130+ repeat clients! I've worked with Keith Urban, Hunter Hayes, Steve Vai and many more! I’m a pro keyboardist and faculty member at USC Thornton. I have the award-winning skills to deliver what you need. Experience major label service on an indie budget. Always professional, friendly and patient with clients of all experience levels. No ego :)
I love working with clients just like you! I'm proud to build my reviews with the most repeat clients of any pianist on SoundBetter. Your song matters and I’d love to help bring your vision to life. Whether providing dynamic piano accompaniment, tasteful B3 organ, custom synthscapes or sculpting entire songs, you can count on me to deliver what’s right for your song. I strive to deliver top service at a great price.
I have the experience to give you the professionalism you deserve. I've worked with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, CMA, Dove & Rock Hall of Fame winners; I bring passion and energy to every project. My work ethic and expertise have landed me on global tours, iconic venues, major festivals, and network TV (GMA, Sesame Street, Glee)! Read my news panel for details on my adventures.
I can help you with many genres. I studied classical piano with a Juilliard teacher for 12 years. I'm a graduate of the Popular Music program at the University of Southern California where I've also been on the music faculty for 5 years. Jazz and pop legend Patrice Rushen ("Forget Me Nots") and Dave Rosenthal (Billy Joel) are my mentors. I'm also an associate of The Recording Academy and an alumnus of Grammy Camp and Grammy NEXT programs. I've been playing in rock bands for 16 years.
Compare my credits and reviews and hire me with confidence. Let’s make some great music together!
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
- Keith Urban
- Steve Vai
- Sofia Carson
- Madison Beer
- Joey Fatone
- Noah Cyrus
- Derek Hough
- Amber Riley
- Lea Michele
- melanie fiona
- Lee Ritenour
- Paul Jackson Jr.
- Michael Bublé
- Sheila E.
- Ernie Watts
- Diane Warren
- Euge Groove
- Julianne Hough
- Black Eyed Peas
- Schoolhouse Rock
- Jim Henson Studios
- Good Morning America
- Sesame Street
- Michael Stoller
- White House
- hunter hayes
- Abby Anderson
676 Reviews - 133 Repeat ClientsEndorse Michael Arrom
Michael is a special talent and an awesome guy to work with! Thanks again!
Once again Michael has done a great job arranging a new song for me. He made beautiful contributions to the song. It is always a pleasure to work with him.
Michael is such a pro, so so talented and it’s always a top experience to work together. Highly recommended!!
Michael was super professional and took great care with my project! I hope to work with him again!
Michael has been a pleasure to work with. He is polite, and his detailed and prompt communication portrays genuine love for his art and commitment towards his collaborator. And did I mention he is an exceptional pianist and arranger? Thank you so much!
As a piano enthusiast, I recently had the pleasure of working with Michael, who is an incredibly talented pianist who created a stunning piano cover of a popular Shawn Mendes song for me. I was blown away by his talents and musical ability, and I would highly recommend them to any artist looking for a piano cover to be made. Michael thank you so much and I can't wait to do the next one together (:
Michael is such a pleasure to work with. We have worked on a number of my original songs so far together and every time he is professional and courteous as well as a very skilled pianist. Highly Recommend!!
Michael captured the 80's vibe of the song and played an amazing piece of work on the keys! Great keys player and a great musician who was a pleasure to work with !
As always special and precious work. Fortunate to have someone so talented sharing his talents so wonderfully.
Once again Mike help me arrange a song for me. The result was great as usual.
Great work as usual from Mike. I am super happy with this collaboration where he helps me to arrange my songs for piano.
I've worked with a few different pianists, but Michael is simply the best! Quick turnaround times and edits, beautiful and clean tracks, and great communication - always a pleasure to work with. :)
Great work again from Michael as he helped me to complete another song. He has always delivered top-notched quality. A pleasure to work with him.
Yet again, Michael is amazing! Super professional, super talented and a great communicator. 5 stars!
Michael has once again taken the heart of my song, and amplified and enhanced it, with a beautiful piano track. I look forward to the next project we work on together.
I just finalized my first project with Michael. It was really a pleasure to work with him. He helped to complete my song and provided a beautiful piano track. He is a great guy to work with and I will soon ask for his services again.
Michael is a truly gifted musician. One need only listen to him play to gather that. But his character is even more impressive than his musical talents. And that is saying a lot. He is considerate, honest, and genuinely interested in helping you make the best music you can together. Im just so grateful to have been able to work with him. I hope you are fortunate enough to do the same.
Thank you, Michael!
It was a pleasure working with Michael! Great track and fast revisions. Would love to work together again!
Michael is a superb musician; he 'hears' the heart of a song and plays to that. I look forward to working with him again.
Michael Arrom is not only the most talented, gifted, and exquisite pianist I have ever worked with, but also the kindest, warmest, most caring, hard working, soulful, passionate and compassionate as well.
