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Jacqueline calling at Berea Christmas Country Dance School, 2004
(photographer: Jeffrey Bary)

For bookings or to purchase recordings,
e-mail Jacqueline

or write:
Jacqueline Schwab
PO Box 380063
Cambridge, MA 02238-0063

Aiming for joyous, passionate, confident music-making …
Jacqueline teaches beginning piano, classical, traditional and popular music, piano improvisation, keyboard harmony, ear training, music reading, and English country and contra and other dance piano back-up styles to adults and children. She helps students focus on releasing muscular tension and building knowledge of body mechanics to help in music making. She has worked with many adults returning to piano lessons after a gap of many years. She also has worked with non-piano-playing instrumentalists on improvising harmonic lines. Lessons are at Jacqueline’s studio in Lexington, Mass. When Jacqueline is touring, she may be available to teach private lessons at homes.
Jacqueline has directed a Celtic ensemble at New England Conservatory of Music. She has also taught piano and led dance band workshops at a number of week-long camps, including Ashokan Northern Week, Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp, English Dance Week at Pinewoods, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Bay Area Family Dance Camp, and Berea College Christmas School. She has directed English Dance Musicians’ Week a number of times at weeks sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society at Pinewoods and Buffalo Gap Camps. She has led day-long dance band workshops for groups around the country and has also coached small ensembles.
Jacqueline has taught keyboard harmony classes to small groups (2-4 people) at her Lexington studio. Drawing on harmonic progressions used in classical, traditional and popular music, students learn to identify chord progressions, to play in many keys and to harmonize tunes “on the fly.” Students can group together with their friends to get a course going or may ask Jacqueline to start a group.
See the “Traditional Dance” page.

To get more information or schedule a lesson, contact, or (781) 652-0298.

“Every so often the ‘music switch’ gets turned on in me, meaning I get seized and consumed by it for awhile, and it’s hard to focus on other things … and it has happened again, as a result of your workshop. … So, thank you! … The quality of attention you bring to your teaching is extremely rare, even among the most experienced teachers.  Your exceptional sensitivity makes it possible for you to work from the point of view of your students, helping them to find their own unique voices at whatever level of proficiency they possess.  In working with you, I learned to trust myself more.  Thank you so much for the very thoughtful and kind and encouraging and insightful way you got me to explore the idea of more freedom and deeper and truer expression in music and in life.”—Kim Fedchak, PA
“Thanks … for the fine workshops you put together. Many of us were talking about how great it was that you didn’t teach ‘what to play,’ but showed us ‘how’ to play. Your language, both verbal and musical, was exceedingly vivid and through that we were able to better to understand your philosophy on playing for English Country Dancing. Thanks for your insights!”—Jeffrey Spero, CA
“Hey, Jacqueline! Thank you so much for the inspiring lesson. I am completely in love! I am working on keeping things simple and on the forward movement feeling … And I feel like the hand ideas are completely reworking all of my piano playing, which is very exciting .”—Emily Troll, MA
“I … wanted to remember to let you know how much I enjoyed our lesson. It was a great help to me. I felt as though I played so much more musically and with fresh ideas …”—Kay Dunlap, Circle of Song, Revels, Inc., MA
“What a wonderful weekend of music that was! I had said for years that I would love to be able to sit down with Jacqueline Schwab and get her to show me ‘how she does that with the piano.’ And the time finally came! And, perhaps an odd sounding tribute—our 13-year old son, who is absolutely determined to hate everything having to do with country dancing, was (sitting with his Gameboy) at the Friday dance. Later he said it ‘was pretty amazing the music she was getting out of that piano.’ (High praise indeed!) And now I sometimes come across him trying to figure out ‘Old Wife Behind the Fire’ on the piano. So thank you for that, too!”—Lindsay Lowry, NJ

Jacqueline Schwab's piano improvisations have been heard worldwide, most notably on the soundtracks for nine of Ken Burns' documentaries, including the Civil War, Baseball and his most recent series on Mark Twain. She has performed at the White House in 1997 for former President Clinton and also at the Smithsonian (on a former White House piano).

Jacqueline performs solo concerts of vintage American music, tango, and traditional music from England, Scotland, Ireland and parts beyond. For many years she has also performed with the Bare Necessities quartet at English country dances and festivals throughout the United States and in England.

She has performed and recorded with Scottish fiddlers Alasdair Fraser and Laura Risk, Scottish singer Jean Redpath, fiddler Andrea Hoag, glass armonica player Dean Shostak and others. Jacqueline has three solo recordings (Mad Robin, Down Came an Angel, and Mark Twain's America) and has played on over forty recordings.