Sam Spitzer

Piano Teacher, Creative, Gambler

Piano Teacher, Creative, Gambler


I began playing piano at the age of 6. As a teenager, I became completely enthralled with boogie woogie, jazz, Scott Joplin, Bach, and Gershwin. In 1989, after college coursework and practicum in music and music theory at Grinnell College and the University Of Washington, Marc Seales, my professor and a noted jazz pianist in his own right recommended I study with his teacher, Jerry Gray, a world renowned player and teacher. Jerry's ability and focus were on connecting my ear to what I played, not what I learned by rote or “lucked in to." This teaching fundamentally changed my understanding of music, and I have been learning and teaching this way ever since.

I have written as a Jazz Critic for Seattle's Earshot Magazine, have completed Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend as an Educator and Vocalist, studying under the likes of such world class luminaries as Rene Marie and Cyrille Aimee. I continue enjoy teaching and performance, while pursuing song writing which I love.

Aerospace Engineering:

As an Aerospace Engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration, I was the sole propulsion specialist charged with maintaining safety of the Boeing 737NG fleet consisting of 3300 aircraft, equaling a total passenger load of approximately 495000 people. If you've ever flown on a 737, I did my best to regulate Boeing and the airlines, in order to keep your plane as safe as possible.

Additionally, I designed and built liquid fuel rocket engines and test stands for the Aerospace Industry to explore the idea of building low cost rocket engines to facilitate civilian access to space. I was offered employment as an astronaut training engineer at NASA, but turned it down to pursue working at more self-directed pursuits.


I compose original songs, words and lyrics, on an ongoing basis. Mostly jazz, and have at present written over a dozen original tunes, debuted by world renown jazz singer Rene Marie, on her recent European tour.


I design and build the most powerful water guns in the world, because I am at heart, still a boy.

I am a highly accomplished machinist and can build whatever I can think up.

My other areas of invention include medical design, burner design for glass working and metal melting, toys and games.


I went on my first family vacation to the Dunes Hotel And Casino in Las Vegas at the age of 6. The staff spent a week chasing me out of the casino, which fascinated me. This recurred over the years, always to the Dunes, as my folks were connected with the casino and everything was comped (free) for us. They often made a profit on our vacations. Before I'd go to school in the morning, my mother would pull out a deck of cards, and say "Once through the deck, Blackjack!" I learned my craft from Mike Goodman, a pit boss at the Dunes, who got tired of seeing people get completely taken by the casinos, and taught me the right way to play each game to have the very best shot for my money. I owe Mike a debt of gratitude, as these principals apply not only to casino games, but to all areas of life.


I am an accomplished designer and engraver and create my own coins from scratch. This involves cutting dies to stamp them and pressing a blank, usually of pure silver, copper or gold, under tons of pressure to produce an “art" coin.


I hold a Bachelor Of Science, in Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor Of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, in English, from the University of Washington, Seattle. I have studied piano, music theory and jazz for over 45 years. I have also attended Grinnell College, Northwestern University and the School Of The Art Institute, Chicago.

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