Can I visit the studio and observe a class?

Sometimes I will allow someone I’ve accepted into the program who hasn’t yet begun classes to observe, but generally I don’t permit observation. If I did, there would be spectators at most classes and I believe it would be a distraction for my students. Also, I’m not comfortable using my current students as recruitment tools for prospective students.


How much practicing will be expected of me?

It depends on your goals. If you’re looking to play professionally, expect to practice a lot. Of course, as you advance, your practice time needs to increase accordingly. If you’re in high school, college or are employed full time, approximately two hours daily is expected, with occasional exceptions. If you’re in your post high school years and this is your primary focus, three to six hours daily.

Clearly, any serious profession requires an investment of time. It’s not likely you’ll become an engineer, an architect, a lawyer or a doctor without investing at least the amount time mentioned above to learn your profession. Music is also a difficult and competitive profession.


Because of the level of expectation, can the atmosphere be too harsh or critical?

This isn’t easy to answer. Of course, I wouldn’t say the atmosphere is too harsh or critical and certainly my students agree, otherwise they wouldn’t be here, but here’s the caveat: I can offer a similar critique in an identical tone to two students and each may receive it very differently. Some students don’t like being told what’s wrong and how to correct it. Some do. I always did. It’s how you improve.

I guess I’ve never understood why some students want to hear how wonderful or special they are. It’s my view that genuine self confidence is the result of accomplishment, not its cause. That doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge that success begets success. Certainly a positive cycle of accomplishment, confidence, accomplishment, confidence, etc. should exist. But confidence without accomplishment (i.e. overconfidence) can be dangerously self-crippling. Pride can be the enemy of growth.

I can be demanding, but my students know where my heart lies. They know it’s never my intent to be disrespectful or unkind, but rather to help them advance and grow. After all, that’s why they come. When they do well, I tell them. Then it means something. For more insight, read my students’ testimonials.


Will I have performance opportunities?

Plenty. There are several “in-house” performance opportunities and, depending on your level of advancement, there may be several opportunities to perform in public as well. I can’t guarantee that you will be provided with gigs, but historically the advanced students in the studio tend to gig a lot.


Will I need to bring an amp, a keyboard or a drum kit? What’s provided?

A grand piano, amps, a drum kit and a quality P.A. system are provided on site. You will need instrument cables.


Is there a cliquish atmosphere due to the disparity of skill levels?

There are no social strata here decided by musical skills. Students here have historically been very eager to help each other throughout all levels of advancement. That’s a kinship I foster and encourage. Even if a student were prone to cliquish or condescending behavior, I would never allow it as I don’t want “star mentalities,” just excellent musicians.


Can you guarantee that I will have a career in music?

No, of course not. Nobody can guarantee that. However, I can assure you that you will either have “what it takes” and that you will develop the skills necessary for a music career OR you won’t be permitted to continue, wasting time and money in the process. However, know that beyond your control or mine lay many variables, such as market conditions, which will play a role in your career.

Initial Meeting

What will I be asked to play during the meeting and how should I prepare?

I’ll ask you to play anything you know and are comfortable with. It doesn’t have to be in the jazz idiom. You’re not trying to impress me. You’re giving me a chance to learn about your playing. Usually, I don’t ask to hear more than a relatively short example. I’m interested in talking with you as much as I am listening to you play. You shouldn’t be nervous. My goal is to help you in whatever way I can. Other than being “in practice,” there’s nothing special you can do to prepare. The most important thing to remember is not to put it off until you think you are ready. The time you spend preparing for an audition may be much better spent with guidance.


How much time is devoted to the initial meeting?

It can vary wildly, depending on the skill and experience of each prospective student. Initial meetings have been as brief as 20 minutes and as lengthy as more than 2 hours. To be safe, please allow 1 hour. Should it be necessary for us to talk more than our time allows, we can explore scheduling additional time.

Location & Access

How easy is it to get to the studio?

As we’re located in downtown Dayton, we’re just a couple of minutes from all area highways such as I-75, Rt. 35, Rt. 4, etc.


What's parking like?

Since all classes and combos are held in the evening, parking isn’t a problem. The metered parking spaces on S. Saint Clair St. are free after 6 p.m. and there is a parking lot across the street which is also available for free in the evening hours.


Is downtown safe?

Safer than many perceive, but as with any area where people congregate, caution is always advised. I’ve been located downtown since 1996 and my students have encountered very few difficulties while attending the studio, none serious.


Is the Building that houses the Jazz Arts Studio Safe?

Very. It’s a secure building which requires a pass code to gain entrance. Every student is provided with a pass code.


What’s the studio like inside?

I’m a little compulsive, so the studio always looks very nice. It’s spacious, clean and very, very organized. Also, the configuration of the space lends itself perfectly to our needs as it was remodeled to my specifications in 2004.

Studio History

What is the history of the Jazz Arts Studio? How long has it been around?

On February 1, 1995, after more than 15 years of playing professionally and teaching jazz improvisation, I opened the Zadan Piano & Jazz Improvisation Studio in the Executive Building on West Dorothy Lane in Kettering. On April 1st of 1996 I relocated the studio to a more spacious site on the 9th floor of the Fidelity Plaza Building in downtown Dayton and it was soon after renamed the Jazz Arts Studio. On April 1, 2004, I relocated the studio again to a much larger space at its current location, 17 S. Saint Clair Street.