Teaching Philosophy

Holistic and individualized are two terms that sum up Berklee professor Lefteris Kordis’ teaching approach. He emphasizes on guiding students to experience and learn music first on an instinctual/physical, and later on an intellectual level. Inspired by the artistic and teaching approaches of his former teachers and mentors Charlie Banacos, Steve Lacy, Bob Brookmeyer, Eva Stange, Allan Chase, Herb Pomeroy, Ran Blake, Danilo Perez, and Jerry Leake, Lefteris Kordis has developed a wide spectrum of games and interdisciplinary activities that are tailored to each individual’s needs to reach freedom in musical and personal expression. In his teaching studio, he utilizes recordings, paintings, movies, poetry, sports and other disciplines and concepts as mediums to assist students to develop improvisation skills; improve technique; strengthen the musical ear; compose new music; and experience rhythm physically. Lefteris believes that when students operate from the world of imagery and games, the results are stunning and students are always engaged and inspired to make music while they develop an effortless and natural relationship with the instrument. Last but not least, he utilizes a variety of musical languages and often draws material from folk traditions from around the world, especially the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Lefteris has successfully prepared music students to pass auditions and enter graduate and undergraduate jazz programs in schools such as Berklee Global Jazz Institute (Master’s Program), Berklee Valencia (Master’s), Longy School of Music (Master’s), Berklee Boston (Bachelors), and other schools in Holland and Greece (UGR), as well as teenager students for jazz summer camps (New England Jazz Camp), high-school jazz orchestras, and other small combos. Current students include beginners and semi-professionals of all ages, and professionals who seek to expand their improvising and compositional skills such as faculty and students at Harvard University, New England Conservatory, Berklee, and others.

photos from home studio

   Holistic & Individualized Pedagogy


A kind and altruistic person [...] articulate, extremely well organized,        

very clever on technology. He can grasp the soul of a piece with a

wonderful appreciation for stylistic originality.

    ~Ran Blake

Lefteris offers students a vast pool of experience and knowledge that one can dip into -    

it's actually more like you want to jump in and splash around when you realize what he

has to offer! His enthusiasm and love for music creates an atmosphere of positive vibes

and a safe space for learning. With patience, encouragement and true commitment, he

will leave no stone unturned in helping a student understand a topic.

    --Barbara Banacos (professional musician, educator)

Like many other musicians, I always had trouble identifying the fine details of exactly what was happening in the music I played. I could feel dense harmonies and chord progressions, but for the most part I couldn't readily identify them. Within just a few months of studying theory and ear training with Lefteris, this has begun to change radically. It's as if a dense fog had always been obscuring the connection between my inner ear and my conscious mind, and with Lefteris' guidance I'm finding my way out of the fog into a bright clearing, full of birds and fragrant blossoms. What impresses me the most about Lefteris is not his impeccable musicianship or his firm command of an unusually wide range of musics, though these are apparent to anyone who spends any time at all around him. What makes him such an extraordinary teacher is his very obvious commitment to bringing out the absolute best in his students by patiently, compassionately, and methodically training us to let our intuition take the lead in what we do as musicians. In the short time that I've been studying with him, I've experienced a dramatic improvement in my comprehension of harmonic progressions and an explosion of compositional creativity. I can't recommend him highly enough.

    ~Paddy League, performer, ethnomusicologist, and Ph.D. Harvard University

A remarkable hardworking teacher and creative jazz pianist and composer. I am most impressed with the detailed and patient way he can break down and clearly explain the mechanics of what and why we are working this way.

    ~Bert Seager, professional jazz pianist, composer and professor at New England    


I feel extremely fortunate to have found Lefteris as my teacher. Being a teacher of classical piano myself, I know what it takes to teach- -and am happy to say that he is everything you would want to find in your dream teacher- - brilliant, organized, inspiring, and deeply tuned to the needs of the student.  Every lesson is custom tailored to each student, and he was able to assess exactly what I needed to begin my journey as a beginning jazz student. 

I am so happy with the progress that I have made, and can't wait for my next lesson!!

    - Sarah Takagi, Piano faculty, New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division

Lefteris is an amazing piano teacher. My 13-year old daughter has improved tremendously as a result of Skype lessons with him. My daughter’s relative pitch is now at a very high level as a result of his ear-training exercises. Also, my daughter’s ability to solo over jazz chord changes is much improved because of him. Simply put, Lefteris has done wonders for my daughter’s playing.

    --Louis Greenwald (ex professional musician)

“the concepts he has shared [about] "Listening" have shaken me for the better and made me realize other things I have to change and improve”

    -- Emilio Alvarez, professional musician (trombonist/guitarist), Argentina

“An encouraging and open minded teacher, which is rare. I would like to work with him forever and ever “

    ~ Ceyhan Pestimacioglu, jazz guitarist/math high-school teacher, Istanbul, Turkey

For private lessons in person or through Skype

you may send your inquiries at leftchordmusic@gmail.com

You may also visit the Artist website at lefteriskordis.com

Lefteris Kordis Berklee Global Jazz Ensemble: Charlie Chaplin & Monk, Ella, Dizzy (2017)

Lefteris Kordis Berklee Global Jazz Ensemble: A Love Supreme & Shakespeare (2018)

Lefteris Kordis Berklee Global Jazz Ensemble: Homage to Randy Weston (2019)

Lefteris Kordis Berklee Global Jazz Ensemble: Rashomon feat. Dave Liebman (2018)