I teach jazz and popular piano styles to all ages and skill levels. I have a a B.A. in Music from Stanford (2006) with Honors in Composition, and 7 years of private teaching experience. I am enthusiastic, encouraging and patient. I am happy to provide you with practice materials or let you bring in material to learn--study at your own pace. I specialize in harmony, comping, improvisational skills and rhythmic feel--everything you need to perform as a jazz, rock, or pop musician. Plus the basics, of course. I teach out of my SF studio or in your home. Flexible hours, rates on request.

Serviced Areas

  • San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, California

Payment Options

  • Cash Only, Personal Checks

Contact Details

  Website
  Person Jake Smolowe
  City San Francisco , CA
  Zip Code 94110
  Phone Number (650) 814-7737

Business Representative

Jake Smolowe

Musician/ Teacher

Jake Smolowe is a born-and-raised Bay Area pianist, teacher and composer, currently based in San Francisco. A student of jazz from a young age, Jake aspires never to play a song the same way twice. Jake is a proficient composer and arranger, and has been writing music for as long as he can remember. His varied writing styles reflect his listening habits, which range from Art Blakey to J.S. Bach, Cinematic Orchestra to Bilal, Ray Charles to Bruce Hornsby, and beyond. He has scored music for film, written for big band and solo piano, and contributed several originals to his various performing groups throughout his career. Three of his pieces appear on The Tectonics’ album, “The Big One,” released in January 2011. He does composition and arranging work for his own bands and by commission.

Jake studied music at Stanford University, and graduated in 2006 with a B.A. in Music with Honors in Composition. While at Stanford he led his own small combo, performed with the Stanford Jazz Orchestra, and collaborated with many other musicians and performing artists, including Stanford Shakespeare Society. He also has ten years of experience assisting Stanford jazz program director Jim Nadel with his Continuing Studies Program (CSP) jazz listening class.

Jake values music education and loves sharing his knowledge of theory and harmony, jazz and other popular styles via private lessons in San Francisco and around the Bay Area.

Customer Testimonials

Jake is a very talented musician with a cool, often understated style. I’ve known Jake since our Stanford days, taking lessons from him even before he started teaching professionally. Pretty happy with how far I’ve grown as a musician, though I always wish I had more time to practice! Jake has an informal teaching style, and he’s good at tailoring his lessons to my goals. Highly recommended if you’ve been thinking about learning jazz or want to improve your chops.


Jake taught my son when he decided to return to piano so that he could play in the Middle School Jazz Band. Jake did a great job in getting him back up to speed after many years of not playing. He managed to work in the basics while applying it to the school pieces, which required jazz rather than classical technique. Jake taught my son enough chord theory to keep up and stay in the music program. My son gradually transitioned from keyboards to mallets/vibes, and finally made the leap to drums, where he will be staying for High School. Jake was supportive all the way and gracious when my son left the piano behind. Not only that, but he came to our school and played for a community event. What a guy!

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