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Conversations with Amy Frederick

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Frederick. 

Amy, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I am the youngest child in my family. There was always music playing in our home. All of my siblings played the piano and I followed in their footsteps with my first paying gig at age 12, accompanying a church choir. This experience convinced me to take advantage of every opportunity I had to play music with and for others. I loved meeting new people, the sense of purpose I felt being in service, and the spiritual nature of music. In high school, I was in the band and concert choir. I played for musicals, funerals, parties, and anywhere possible. Music gave me purpose and excitement. Ultimately, I ended up earning a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Alabama but my real journey had only begun at that point. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
When I was studying piano in undergraduate school, I tried very hard to be a great musician but struggled with the vast amount of work I needed to do. I am grateful that a band in south-central Kentucky hired me after I moved to Nashville in 1993. It was a hotel, house band that worked 6 nights a week, and my time with them made all the difference. Pianists use their eyes, ears, and bodies in coordination. My time spent playing cover tunes taught me so much. I learned how to play by ear and use my body better. When I decided to go back to school for a Master’s degree, I realized that my note-reading (my strongest skill) had also improved because I could visually take in the information on a musical score in a better, more cohesive way. I was able to process what I was playing by thinking about chords and I knew what they felt like on the keys under my hands. This made it possible to play an hour-long, graduate recital by memory. I will always be grateful to my pop music bandmates—past, present and future for giving me the most organic musical times of my life. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a freelance musician who both plays and teaches piano, Hammond organ, and keyboards. I can be found on stage in Nashville with local and touring rock, r and b, blues, and country/pop bands, Recently I was in the studio recording albums for independent artists, Deidre McCalla and Lauren Degen. In January 2022, I will begin working at Harpeth Hall School serving as their staff accompanist. I proudly serve the Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church as pianist/organist and have also played concerts with the Paducah Symphony and Orchestra Kentucky of Bowling Green. 

My true love is teaching and I work individually with twenty-five up-and-coming student keyboardists every week. My students have earned piano scholarships at Belmont and David Lipscomb Universities, and many play in their church’s praise bands and/or rock bands. I am a 2012 graduate of Belmont University where I earned a Master of Music in piano performance. 

In 2019, I started a podcast called “Confessions Of A Keyboardist,” for the purpose of interviewing local professional keyboardists. I plan to restart the podcast with a slightly different format in 2022. 

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I love Nashville for its thriving live music scene. There are so many opportunities and so many great musicians in town. I couldn’t begin to list them all. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Allison White Steinquest
Adam Williams
Vanessa O’Connell

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