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“Cliff, how come you don’t have a web site?” “You’ve got to put your methods & system on-line.” “What a great piano reference site it would be!” “You can help a lot of people if you go on-line”

About Cliff Michaels

I was a professional musician in New York City for 30 years. My professional experience began at 15 years old playing accordion in the Catskill mountains of Upstate NY. Shortly after that I began playing piano and keyboards. Over the years I’ve played numerous venues such as top 40 show bands doing the Atlantic City and East coast club circuit. As a freelance musician, I worked for many of the NY orchestra/musician booking offices that would have you in a tuxedo playing the Presidential Suite in the Hotel Pierre one night for a corporate cocktail party, or the waiting-for-your-room lounge at the Waldorf. The next night, I might find myself in a beer-smelling, bouncing off the walls bar/club, deep in the heart of New Jersey. ( Ahhh, the music business—Fun when young) The dress, music repertoire and attitude adjustments needed were quite different depending where the ‘job’ might take you. Some fond memories are the following: Accompanying international performance stars such as the great Finnish born actress/singer Juliette Koka for stints at NYC/Greenwich Village (SoHo) clubs like ‘Boltax’, on Wooster Street… or the college concerts she often did. Juliette was most known in the U.S. for her 1977 one-woman Broadway show about show about the late tragic French chanteuse, Edith Piaf. No entertainer I’ve ever known could send chills, smiles and tears through their audience like Juliette Koka. After a show with Juliette, as I slowly collected my music, I would always find myself glancing out in amazement at the obviously emotionally moved audience. Her ability to touch an audience, to cause people feel what she was feeling when she performed was such a gift. I recall a couple of shows arranged by the well known NYC radio & TV host Joe Franklin for some of NYC’s hospitals children’s cancer care wards. I forget most of the entertainers booked, but one I remember well. I had the pleasure of meeting and accompanying Neva Small… one of the stars in the movie Fiddler On The Roof. (And so much more) Her talent and energy had me and any audience transfixed when she performed. I actually remember thinking “My God! She’s amazing!” And their were also great entertainers like Michael Sedgewick. (The Singing Farmer) Mike was an amazingly talented British Broadway (London Theater/West End) actor whose love for his audience poured from him with every performance. I spent years with Michael on and off doing such a variety of gigs. Whenever Michael planned a U.S. (NY) trip in pursuit of elevating his career, I got the call. “Cliff, I have quite a few engagements coming up. (Central and Gramercy Park private clubs. Night clubs like the famous Regine’s. etc. (To numerous to remember—lots of places, lot’s of celebrities.) Can we have a look at your calendar?” Mike never called them gigs LOL - he was quite the proper Englishman. My last couple career years were spent winding down my playing to the occasional club date (social function), some hotel gigs, and even accompanying some performers on a TV Telethon or two, such as the Dennis James–United Cerebral Palsy Telethon.


During those career years, I would occasionally find myself with a student here and there which led to passion, what I really loved to do; much more than the business of playing… teach. This website is part of that passion. I enjoy helping beginning and intermediate students learn to play the piano and the music they love. My goal on this website is to offer practical, useful, real- world information and advice to help visitors learn, improve, and speed-up all areas of their piano playing, and their learning journey. I now reside in, and teach piano in South Florida.

About This Website And What It Has To Offer

First… why did I call it the Piano Magic Magazine Website ?’ Maybe it’s a bit corny but, over the years when I learned something new on the piano that had an exciting result and improved my playing, I always thought of it as a magical thing. The whole process for me was a ‘magical’ process, creating such a satisfying feeling. I hope it will be for you too. The site is for limited knowledge beginners to intermediate students ; for the hobbyist to serious learner. Many of the methods offered are not traditional—they’re the tips & tricks of the trade method. Think of them as ‘shortcuts’; a fast track way of achieving your goals. You will need to know the basics of course. Intermediate players will learn a myriad of tips, tricks, and methods to get them that pro sound without technical jargon and debate. All information on this site is free. Eventually I’ll be creating subject targeted material that will come in the form of inexpensive booklets focusing on just one of the many subjects taught here. With these booklets, you can learn and apply immediately the subjects and techniques covered in a more through and extended manner.

Why I Choose/Decided To Do This

With so much information, various methods and opinions available on learning to play piano, it can become quite confusing for the learner; causing a lack of focus and direction. Which books? Which videos? Which websites? Which teacher? Keep in mind, that your goal is to ‘play music’. (the kind you want) In order to create self-motivation and desire, you need a faster way to arrive at your goal. I’d like to help you reach your goals faster. You obviously love music and want to express yourself through the piano. An over abundance of technical jargon, useless exercises and theory study may delay progress. That being said… As you progress, and for various reasons, you may wish to learn more advanced methods and techniques that will be the time for you to pursue the more advanced subjects. - - - - - CONTACT ME: This form is provided allowing you to make comments, requests, suggestions, recommendations and feedback. And, if you live in South Florida and would like some information regarding private piano lessons. I will respond as soon as possible. DidI made a boo boo somewhere, a broken link — a speling error – don’t be shy – let me know. How will I know if I'm doing a good job... the right job... without getting feedback?
Piano Magic Magazine
Neva Small