Learn piano, music production, and songwriting with

Alberto Mancini

Klavier für Jazz, Pop und klassische Musik / Musikproduktion & Songwriting

Alberto Mancini is a composer and pianist from Milan. Raised in the embrace of the city, he graduated in jazz piano, with the dream of composing soundtracks for films and video games close to his heart. In the summer of 2023, he traveled to London to compose soundtracks for several video games at Octopus 8. Currently perfecting the art of composition in Zurich at ZHdK collaborating on video games, live-action shorts, and animation.

Alberto Mancini also offers distance learning.

How does distance learning work for us?

Price

10 lessons of 45 min.: CHF 930

For children, 30-minute lessons are also possible.

portrait of Alberto Mancini

Location

Schwamendingerstrasse
8050 Zürich

Pfingstweidstrasse 96
8005 Zürich

Instrument

Piano, music production, and songwriting

Music style

Jazz, classical, and pop

Level

Beginner, Advanced, and Master

Language

English and Italian

Age

Alberto Mancini teaches students from 6 years

Interview with Alberto Mancini

Which musician has influenced you the most? 
When I was younger, there was this friend of mine who was playing the sax with me. He was barely trained, and played just whatever could with his enormous talent. And at that time I was a boy with a lot of classical training on my shoulders, and couldn’t believe that, somehow, this untrained guy could, eventually, play better than me. This changed my approach to music completely and teached me, once for all, that technique is just a part of the thing. This to me has been the most valuable lesson ever.

What can you teach me about your instruments different than any other teacher?
There is always a better teacher. But I’d love to find someone better than me at teaching the basic stuff (the first approach to piano, the basic harmony, how to write a simple song), just to dialogue and to learn something from them! 

How did you learn to play your instrument?
My family had a piano in the house. When I was a kid, for three years, I didn’t like it at all, I barely studied. Then, I slowly realized that with music if I put some effort in something, I could succeed. And that helped me not only in dedicating myself more to the piano and loving it more and more, but also gave me the confidence of committing at school and everywhere else.

How do you go about writing a song or composing a piece yourself?
I usually start knowing in what style I want to write and what are the techniques that are usually used in that style. I listen a lot of stuff in that specific genre and learn some songs of it, and interiorize them at a point where you can start writing and “automatically” recognize what is good for it or not. When I write stuff just for myself, I just use the most various techniques. Sometimes I just write in rhyme and then put music under it. Sometimes I just have a great melody and put chords under it. No rules when you do stuff for yourself.

On what equipment do you play today?
Now I write on a M1 Macbook. I have a Korg Stage Vintage that is perfect for Rhodes and Wurlizer to play live. I also request it often at festivals. I have a moog little phatty sythesizer, but lately I find more convenient to go around with a computer and a controller. 

What personal trait has helped you when you practice the most?
I had this great professor during my piano bachelor, Franco D’Andrea, who taught me everything I know about jazz piano with love and passion. I owe him a lot.

What does your instrument have that others don't?
Piano is basically an entire orchestra. If you can tame it, it will lead you wherever you want.

What you pay special attention to when you teach?
I love to teach to kids the connection between the voice (the instrument we have built in, and the one they are more familiar with) and the piano. So we always sing the songs we play, they are all fun to sing and to play. I also invent some stories behind every piece so they feel they are part of a story. Also, I like to have fun with my students. There is a clear line where we can or cannot have fun, but enjoying the lesson is an essential part of the process. Also I take extra care at the learning curve: it has to be as smooth as possible.

How do you build up your music lessons?
My lessons start with a little chat with the student: how much they studied, why, I ask what they enjoyed and where they may have found some difficulty. Then we start the actual lesson, usually with some technique to warm up the fingers. Then we play some pieces, usually matching some reading exercises. If the lesson requires it, we proceed with some theory information related to the piece we are studying. I prefer to alternate piano-related exercises to other activities.

What do you do with children?
I start knowing them and getting familiar with them. Becoming a friend, and not only a teacher, it is very important to me to build trust and passion. Of course, it’s not just fun and games: they have to respect you and do what you tell them. But that’s my approach, usually, and I think it works the vast majority of the times.

What was until now your greatest experience as a musician?
I don’t know. Maybe going to Osaka in Japan to play traditional Italian music. That experience has been incredible.

What was the largest stage that you've performed on?
With the band Motel Kaiju it happened to us to travel a lot. I can’t say if the stage in Lviv Jazz Festival (Ukraine) was bigger than the Nisville Festival (Serbia). Also with my band Deaf Kaki Chumpy we played for hundreds of people.

Which musician would you like to play with?
I want to choose a dead one! Miles Davis for sure 100%. If I have to choose an alive one, I’d say I’d write music for Hans Zimmer of course! And I would love to perform with Luis Cole.

Which record would you bring to a desert island?
Probably I’d bring a (long) Ella Fitzgerald album where she sings Cole Porter songs. There’s EVERYTING in it. Or maybe the Sacre du Printemps. I don’t know, it’s very difficult to choose. I’d choose a record that has a lot of layers, so you can dive into different aspects of it, and never get bored.

