Throughout the pandemic, many people have turned to music to cope; some have even learned a new instrument. Now you can take your skills to the next level with some help from David Bowie’s keyboardist. Host Jason Carr spoke to world-renowned keyboardist Mike Garson. He’s played with Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, and more. You may recognize his skills on the Nine Inch Nail’s Fragile album, on HBO’s Watchmen series, or in the movie Gone Girl.
“My life, since 14, is just playing the piano,” says Garson. “I feel so blessed.”
Besides playing with some of the best musicians in the world, he has also been teaching well over 1,000 private students. In fact, he is still teaching, even during the pandemic, through Zoom calls. While most of his private students are very advanced, he recently found an app he recommends for newer students called “Playground Sessions.” The app, or website, allows you to plug in your keyboard and play along to a variety of songs, including many popular ones. There are background tracks and you have to keep up with the beat or you will get marked down. You can join at any level, and they have instructors to help you improve.
“I saw my grandkids loving it, that’s why I can support this venture, especially in these rough times,” explains Garson.
Garson is putting together a special event for David Bowie’s birthday, on January 8th. It’s been 5 years since Bowie’s passing, and Garson has gathered dozens of musicians that formerly played with David Bowie to perform a show. It will be a 3-hour concert starting at 6 pm PST or 9 pm EST. The show will then be made available for people to watch at their leisure for 24 hours. You can find the concert on rollinglivestudios.com.
For more information, watch the full interview above.