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I don’t play piano, but I wish I did. Especially after watching Charles Cornell’s YouTube channel. Charged with his insane enthusiasm for music, even casual observers can get lost for hours watching Cornell break down TV theme songs, video game melodies, movie scores, hit songs, food commercials, ChatGPT-generated jazz chords and viral internet memes.

It’s no surprise that he has 1.4 million YouTube subscribers and a thriving music education company (he is a piano teacher). Like many YouTubers, his videos are an avenue that attract people interested in music to check out his piano lesson website where he offers lessons such as Intro to Music, Intro to Music Theory and Harmony 101. You get a strong sense from his website and YouTube channel that it’s perfectly okay to be a beginner. Cornell is the piano teacher cheerleader that you always wanted but probably never had.

Cornell got his start at four years old when his mom overheard him playing the Doxology from church by ear on their home piano. When he was eight, he started taking piano lessons from his grandma, who was an organist at church. Upon hearing Oscar Peterson, a famous jazz pianist, Charles was blown away by the sounds, rhythms and harmonies. He went on to study music in college and played jazz in various locations around New York.

In 2019, Cornell posted his first video to YouTube. He posted the video, went to bed and woke up to his video going viral with over 20 million views. He was able to convert that viral video into a YouTube channel that is all about loving music and teaching people how they can love it too. (YouTube)

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