Mark was my teacher at the University of Maine at Augusta as part of a BA Honors degree in jazz from Leeds College of Music. Mark transformed my understanding of music. And while he was teaching me harmony and improvisation he was also showing me an approach to life. I seemed to walk out a foot taller from every one of his lessons. Now nearly 20 years later, I run creative music workshops with diverse groups including orchestral players, opera singers, prisoners and primary school children. I find myself quoting him practically every day to the groups I work with. The participants seem to walk out a foot taller as I did years ago.
Image of Peter Latanka
Peter Letanka
Jazz Pianist and Educator
If you’re looking for an accomplished, experienced teacher of improvisation and jazz piano on Skype–someone who’s really going to take an interest in your learning and work towards your success–that’s Mark Polishook.
Harold Danko
Harold Danko
Professor of Jazz Piano, Eastman School of Music
Mark’s approach is a journey of discovery. His emphasis is on listening and appreciating not only the sound and quality of the notes, but also the spaces in between. He gives the classical pianist freedom to let go of ingrained preconceptions –to be thankful for wrong notes as the impetus for improvisation–and to banish the rational voice which might say “you can’t do that!”.
Frances Wilson
Piano Teacher and co-founder of the London Piano Meetup Group
Mark Polishook was my first jazz piano teacher, and I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without his excellent teaching and thoughtful mentoring. I met Mark while I was still a senior in high school, and continued to work with him as a freshman in college. Mark encouraged and believed in me, and set me on my musical path with a teaching method that combined rigorous work to confront my weaknesses with creative exploration to discover and build upon my strengths. I can still remember him telling me to set my alarm an hour earlier every day so I would have time to compose then practice lines over harmonically difficult forms like “Giant Steps” and “Have You Met Miss Jones!” Mark’s teaching went far beyond the specifics of jazz piano—nearly two decades after giving me my first lessons up in the cold of Maine, I am a professional jazz pianist in New York City and hold a Ph.D. in music. Mark’s teaching remains at the foundation of my daily practice routine, and he remains a mentor and an important part of my support system.
David DeMotta
Dr. David DeMotta
Jazz Pianist
What stands out about Mark is how generous he is in offering assistance. In addition to my Skype lessons, I send him questions every day along with a recording. He gives me detailed feedback within 12-18 hours. Our discussions in-between lessons are as substantial as our Skype meetings.
Amelia Chan
Independent Management Consulting Professional
Mark’s a world-class jazz pianist, a wonderfully inventive composer, an expert in electroacoustic music, and a mentor in the fullest sense of the term. He’s inspired every aspect of my creative development. His guidance, teaching and support transformed my life–I wouldn’t have gotten where I am without him. I can’t imagine a more complete teacher for any aspiring musician.
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Dr Norbert Palej
Associate Professor and Head of the University Of Toronto Music Composition and Theory Dept
Mark is in the top rank. His teaching is inspirational – it brings out the best in his students. What I’m doing now after working with him was unimaginable before – utterly unimaginable!
Julie Maxwell
Conductor and Artistic Director of the Magna Music Band
People want to work with Mark because he is an excellent musician, performer, composer, teacher and person and he is so generous towards others. He encouraged me by pointing out my potential where I did not see it– which is why I am pursuing music making today.
Jennifer Smith
Clearly Beloved composer, violinist and co-founder
Mark, you have transformed the way I play.
Christophe Ludet
Pianist and Information Technology Professional
Yesterday my husband mentioned a friend had an Avid Flyer for sale. My first thought was what would Mark do?. Yup. We now own the Avid.
Kathy Fraser
Composer, pianist and pilot
Mark Polishook has been an effective teacher for me in a number of ways. He has been my guide in studying harmony, following Arnold Schoenberg’s book “Theory of Harmony”. Mark is familiar with both the jazz side of the “fence” AND the classical side. This, for me, has been helpful since the development of jazz harmony borrowed heavily from the classical harmony that preceded it. Mark is always positive, encouraging, and looks for ways to facilitate growth in his students. And last, but not least, he is a genuinely nice guy.
David Goethe
Orlando, Florida
Searching in many famous jazz books, I found Mark Polishook. He changed everything about Jazz in my mind. He helped me understand many sophisticated pieces using a very simple method and unravelled the complexity that is found in published works. He rescued me!
Mohsen Jozi
I had the privilege to participate in one of Mark’s improvisation workshops. Mark is an amazing instructor and gentleman.He found a direct connection with everyone in the workshop and immediately got to the core of what each of us needed to improve. It was an enriching and inspiring experience. Thank you Mark. Your advice was priceless, and your humanity inspiring. I will bother you for Skype lessons for sure.
Filippo Gregoretti
The lessons I learned from Mark still resonate in my creative work today and in the concentric circles that ripple out through my students. His mentorship pushed me into musical realms I would have never considered without him.
John Sanders
Music Department Chair, Edmonds Community College
The lessons I learned from Mark still resonate in my creative work today and in the concentric circles that ripple out through my students. His mentorship pushed me into musical realms I would have never considered without him.
Rich D'aigle
Guitarist with the Red Hot Rock Club

Mark Polishook is currently offering study sessions or blocks held in his studio or via Skype.

If you would like to find out more you can get in touch with Mark here.