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About Rufus

Pianist/Composer/Cellist Rufus Bordal is an experienced performer across multiple genres with a passion for teaching. Growing up in Los Angeles, Rufus maintained an intensive focus on his classical piano studies, winning numerous piano competitions and performing as concerto soloist with orchestras around town such as the USC Student Symphony, Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Pasadena Community Orchestra among many others. Rufus continued his studies as a Trustee Scholar at USC with Jeffrey Kahane where he earned his Bachelors of Music in Classical Piano Performance with a Minor in Jazz Studies. After graduating in 2023, Rufus now spends his time performing in jazz and fusion bands around town at venues like The Mint and The Venice West, playing at restaurants and private events, accompanying students, and teaching private lessons to all ages. With 3 years experience teaching music, here’s what Rufus has to say about his approach to teaching:

“I think the most important part of any music education is to develop a student’s passion and connection to music. While I’ve intensively studied classical piano for many years, I understand that becoming a concert pianist is not everyone’s goal. I believe helping a student find/explore their passion and their own personal connection to music is what leads to a lifetime of musical fulfillment.

Developing students into well-rounded musicians is an important priority for me as a teacher. Being able to shred Chopin Etudes while having little understanding of chords and music theory means that your skills at the instrument won’t translate well to other applications like writing your own music, improvising, or playing pop songs.

Conversely, being able to write great songs while having little technical proficiency at the instrument will make playing them more of a challenge. Becoming more varied in my skills and knowledge has made me a better musician no matter if I’m playing Rachmaninoff or a pop/jazz tune.

I also believe that musical instruction can be valuable no matter your age. While many adults I’ve spoken to say that they wish they’d taken lessons as a kid or wish they hadn’t stopped lessons, I always tell them that it’s never too late to learn/relearn. I’ve had a few adult students for whom taking lessons has been very rewarding and has resulted in significant progress.

Q&A with Rufus

Which musician would you like to play with?

Pat Metheny

Which musician has influenced you the most?

So hard to choose one but maybe Ravel

How did you learn to play your instrument?

I took private lessons starting when I was 6

What equipment do you play on today?

Young Chang baby grand

Which personal trait helped you the most while practicing?


What does your instrument have that others don't?

Way too many notes and possibilities

How do you handle children?

I’m great with kids and love working with them. My approach with kids is to try to make things fun to keep them engaged while still staying focused.

What has been your greatest experience as a musician so far?

Traveling to South America and playing in concert halls with my high school orchestra was pretty great.

What was the biggest stage you played on?

Disney Hall with an orchestra, as a soloist I’ve played at Royce Hall

Which record would you take with you to the desert island?

As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls by Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays

Besides music, what else is important in your life?

Spending time with friends/family/my cats

Music style(s)

ClassicalJazzPop and other related genres

Level(s) Comfortable Teaching

Beginner to Advanced

What languages can you teach in?



Other Music-related work / goals

I regularly gig solo and in a jazz trio/quartet at restaurants and private events


USC Trustee Scholar, Presser Undergraduate Award at USC, USC Keyboard Studies Departmental Award and Ensemble Award,

Personal Interests

Surfing, bouldering, biking, hiking, cooking

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