Dr. Bob Lawrence is the founder and President of The Dallas School of Music and JazzPianoSkills. He has dedicated his entire professional career to helping aspiring jazz pianists discover, learn, and play jazz piano.
A native of Rock Island, Illinois (located a couple of hours west of Chicago). Dr. Lawrence grew up in a musical family continuously hearing the Dixieland sounds of Bix Beiderbecke, he was destined to be a professional musician from early on. Many gifted and accomplished local jazz musicians were enormously influential during his early years of formation in the Quad-Cities (Al Frandsen, Warren Parrish, and Jack Scott to name just a few).
After receiving a Bachelors's degree in music from St. Ambrose University, Dr. Lawrence headed south to attend graduate school at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). Considered by many the best collegiate jazz program in the world, NTSU (UNT) is where he would have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of learning from jazz legends Dan Haerle, Rich Matteson, and Jack Peterson.
During his masters and doctoral studies at the University of North Texas, Dr. Lawrence studied with internationally renowned music education philosopher and sociologist Dr. Hildegard Froehlich. Under her guidance, he conducted extensive research on community music education which was the focus of his dissertation.
Dr. Lawrence's passion for teaching, music education, research, and entrepreneurship led to the vision and founding of The Dallas School of Music where he currently serves as President and CEO and has done so for the past 30 years. Dr, Lawrence is also the founder and developer of JazzPianoSkills, a site dedicated to introducing aspiring Jazz Pianists to professional Jazz Piano Skills. From an insightful and motivating educational Jazz Piano Podcast to comprehensive Jazz Piano Courses, along with private online Jazz Piano Lessons, the JPS Program offers something for everyone – from the beginner to the advanced player.