His attention to detail and the emotion he evokes from his playing is something special to behold.
He can move you with just a single well placed note as much as he can with a soulfully tasty flourish.
I can't wait to work with him right away on more of my tunes! Undoubtedly the real deal!
Interview with Michael Arrom
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I was invited by Mike Stoller's family to take part in a tribute to the late Jerry Leiber. Leiber & Stoller were the first songwriters to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame. Their work was foundational to modern music and helped launch the career of Elvis Presley with songs like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock". I was asked to play Hammond organ in an incredible band that paid tribute to their work. Mike Stoller is a living legend and one of my heroes. I will never forget playing alongside him in a loving tribute to his friend and collaborator. More recently, the Stoller family invited me to serve as music director for Mike Stoller's wife, jazz legend Corky Hale. Having Mike Stoller sitting in front of the Catalina Jazz Club while I played songs from his catalog was absolutely thrilling!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Is your music "work for hire"? Absolutely yes! The work I give you is always inspired by your creativity. I respond to your original music by adding a good bit of professional polish and flair, but I work hard to make your creation uniquely yours. I'll sometimes push that envelope a bit when invited to do so, but I find more satisfaction in helping you to express your own creativity. My SoundBetter promise is to deliver the highest quality professional services to you and your art. You always have 100% ownership in the work that I do for you. I do have my own creative artist portfolio, but that's not offered for sale here. For clients wanting a signed "Work for Hire" agreement, I'm happy to oblige on simple agreements, preferably if discussed prior to beginning a job. Please be careful in selecting your legal advisor. Boilerplate contracts can often contain a lot of superfluous language which doesn't apply to our situation. Particularly problematic are "indemnity" provisions. A crafty lawyer thought it was clever to transfer infinite potential liability onto a musician in exchange for a small payment. Understand your own contract and ask yourself if you would sign it. Please leave those provisions out of anything that you send to me. If you seriously need the indemnity and have a 5 figure budget for my work, let me know and we can talk about putting the appropriate liability insurance in place.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If credentials are important to you, don't be bashful about asking me to give you details. You're entitled to verify my qualifications. I've got great stories to share about my musical adventures! I don't make any claims on my bio unless I have rock solid backup. You're wondering if I've really played with Rock Hall of Famers? Yes, twice! I played with Mike Stoller at a tribute to Jerry Lieber. I also accompanied John Fogerty at a huge fundraising gala. I've also played music for Bill Withers and had Lindsey Buckingham introduce my performance with Keith Urban. The time that Randy Jackson called me, "dawg"? The time that I played at an Italian villa with Emily Ratajkowski sitting a few feet away from me? I've got a million true stories about my rock and roll life! Hit me with anything, I got you! ...then ask other musicians to back up their stories too.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I’ve been studying, teaching, performing and creating music for 20+ years! My first professional performance was at age 13. I got my first big break during my senior year of high school. First, the Grammy Foundation selected me to accompany Keith Urban on live national television at the American Country Awards. Just a few months later, I passed a grueling audition to play keyboards for Steve Vai on an international tour through Australia, New Zealand and Asia. My high school has a tradition of taking a senior class photo in which all college-bound students wear their future college t-shirt. Amidst a group of friends going to places like Harvard and MIT, I posed for my photo wearing a black Steve Vai concert t-shirt! I finished my tour with Steve and continued my music education at the highly competitive USC Thornton Popular Music Program. I completed the program with multiple department awards and Summa Cum Laude honors. Shortly after graduation, I was invited to return to USC as the youngest member of the Thornton Pop Music faculty team. I currently teach Keyboard Proficiency and Pop Arranging for music majors as well as numerous private and group studio lessons. The balance of my time is spent supporting my indie and major label clients on studio projects and live concerts around the world. I love my SoundBetter clients and the opportunities that they provide me while I continue to build my career. I have a lot of incredibly exciting things in the near future which I can't wait to share with you!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I am 100% a music geek! I find beauty in all music and happily work on any music style. I've had rigorous music theory training and I understand how to analyze and create music from all traditions. My work is as varied as the creativity and traditions of my clients. Pop, rock, metal, blues, country, folk, jazz, rap, edm, musical theater, gospel, classical, Latin, Canto-Pop...I've done it all. My favorite challenge was adapting a client's piano composition to fit in the theoretical language of carnatic music. I was happy to devote lots of extra unpaid hours to that project for the sake of my own learning. If you stump me with a challenge I can't meet, I'll be the first to admit it. I'll never begin a project I know I can't finish.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I’m currently splitting my time between work in Los Angeles and New York. I’m doing an eclectic mix of live gigs, music direction, session work, sound design, film scoring, production, teaching and musical notation work. The modern musician is an entrepreneur.