Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Popular pianist and composer Jerald Simon will present a free workshop on Thursday at the Tooele Valley Academy of Dance. (Courtesy of Jerald Simon)

September 3, 2019
Renowned composer and piano teacher to conduct free workshop

Popular Utah composer, pianist and teacher Jerald Simon will conduct a free workshop Thursday at 10 a.m. at Tooele Valley Academy of Dance at 287 N. Main in Tooele.

The event is sponsored by the Tooele Valley Music Teachers Association.

“Piano students, parents of piano students, and anyone interested in learning jazz would really enjoy this presentation,” said Jenean Christensen, a member of the association.

Simon refers to himself as a Music Mentor — a piano teacher who teaches more than dots on a page.

“For everyone who attends the free workshop, I hope to instill a love and excitement for learning and playing the piano,” Simon wrote in an email. “It takes persistence to learn to play the piano. It takes effort, practice, dedication, and hard work. But I believe it can and should be a FUN and enjoyable process!”

Simon has composed what has become known as COOL SONGS — original piano compositions initially composed for his own piano students to help teach music theory the fun way. The piano pieces range in styles and genres from classical to new age, pop, rock, techno, jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, hymn arrangements, and more. The books from Simon’s Music Motivation Series are being used all over the world, according

Simon said piano instruction should be geared a bit differently for each student.

“There are many methods in teaching the piano. Each piano student, young or old, are unique and each learns differently,” Simon wrote.

“There is no one method for learning the piano that can reach every learner out there because some individuals learn better by ear. Other piano students learn better by rote and others learn better by note,” he wrote. “Some students are more visual in their learning style while others are more focused on audio or kinesthetics. The key is to adapt to teach each individual student at their level according to how they best learn.”

Simon has published a list of 20 ideas to motivate piano students of all ages to be excited about playing the piano — especially during their teenage years.

Teachers can receive details of the 20 ideas by emailing Simon at


Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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