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Tara Bhrushundi, Pianist

Plainfield, NJ 07060 (map)

Lessons Offered

Composition, Keyboard, Music, Music Theory, Piano

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

In Student Home

About Me

As a pianist, composer, educator, and businesswoman, Tara Bhrushundi continually adds to a list of accomplishments that demonstrate a standard of excellence in all areas of her work. She was one of eight young female jazz pianists from around the world chosen to perform at the 2011 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival held at Washington, DC's Kennedy Center. Her music is praised by jazz legend Toshiko Akiyoshi as "fantastic" and by Grammy- nominated composer Laurie Altman as "ingenious." Bhrushundi holds a Master of Music in Jazz Piano Performance from Rutgers University, where she studied under Stanley Cowell and Conrad Herwig and won the Pee Wee Russell Jazz Scholarship. Bhrushundi is a Watchfire Music Composer and the 2012 Grand Prize Winner of the New Jersey Arts Collective’s music composition contest. Her live music booking business, Sweet Harmony LLC, has doubled in size nearly every year since 2008 and expanded to serve five Northeastern states. In the community, Bhrushundi pioneered a jazz concert series and a jazz piano scholarship competition for the Greater Princeton Steinway Society, where she serves on the board of directors. And in the field of education, she has developed a specialized, rigorous program called "Buzash Total Piano" designed to enrich the student in both the classical and jazz worlds.

My Musical Education Background

In-home private piano lessons, 1999-present
Mason Gross Extension Division Jazz Piano Teacher, 2014-2020
The Pennington School, 2011-2013
Westminster Conservatory, 2003-2009
The Hun School of Princeton, 2007
Farrington's Music, 2005-2006

At Westminster:
Young Artist Jazz Department Head
Developed curriculum, hired teachers, oversaw teachers and students.
Jazz Piano Camp Director
Oversaw two camps for ages 11-15 doubling in size from year to year.
Piano Camp Jazz Teacher

People's Republic of China, 1999-2002
Private piano lessons
At Beijing MIDI School of Music:
Taught piano, jazz improvisation, jazz history, jazz theory, and English to 200 Chinese students, all in Mandarin Chinese.

Genres and Subjects Taught


Scales, Arpeggios

Exercises (Hanon, Czerny, some of my own creation)

Sight-Reading (written notes, jazz lead sheets)

Classical Pieces (Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Debussy, Mendelssohn, Clementi)

Chord Theory (jazz harmonization)

Jazz Charts (from The Real Book)

Playing By Ear (my own thorough, highly effective four-step method)

Improvisation (over anything... groove or no groove, chord or no chord, mode or no mode, band or no band!)

My rigorous program for serious students is BUZASH TOTAL PIANO, which includes all of these categories.

Lesson Rates

Lessons In My Studio

$35/half hour
$55/45 minutes

BUZASH TOTAL PIANO (twice a week)

$30/half hour
$50/45 minutes

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

All ages cheerfully taught!

My Certifications and Awards

M.M., Jazz Piano Performance, Rutgers University 2013
4.0 GPA

Grand Prize Winner, New Jersey Arts Collective Student Composition Contest, 2012

Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artist Workshop
The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC 2011
One of eight young female jazz pianists selected from around the world to participate

Pee Wee Russell Jazz Scholarship
Rutgers University 2011-2012

Board Member, Greater Princeton Steinway Society, 2011-present

My Musical Influences

Kenny Barron
Stanley Cowell
Oscar Peterson
Jessica Williams
Herbie Hancock
Thelonious Monk
Scott Joplin
Jason Moran
The Bad Plus

Chuck Leavell
Jim Pepper
Mindy Jostyn
The Marshall Tucker Band
The Allman Brothers
Stevie Ray Vaughan

Phantom of the Opera

Guns 'n Roses
Pearl Jam


...and many, many more!

Service Area

Student Reviews

Westfield, NJ

Tara is the most inspiring piano teacher and accomplished player we met. She motivates her students and makes lessons fun and meaningful by incorporating the students' interests. Tara brought inspiration, jazz, improv and fun to my daughter's playing. Highly recommended !

Bound Brook, NJ

I enrolled my 5 year old daughter to take lessons with Tara at the French School of Music. She is absolutely a wonderful teacher she is extremely patient, kind, and very helpful. She has made amazing strides at helping my daughter progress with her ability to focus and sit still. It was amazing to see how much my daughter learned in the few months that she worked with Tara. We invested in a piano for my daughter and Tara accompanied us to look at prospective pianos. It was wonderful to know that she would go above and beyond for my daughter to have the best. Thank you Tara for such a rewarding experience!

Pennington, NJ

My 11-year-old son has been studying jazz piano with Tara for a little over a year. She is a patient and caring teacher, and has provided my son with excellent grounding in music theory and piano technique. She provides well-thought-out assignments and it has been fun to watch him progress. As a parent, I appreciate her organized approach to scheduling and payment and her readiness to answer emails.

Princeton Junction, NJ

I have been studying piano with Tara for over a year and find lessons with her to be simply wonderful. We cover many different areas including theory, technique, reading, improv and really, anyting that interests me or that Tara feels to be relevant. She makes the lessons fun and interesting and challenging to just the right degree. As a busy (non-music) professional, my lessons with her are indeed transformative. My recommendation: Get with her while you still can!

Lambertville, NJ

After 60 years of playing classical piano, and many piano teachers later, I found Tara Buzash and discovered I could "play" with the piano. Tara is a really fine teacher (I taught high school for 30 years). She is organized, teaches sequentially, encourages new learning and "playing around" on the piano. My lessons are always fun and filled with new learning. What more could a piano student want??? She's terrific!

Flemington, NJ

I used to be embarrassed to admit I took piano lessons as a kid. I didn't feel like I could play anything --certainly not without mistakes or with confidence. Well, six months of Jazz instruction with Tara is changing all that. I am learning the necessary theory that I ignored as a child. And while the jazz method is surprising different than the classical instruction of my youth, I'm finding that my sight-reading skill has improved dramatically. I have always admired people who can entertain others at the piano- at home or at a piano bar, and I'm now optimistic that I'll entertain people soon. My lessons are fun, challenging and flexible. At my request last summer, Tara put together a custom Jazz Camp for me which helped jumpstart my journey into the wonderful world of Jazz Piano.

Lambertville, NJ

I appreciate many things about Tara's teaching. She is intuitive in thinking of exercises on the spot that clarify or illustrate what we have been working on. She strikes a good balance between showing me things on the piano I don't know and urging me to solve problems myself. But most of all Tara is a caring teacher, offering praise and encouragement at each lesson. I am a piano teacher myself, so I know the world of private piano lessons very well. I highly recommend her as a teacher.

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