It all started in 2009 with a musician who wanted to help others experience music the way he did!


Chris Swan has been a professional piano player his entire life landing his first gig at the age of 12.  Since then, Swan has traveled the world playing piano and entertaining thousands. Many times at his gigs, people would approach him and ask him if he taught piano. Eventually, he decided to start saying yes and STL Piano Lessons was born.  

 Once Swan began teaching in 2009, he noticed a pattern.  Whenever he would introduce the playing by ear techniques, students got really excited.  Their eyes lit up and they saw true possibility of them playing the songs they love!  He realized that most teachers do not teach these techniques. 

Learning to play songs by ear is what made music fun for me,” says Swan.  “I took piano lessons when I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I started learning Bon Jovi songs off the radio that music really came alive for me.  I didn’t know how chords worked, so I would sit there and pick out the notes of each chord one at a time using my cassette player with my fingers always on play and rewind.  I want to give my students the leg up that I never had.  I want to give them the techniques and the knowledge that will help them learn the songs they love so much faster.  Once that world is opened up, the sky is the limit for what they can do with music!”

Swan believes that being able to read music and understanding music theory is also very important if you want to be a real musician.  He founded STL Piano Lessons to create the ultimate lesson experience for beginners as well as for those who want to step their playing up.  Swan’s method combines exciting playing by ear techniques with traditional music theory focusing on the things the student wants to learn and building a strong musical foundation, making them an amazing, well-rounded musician! 

“We are helping students of all ages and all skill levels discover a whole new world they never knew existed,” Swan concludes.  “It’s so exciting to see them come alive and start playing songs they’ve always wanted to play.  That’s why we do it.  We win when our students love coming to their lesson every week!”


Meet Our Teachers

Chris Swan



Nick Schlueter


Ron McGowna

Ron McGowan