On which stage do you prefer to perform?
Hamburg Elbphilarmonie with no doubt.

After music, what is important in your life?
Friendships and food for sure. I love to read, to play chess, to cook, to write stories. Tons. 

Recommendation for Alberto Mancini

Francesca, -

I resumed playing the piano as an adult, very worried about my shortcomings and - above all - from childhood memories of boring lessons that gave me little satisfaction. Alberto changed my mind. He is a competent teacher, always careful to find the best way to involve the student, whose strengths and inclinations he greatly values, making it easier and more pleasant to work on critical issues and weaknesses. His lessons are always stimulating because he manages to bring even the most boring technical exercises to the pleasure of playing. In addition to the progress that can be achieved with study, his lectures convey a feeling of enthusiasm for the instrument that continues to accompany me between meetings.

Valeria, -

Alberto is an excellent piano teacher; he makes his lessons both interesting and challenging, all while ensuring they are enjoyable. His passionate explanations cover music techniques and theory. Although I had previously taken piano lessons for several years during my youth, I had to pause due to school and work commitments. Recently, I decided to resume my piano studies to enhance my technique and delve deeper into the composition of the music I like. Alberto has not only guided me in improving my piano skills but, more importantly, he has introduced me to fascinating concepts of music and composition theory that I had never explored before. These insights have significantly enhanced my understanding of how the music I play and listen to comes to life. Thanks to him, I am discovering new approaches to playing the piano. Previously grounded in classical piano studies, I am now learning how to read and play jazz, which has added a new dimension to my musical journey. I am thoroughly enjoying the learning process. Throughout the year, I have experienced both offline and online lessons, and I believe the difference is minimal. Alberto has the ability to keep the lessons interesting and engaging, even when conducted through Skype.

Monica, -

Alberto Mancini was for the 5 years of elementary school the piano master of my daughter Analù. I think he is a very prepared and professional person and I am so grateful to him not only for having transmitted the best of the basics of the instrument that he taught my daughter to play, but even more for having been able to convey to my little girl the passion for music, which is the fundamental thing. My daughter, thanks to the passion that Alberto Mancini has transmitted to her and thanks to the acquired notions, has passed with great success all the tests carried out for the entrance to the middle school musical address of Milan, including the school "Verdi" linked to the conservatory. Analù has maintained with Maestro Mancini a nice bond of affection and esteem and, now , in middle school, plays the piano with passion and with excellent results. I can therefore strongly recommend Maestro Mancini for lessons to children but also to people of all ages.

Felix, 37, Medical Affairs, Zürich

I’ve been taking 10 Piano lessons with Alberto thus far and can highly recommend him as a teacher. I started taking lessons with Alberto as a complete beginner and we are working mostly on Jazz/RnB/Pop with the right amount of theory sprinkled in. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve made great progress. Learning a new instrument while being busy at work doesn’t leave as much time to practice as I would like but Alberto is tailoring every lesson to what I want to learn and what fits in my schedule. Alberto is very professional and easy to work with and I am very satisfied with the lessons and will continue to take lessons with Alberto.

Elisa, Schülerin

Alberto Mancini taught piano to my son Giorgio. He was an excellent teacher with children; Giorgio was 8 years old when he started. A fun, stimulating, always kind, sensitive, and attentive teacher. He would send us homework to do at home and always made sure it was done carefully. During COVID, he conducted online lessons professionally despite the unfavorable conditions, the difficulty of positioning the video on the face and hands, and the challenge of teaching an 8-year-old child remotely. He then supported Giorgio during the preparation for the entrance exam to the music section, always with attention and consistency. My son's memories of Maestro Alberto are undoubtedly very positive. I think it was a stroke of luck to meet a teacher who allowed him to develop such a passion for music.

Juan,

Alberto is awesome, I fully recommend him as instructor! I had a round of jazz piano lessons with him and I found the content to be extremely helpful and fun! Alberto is very knowledgeable on a wide variety of topics, ranging from musical theory to live performance. He put together a nice learning program for me, taking into account my preferences, level and goals, and covering various aspects of jazz theory, piano technique, ear training, improvisation and comping. Whatever your goals are, Alberto will take you to the next level!

Corinna, 36, Sofware Engineer, Zürich

Years ago, I dabbled in classical piano, but life took over, and I ended up taking a long break. Recently, the desire to play music returned, and this time, I was drawn to the world of jazz piano. That's when I found Alberto and he turned out to be the perfect teacher to introduce me to it. Alberto's lessons are a well-rounded blend of theory, technique development, and learning exciting new pieces. He challenges you to learn and improve, but always in a supportive and encouraging way. His explanations, even for complex concepts, are clear and engaging. Plus, his passion for music is truly infectious – it motivates you to keep practicing, even when you don't necessarily feel like it. Alberto has reignited my love for playing the piano, and his engaging lessons have made learning jazz piano a truly enriching experience. I'm excited to continue exploring this new musical world with him as my guide. Highly recommend him!