Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Avril.
Hi Robert, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My piano journey started when I was 5 years old. As a young child, I loved listening to all kinds of music. My dad played trumpet in the local community college band for fun! He would often take me to the music store with him when he needed to repair his trumpet. My parents always thought that I would gravitate towards drums or another instrument.
However, every time we went to the music store, I would go straight to the keyboards and start hitting the keys. After a few visits, my parents brought me to a piano teacher to take lessons. I had the same piano teacher from Kindergarten all the way through my senior year of high school and she not only built up my skills at the piano but also helped grow my love for music!
In high school, I began to enter many competitions and other events with the piano. These competitions encouraged me to hone my piano skills even more! As college approached, I decided that I would pursue a degree in Piano Performance at Arizona State University studying with Dr. Baruch Meir. Dr. Meir took my playing to another level. I even had the opportunity to compete in an International Piano Competition in Italy!
As I neared completion of my degree at ASU, I began to teach piano to some of my parent’s neighbors. I really enjoyed sharing the gift of piano and the gift of music with others. Being able to play the piano was always a stress reliever and a challenge that I enjoyed and I hoped to share that same feeling with my students. Once I had graduated, I began to take on many more students and help them develop their skills at the piano.
I also began to pursue a degree in music engineering at Mesa Community College. While I was studying there, other students would ask me questions about piano or music theory because of my extensive background. Soon, I began to realize the piano technique and music theory concepts that I knew could help many people! I created the brand Crzndo online to put out free videos and field questions on social media to help others learn the piano and music theory.
Today, I have continued to post informational content to help others learn what THEY would like to play on the piano! I am still teaching piano and see over 50 students a week ranging in age from 4 to 65. Teaching piano is something that I love to do! While I still enjoy performing, it is a different satisfaction to help someone else learn to love the piano just as I discovered when I was a young child.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
There have been many challenges along the road! As you can imagine learning the piano is not the most simple task! It takes countless hours and incredible focus to take your skills to a high level. There have been some performances where I haven’t felt great about the result, but that’s what brings me back to working and practicing on becoming the best I can be!
In my teaching business, it was also not the easiest road! Many of the initial skills I had learned at the piano occurred when I was very young! When I began teaching my first lessons, I knew what I wanted to teach the student, but I could not remember the process of how I got there myself! I had to spend many hours learning how I could best teach each student and improve their playing!
It also took a few years to build up a clientele of students. However, through referrals and always trying to provide the most value for all of my students, I was slowly able to build up my teaching studio to where it is today!
With my online brand, I was completely new to the content creation world. I had to learn how I could best communicate through video. I also had to learn how to market my own online products which I created to help others learn the piano. While all of these new topics took time, I really enjoyed learning about them!
To me, it was like learning how to play another piece at the piano. Once I understood the initial concepts, I was able to tweak them to make them my own!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in teaching others how to play the piano and how to utilize music theory concepts in learning the piano. There are many different ways to teach the piano however, I really like to focus on the student. Once I begin to understand what they like to play or listen to, we can really focus on how to get to that level!
Whether this is classical music, popular music, movie themes, or video game themes – I strive to give students the technical skills to play what they want to at the piano! I try to make all of these concepts easy for anyone to learn which is why I believe others are able to connect with the content that I create on different platforms.
I am most proud of watching my students enjoy playing the piano! I have had students perform in Carnegie Hall and also win various local competitions. It also makes me very proud to see some of my younger students perform for an audience and feel great about their performance!
Nothing makes me feel better than being able to pass on the gift of music to someone else!
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
As I was growing up, I was a very driven and competitive child. My two main focuses were always piano and basketball! Whether it be practicing for competitions at the piano or practicing to play in basketball games, I always enjoyed the competitive spirit!
Being an only child, I tended to be more introverted. I believe this also helped me in my piano studies because music and the piano were something that I could use to express emotions. If I was feeling a certain way, I could sit down at the piano and play a piece that would correlate with whatever I was feeling!
The piano still serves as a great outlet for emotions today!
- Piano Lessons – inquire
- Chords Booklet – $2.50
- Scales Book – $20
- Scales eBook – $10
- Website: www.crzndo.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/crzndo
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/crzndo
- Youtube: www.youtube.com/crzndomusic
- Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@crzndo?lang=en