, 2008, several of my original songs were used in a local prime time TV documentary entitled, "WE SERVE: The Legacy of the Hawaii Lions." The DVD is now available with even more of my songs added to this expanded version of the TV broadcast. In June 2008, I released my third keyboard instrumental CD entitled, "Flowing." All of my CD's are available for purchase at CD Baby, Apple iTunes and Rhapsody.


In July 2004, I started to publish some of my original piano solos as individual pieces of sheet music in the following genres: blues, contemporary jazz, classic pop, contemporary pop, pop-rock, easy-listening and soft rock. Nineteen pieces of sheet music are currently available. Demo CD's will be available for most of these songs. Special pricing is available to piano teachers, music stores, schools and also to my private students. My new music book entitled, "Chord Progression Ideas for the Contemporary Pianist" is now available. In this book, you will learn how to create interesting chord progressions for a variety of musical genres using a variety of methods. Please contact me for more information about my book and sheet music publications.

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