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I love them both. Like any tool, you get the best results when you use the right tool for the job. My favorite instrument for LIVE solo performance will usually be a full concert grand. For studio recording, the situation becomes more complicated. For nearly every other situation, DIGITAL is the way to go. Modern digital VSTs such as Ivory are often your best choice. A good piano recording relies on a long chain of events, each of which are difficult to get right. You must have an excellent instrument, in top repair and tuning, in a well-controlled sonic environment, with excellent placement of quality microphones and with high quality preamps and a good audio interface. Skimp on any link in that chain and the entire result suffers. Top piano VST's such as Ivory are created under ideal conditions and sound incredibly lifelike. Grandma's old upright tucked in the corner of someone's living room and recorded with a cheap USB microphone has a cool aesthetic, but is unsuitable for most circumstances. Fresh tuning of the piano is critically important, even if you don't have perfect pitch. Every piano's tune will begin to shift in subtle ways immediately after tuning. You might not notice these changes on listening to the piano solo. However, if you mix the piano with any other pitched instrument, differences in tuning will make themselves evident in the form of unpleasant beat frequencies. If you're going to go through the trouble of making an acoustic recording, it's important to make sure that the piano is freshly tuned. Another important consideration is the noise floor. Pianos are complex mechanical instruments with lots of moving parts. These parts can all contribute to a higher background noise level if not treated correctly. Modern productions are usually subjected to heavy compression during the mastering stage where these sounds can come out in undesirable ways. Modern VST instruments respond beautifully to compression, reverb and other production effects. Lastly, don't confuse YouTube MIDI scroll tracks with the capabilities of VSTs. The MIDI standard allows for detailed encoding of key velocity. A good MIDI controller is capable of recording 128 discrete steps in how hard a key is pressed. This information is used by a professional-grade VST to produce just the right sound from the sample library. Those horrible MIDI scroll videos are usually created using a single key velocity value. Those recordings have zero feeling and sound awful. The problem is with the source MIDI, not with the capabilities of MIDI VSTs. I work with and know several major label artists with effectively unlimited budgets whose preference is digital. If you want details, let me know and I'll tell you some cool stories. One of the people I know is an official "Steinway Artist" who performs with MIDI. I have lots of samples in my portfolio of incredible digital performances. This portfolio includes situations where a "real" piano was available yet the client preferred the use of the Ivory VST. If after all this you're not convinced, I'm happy to accommodate your wishes. In addition to my time, please expect to pay a separate charge for piano tuning and for professional studio rental. Revisions will require return trips to the studio. I recommend setting up a live chat while in the studio to avoid revisions. If you have the budget for professional studio recording, l'd be happy to discuss acoustic recording options with you. I have a handful of clients who want the aesthetic of live piano and I know how to deliver top results.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: 100% effort until you're 100% satisfied. Music that serves your song. Professionalism throughout in my work, communications and follow up.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Being a succesful musician requires excellent personal time management skills. Teaching lessons, live music sessions and tour travel can turn your schedule into a chaotic mess. Without a plan for filling in the smaller gaps, it's easy to waste a lot of time. SoundBetter is an incredible platform for helping me manage my career. By taking advantage of the flexibility in remote sessions, I can use this platform to stay productive all the time. It's a fantastic win-win situation where I can offer independent artists my best rates anywhere in exchange for the flexibility to work around my schedule.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I do a variety of work for my clients. The simplest is when I create a piano backing track for an existing song. From there, my work expands into writing original keyboard parts to complement your melody. I can also do an extensive amount of soundscaping where I add additional synth layers to give your song that radio-ready vibe.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First, I do a lot of listening...listening to the music, listening for the meaning of the song and listening to my client. I'll ask thoughtful questions until I'm confident that I understand your needs. At that point, I'll listen back carefully to your stems to make sure I understand the structural elements of your song: chord patterns, tempo, dynamics, etc. I'll consult with you to select an appropriate voice (piano, organ, synth, etc) and then get to work creating your track. I record both audio and MIDI to allow us to fine tune the performance to your satisfaction. I'll bounce an mp3 of the entire song and share that with you for discussion and for any desired revisions. Once you're 100% satisfied, I'll send you both the isolated wav file and associated MIDI data.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: A standard piano has 88 keys, but there is so much more that you can bring out of the instrument. The full name is piano-forte and that says something about the dynamic ability to express everything between barely a whisper and booming thunder. I have years of top-notch classical training to be able to express the entire range of dynamics to create an arc that complements and enhances the emotional content of your song. You'll rarely hear piano work like mine.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Sharing my skills with other talented musicians to create something special.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I have a full professional palette of skills to bring to your music. I’m not just a pianist, but also a skilled producer and keyboard multi-instrumentalist. I know my way around a Hammond organ and all the synthesizer and production technologies. I use my skills to sculpt the perfect keyboard tracks around your music. I’ll always do that while paying careful attention to the message and feeling of your song.