Informal Music Making Among Piano Bar Musicians:

Implications for Bridging the Gap in Music Education

“I think we need to teach them (kids) to appreciate creativity more. You gotta be open minded…. If anybody says it’s gotta be like this, it doesn’t. It can be anything you want it to be as long as it involves your imagination and creativity.” Scott - Las Vegas (on music education and teaching)



Three friends (and music education researchers) walk into a piano bar for an evening of fun and drinks. Several hours later, they are devising a research project stemmed by their interest in how piano bar musicians learn their repertoire, the various instruments they play, and how they came to be piano bar musicians. Several years later, and many piano bar nights out, our research is revealing some interesting thoughts about the process of informal music making in piano bars and potential implications for informal music making in music education settings.

Dr. Amy Spears, Dr. Danelle Larson, Sarah Minette, Ph.D candidate