International Piano Day 2022 - Rachel's testimony

  • Acoustic piano
  • Piano inspiration

Jazz&Mo is an excellent Belgian magazine about Belgian and international jazz music. As part of International Piano Day 2022, we are happy to share a lovely, short piece from their March 2022 edition that touched us, about Rachel (15) and her love for jazz piano.

Written by Femke Coopmans for Jazz&Mo.

International Piano Day


She remembers her mother once suggested she should start playing piano. She was about six at the time, and was allowed to choose a creative hobby. It became private classical piano lessons.

Seven years later, Rachel De Geyter (15) made the switch to jazz when she enrolled at the Ghent Academy of Performing Arts (APK) and opted for JAPORO (jazz/pop/rock). Classical music was starting to bore her a bit. She had to practice more and more, at least an hour every day, until she could play everything note for note as it was written.

Not that she plays the piano less now, she just enjoys it more. Rachel practices whenever she wants. She is discovering chords and noticing that she is getting better at improvisation. That took some getting used to at first. One of the best moments at the piano was when she started to like her own music, when she started making her own melodies and songs. Jazz gave her the freedom to make her own choices in music. It's all still a big exploring journey.

In the beginning, she didn't listen to jazz music at all. She is mostly a fan of the eighties and nineties. Fleetwood Mac, Cocteau Twins... But today she often puts on Oscar Peterson, whom she admires for his improvisational talent, or Bill Evans, his Waltz for Debby is one of her favourites. She also likes Marie Lou Williams' album Zodiac Suite. On that album, each star sign gets its own song. Ill Considered and Fiona Apple are some of her favorite songs to put on. And perhaps all those influences creep into her improvisations, but never consciously.

Rachel cannot imagine life without the piano. It is her way of expressing herself. She loves playing immensely and hopes to keep playing forever.