Live Your Dance Episode 9: How to Overcome Competition and Find Your Own Style with Professional Pianist Stephanie Trick


Episode 009: How to Overcome Competition
and Find Your Own Style
with Professional Pianist Stephanie Trick


Gosh, Steph has been living her dance since she was 5 years old, without even realizing it… and has created a beautiful masterpiece of a life following that same inkling towards music. She tells us all about what life is like being on the road CONSTANTLY, as well as how those same challenges also led to some amazing career opportunities. She gives us the step by step process of how she deals with criticism, competition, and stress. And she also indulged me in telling the story of how she and her husband (a fellow pro pianist) met. It’s a beautifully well-rounded episode, and I can’t wait for you to hear her stories.

And here’s the lowdown on Steph’s badassery in the music world: 

Stephanie Trick “has come to practically dominate the stride piano field,” notes reviewer Jack Rummel. Harlem stride piano, which developed in the 1920s and ‘30s, is an orchestral style of two handed piano playing that not only swings, but is also technically demanding and exciting to watch. Louis Mazetier, a respected interpreter of this genre, writes in the Bulletin of the Hot Club of France that she has “won the esteem of specialists in the genre with wonderful interpretations of stride classics.”  

Stephanie frequently performs with her husband, acclaimed pianist Paolo Alderighi, making arrangements of songs from the Swing Era in a four-hands piano duo. In 2014, they played for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival.

Stephanie was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Kobe-Breda Jazz Friendship Award, and has performed in many parts of the United States as well as in Europe in a variety of venues. 


In this episode: 

  • How Steph’s musical serendipitously career started at age 5
  • How Steph’s career blossomed because of a YouTube connection (5:30)
  • The mechanics of how the stride style works, and how Steph can improvise in that style
  • The role that Stride/Slide piano plays in musical history
  • What it’s really like to have a career that causes Steph to travel about 280 days a year: the rewards and the challenges (12:30)
  • How a piano player practices during plane rides
  • What it’s like to not want to escape your work (15:20)
  • Steph’s focus on being simply a “good human being,” not just a great musician
  • What it is about her career that energizes Steph to do more and keep striving
  • How to transform the idea of competition into a fuel that propels your own improvement in the craft (19:45)
  • How Steph handles criticism like a pro (23:25)
  • How Steph designed an education to include personal visits with the experts in her field
  • How to bring a wider perspective to your work (29:30)
  • How to improvise like a pro—in ANY field (30:37)
  • How to cultivate “Healthy Detachment” in your work, and why it’s so vitally important as a creator to maintain (34:09)
  • Why would you want to change who you are!? How Steph overcomes competition, and how to create your own “brand” (35:17)
  • The real scoop on the challenges that come with a life on the road
  • What it’s like to be married to a fellow professional musician, and the story of how they met while they were both “living their dance”  (awwww… 42:53)
  • What keeps Steph going, and the story of one of her favorite moments as a performer (48:58)

[Note: I apologize for some short audio interferences towards the end of the podcast. Thanks for listening through them!] 


Referred to in the ‘cast: 

Where to find Steph on the line: 

Steph’s website:
Steph’s YouTube
Steph on Facebook