BFA (cum laude)/MA degrees from the City University of New York (including the MALS faculty award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement).
While in college Alex studied under musical greats John Lewis and Ron Carter. Additional music studies include jazz piano with Barry Harris, Jim McNeely; classical piano with Boris Gerazimov; vocal technique with Carlo Menotti, James Carson and with Daniel McCabe at the Eugen Grabscheid Voice Center at Mt. Sinai in Manhattan.
Drama and theatre at the Atlantic Acting School; improvisation at Chicago City Limits and Artistic New Directions in New York.
Alex has been on the Faculty of Arcadia University in PA and the continuing education program at The College of Staten Island. He has conducted many performance lecture/demonstrations in colleges and throughout the NYC public school system, private schools, libraries and other centers in and around the tri-state area.
He has been teaching private lessons for over thirty years.
All ages and levels welcome. Specializing in piano instruction and vocal coaching: Reasonable rates, references available.
Performance - Piano Instruction - Vocal Coaching - Theory
"Alex Leonard is one of the finest jazz pianists performing today" - Jazz Review.com
Piano: Read and interpret popular lead sheets, key transposition, unlock the mysteries of jazz improvisation, learn proper (classical) technique.
Voice: Standards from the great American songbook, cabaret, Broadway and jazz classics. Performance and bel canto and vocal technique, proper keys for songs, lead sheets, fundamentals of harmony and structure.
Theory: Harmony, arranging and improvisation. Compositional, form and stylistic analysis, singers learn how to accompany yourself at the piano, write lead sheets and transpose.
"Leonard is an important mainstay of the Big Apple" - All Music Guide
"A class act... superb piano playing" - Show Business
"...embraced the crowd with visual and lyric inclusiveness" - Bistro Bits
"...his vocal is so tender, so touching... his playing throughout is marked by uncommon grace" - Bistro Awards.com
"a polished musician with complex, thoughtful, yet accessible interpretations"- Cabaret Scenes
Sandor, Gyorgy. On Piano Playing. MacMillian Publishing/Schirmer Books 1981
Werner, Kenny. Effortless Mastery; Liberating the Musician Within. Jamey Abersold, 1996
Herbert-Caesari, E. The Voice of the Mind. Cresendo Pub. 1951, 1978
Herbert-Caesari, E. The Science and Sensations of Vocal Tone; A School of Natural Voice Mechanics. Crescendo Pub, 1977
Salmon, Paul G. and Meyer, Robert G. Notes from the Green Room; Coping with Stress and Anxiety in Musical Performance. Lexington Books, 1992
Hofmann, Josef. Piano Playing; with Piano Questions Answered. Dover, 1976 (orig. Doubleday, 1909)
Lhevinne, Josef. Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing. Dover, 1972 (Orig. Presser 1924)
Gieseking, Walter. Piano Technique Dover, 1972 (Orig. Presser, 1938)
Schweitzer, Albert. J.S. Bach (Two Volumes).Dover, 1966 (Orig. German, Breitkopf and Hartel, 1911)
Featured in venues from Manhattan to Las Vegas, Europe and Japan, Alex has performed on stages such as Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, The Bruno Walter Auditorium, Joe’s Pub, Below 54, The Cutting Room and as 'artist in residence' at The Metropolitan Room in NYC.
A multi-time MAC Award nominee, Alex was a finalist in the Noel Coward Competition and a performer in the Cabaret Series at the National Arts Club hosted by Donald Smith.
His recordings have received national airplay and reviews from publications such as Jazz Now, Cabaret Scenes, Cadence and All About Jazz. He has been a featured guest on many programs including Bloomberg Radio's "The Business of Show Business".