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Nicholas S.

(800) 417-4620

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Piano Teacher

Influences: Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, J.S. Bach, L.V. Beethoven, W.A. Mozart, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles

About Me:
Nick S. composes, produces, performs and records music for live presentation, film, video, and dance. He was born in New York City, and grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, where from age nine he frequently performed publicly on piano and electronic keyboards. He won a number of prestigious awards and scholarships.

By the age of 13, Nick was working as a pianist on weekends at the world class resort hotel, the Grove Park Inn. In 2003 he recorded and released independently his CD "Tried As An Adult."

In January 2006 Nick performed at The International Jazz Festival Lapataia in Punta del Este, Uruguay with jazz saxophonist Alex Han.

During his time at UNC Greensboro, Nick's acoustic/electronic "The Orphan Girl -- Nenneh" was presented to thousands of music lovers as part of the gala re-opening of Aycock Auditorium, a newly restored performance hall at UNC-Greensboro. His composition "Interstate 40" was premiered in 2010 by the UNCG Symphony Orchestra with guest conductor Eduardo Vargas. Later that year Nick received his degree in Music Composition from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

In January 2012, Nick released "Foolish Fantasy," an album of all-original, piano-based pop and jazz tunes.

He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, where he professionally composes, performs, and teaches full-time.

To inquire about lessons with Nicholas, please fill out the Inquiry Form on this page, or call us at (800) 417-4620.

Experience:

  • Piano Lesson Instructor [2004 - 2012]
  • Keyboards & Vocals in A Social Function, Asheville's Premiere Wedding Band [2010 - 2012]
  • Pianist, The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Blue Ridge Grill [2001 - 2011]
  • Lead Composer of Music for Web Commercials at Two Fresh Productions, London, [2009 - 2011]
  • Keyboards, in "The Stubblepuppies" Family Band [1999 - 2006]

Education:

  • Graduated, Music Performance - Composition (BM), UNC Greensboro [2010]

Studied With:

  • Dr. John Salmon [2006 - 2010]
  • Dr. David Foster [1997 - 2006]
  • Dr. Mark Engebreston [2007 - 2010]
  • Dr. Alejandro Rutty [2007 - 2010]

Awards:

  • The Ione M. Allen Music Scholarship - Ione M. Allen [2006]
  • The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award - Asheville [2006]
  • Catchiest Song Award - Asheville FoAM Festival [2008]

Recent Performances:

  • Foolish Fantasy, CD Release Party [January, 2012]
  • International Jazz Festival at Lapataia, Punta del Este, Uruguay [January, 2006]

Discography:

  • Nick Stubblefield - "Tried as an Adult" [2003]
  • Nick Stubblefield - "Foolish Fantasy" [2012]
  • CaroMia - "The Spectrum" [2012]
  • Tony Low - "The Lowbots" [2011]

Scholarships:

  • Ione M. Allen Music Scholarship [2006 - 2010]
  • R. Walker Geitner Scholarship [2006 - 2010]
  • The Deborah Sizemore Memorial Scholarship [2006 - 2010]
  • The Asheville Arts Council Scholarship [2006]
  • The William Bradley Ayers Scholarship [2006 - 2010]

Student Reviews for Nicholas

5.0 out of 5 (1 review)
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5 out of 5 Too bad I only get 5 stars . . . - September 4, 2012

By Barry Krusch, Piano Lessons

I was reading a biography of Leonard Bernstein, and there is one detail from that biography that always has stayed with me. After Leonard Bernstein graduated from music school, he decided to get a job teaching piano. And quite a few people, as I recall, took him up on his offer. Could you imagine having Leonard Bernstein teach you piano?

Well, Leonard Bernstein has been dead for 2 decades now, but there are quite a few other people on the planet today with similar talents. And luckily for you, one of them has moved to New York, and his name is Nick Stubblefield.

This comparison with Bernstein is no accident: Bernstein had 4 sterling qualities, and Nick just happens to share those qualities: 1st and foremost, Bernstein was a superb piano player, and if you ever get a chance to hear Nick in person, you will realize that he's definitely in the Bernstein category in classical music, but I doubt that even Bernstein could do what Nick does in the jazz realm. 2nd, Bernstein was a superb composer, and Nick just happens to be an excellent composer himself, with a degree in composition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 3rd, as anyone who saw Bernstein's Norton lectures can attest, Bernstein was an absolutely superb teacher, and as the parent to children who have had the pleasure of having Nick as a teacher over the last 3 years, I can say that as a teacher Nick is firmly in the Bernstein category. More on this later. Finally, there is the whole charisma factor. Bernstein had it in spades. And, when you meet Nick in person, you will realize that Nick does too. That is an excellent quality to have in a teacher!

Now let me get to why Nick is such a great teacher. Nick has been teaching my son Sean piano for several years now, but in the last 2 years we widened the focus from piano to trumpet, and also to my son Daniel, who play saxophone. Nick worked intensively with my 2 children over the last 2 years teaching them how to play in a jazz setting. When they 1st started on their new instruments, they were very green. But, over the last 2 years, I have seen them blossom into amazing musicians, and Nick I give all the credit. He has an absolutely superb teaching style. One of the things that Nick intuitively understands as a musician is that when you are teaching children, the 1st problem you have to solve is the motivational one: how do you get kids excited about playing the piano or whatever instrument they're playing? But my kids always looked forward to their lessons with Nick, and we 1st started with one hour, then went to 2 hours, and before Nick went to New York, we were up to 3 hours. The kids loved every minute of it.

And how they have progressed! Believe it or not, my kids have gotten so good at their instruments that they have recently gotten paying gigs at restaurants. How many 13 and 15 year old kids can say that?

I have uploaded 2 media files to show you Nick's teaching strategy: the 1st revolved around a Halloween concert. My son Sean is at the keyboard, and Nick is playing an electronic instrument called the Miniak. My other son Daniel is on the saxophone:

http://www.krusch.com/nick/ZOOM0008_Chameleon.MOV

Wild, right? Now, here is a recording session where Nick is going to be teaching Sean how to play the same piece on the Miniak:

http://www.krusch.com/nick/Nick_Miniak_Chameleon.MP3

If you want to get the most out of Nick's teaching style, here is what I recommend. 1st, in your practice room, you will want to get a piece of equipment called the DRS-880, and/or a set of real electronic drums. Next, I highly recommend that your child not just take piano from Nick, but also have Nick accompany your child on some other music instrument. For example, if your child also plays the guitar, or saxophone, or trumpet, Nick can teach them how to play those instruments as well. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it works! Trust me on that one! And, if you have 2 children, this methodology really works in the most fantastic way: Nick can teach each of your children to accompany each other on their other instruments.

Bottom line: have Nick teach your child or children! ASAP!!

Audio

Video

  • Nick Demonstrates Improvisation
    1. Nick Demonstrates Improvisation
  • Nick Plays Chopin's Nocturne Op. 72 in E Minor
    2. Nick Plays Chopin's Nocturne Op. 72 in E Minor
  • Nick Plays Debussy's Clair de Lune
    3. Nick Plays Debussy's Clair de Lune
  • 16-year-old Nick Plays Beethoven's Pathetique, 1st Movement
    4. 16-year-old Nick Plays Beethoven's Pathetique, 1st Movement

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