Small & Immersive

 At 88 Creative Keys professional development workshops, piano teachers learn to improvise, use technology, lead off-bench activities, direct group teaching and acquire updated business skills with today's leading pedagogues. Unlike larger music education conferences, our workshops are limited to a small group of participants in order to maximize individual attention.

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  • SWING from sessions on building ear skills to sessions on developing better reading skills. 

  • MOVE off the bench to master new skills on the bench.

  • ENGAGE in stimulating conversations that may sway the direction of your business or validate your current status.

  • DEVELOP creative skills from the page so you can build more skills off the page.

  • RENEW your sense of balance as a professional musician and teacher. One that is first and foremost centered around creativity and teaching creatively.


Lock in 2018 fees by registering now before higher 2019 prices kick in on January 23, 2019!

Four-day Seminar & Workshop
650.00 700.00

July 9 - 12, 2019, 8:30 am – 5 pm
with Forrest Kinney, Leila Viss, & Bradley Sowash.

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We think you will love our workshop location and accommodations.  Read More

We think you will love our workshop location and accommodations. Read More

Expect a professional development workshop like none other--guaranteed!

When: July 9 - 12, 2019, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.

Where: Denver Christian School in Lakewood, Colorado.

Food: A light breakfast, lunch, and snacks. All well-balanced--of course!

Materials: Included in the tuition.


  • $25 Alumni rebate – Participants who have previously attended an 88 Creative Keys summer workshop qualify for $25 off! To redeem this offer, pay the full amount. Then notify us so we can refund the amount of the discount right away. Offer expires April 30.

  • $25 Professional educator rebate – Music teachers who belong to a professional trade organization qualify for a $25 discount. To confirm your status, email proof of membership such as a picture of your membership card to a trade association such as MTNA or, Inner Circle. And yes, Alumnus and Professional educator discounts can be combined. To redeem this offer, pay the full amount. Then notify us so we can refund the amount of the discount right away. Offer expires April 30.

  • $50 Bring your own keyboard - We can always use extra keyboards. That's why we'll send you a $50 rebate at the end of the conference for every keyboard you bring. (Limit 3. Keyboard must have a minimum of 61 keys.)

Refund Policy
Because we are a small boutique workshop, each student has a big impact on our planning and budget i.e. how many pianos to provide, how many meals to prepare, etc. However, we also understand that unforeseen circumstances may prevent a paid registrant from attending the workshop. So we are happy to offer a full refund minus a $50 processing fee provided we receive an email notifying us of the necessity to cancel on or before May 30. Registrants notifying us of cancellation on or before June 30 shall receive a refund for half the amount paid minus a $50 processing fee . No refunds can be offered on or after July 1.


Every year is different. Here's what we did last summer:

View the 2018 schedule for more details.

  • Heard dynamic lectures that inspired, challenged, and refueled your perspective as a creative teacher and business owner.

  • Engaged in deep group discussions on relevant topics like crowd control in group lessons, dealing with “that” student, business tips, performance anxiety, and more.

  • Gained confidence in technology at the Genius Bar--a brand new addition to support tech questions and problems.

  • Dug our heels in and developed your playing-by-ear skills--you CAN do it!!!

  • Took the challenge and dived into playing lead sheets in various styles with confidence.

  • Connected with like-minded teachers as well as Samantha, Thomas, Leila, and Bradley.

  • Observed a lesson in “real time” and learned how to guide wanna-be improvisers and composers.

  • Collected a list of teachable pop songs and learn ways to use them as a gateway to creativity.

  • Developed chord fluency and build improvisation with interactive, hands-on seminars.



Have you attended an 88 Creative Keys summer workshop or webinar? Please share your thoughts with prospective participants here.



Meet your teachers

Forrest Kinney is devoted to bringing more creativity and joy into music education. He has written 39 books for teachers including 12 on the art of improvising, 10 on arranging, and two on creativity. He frequently gives presentations at music conferences.
Forrest is a pianist who regularly gives concerts with his duet partner. He has played at the home of Bill Gates 27 times.
Forrest has been a music educator for four decades. He finds teaching to be most fulfilling when he helps someone discover their unique gifts.

Leila Viss uses innovative, tech-savvy lesson plans to develop lifetime pianists at her independent, creative-based piano studio. She holds a church organist position, blogs at, writes a regular column for Clavier Companion called “Teaching With Apps” and authored The iPad Piano Studio, now distributed by Alfred Music. With Bradley Sowash, she is co-founder of 88 Creative Keys, a tech-savvy workshop promoting creativity at the keys for students and teachers. She has helped with planning the 2013, 2014 MTNA Jazz/Pop Tracks and serves as chair of the Creative Pianist Track for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

Bradley Sowash is a jazz pianist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, author known for his innovative online jazz piano classes, as the co-founder with Leila Viss of 88 Creative Keys webinars and workshops, and as the author of popular keyboard improvisation books published by Kjos Music. He also writes a column about improvisation for Clavier Companion and self-publishes works for ballet, big band, choir, film, orchestra, solo piano and string quartet.