Michael Arrom

Piano \ Keyboards \ Producer

630 Reviews (621 Verified)
Michael Arrom on SoundBetter

120+ repeat clients! I've worked with Keith Urban, Steve Vai and many more. I’m a world-touring keyboardist and USC Thornton School of Music faculty member. 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 :)

I love working with clients just like you! 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 the best service at an affordable price and have earned more REPEAT clients than any other pianist on SoundBetter.

I can help you with many genres. I studied classical piano with a Juilliard teacher for 12 years. I've been playing in rock bands for 16 years. I'm a graduate of the Popular Music program at the University of Southern California where I'm now the youngest person to join the music faculty. 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 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.

Compare my quality reviews from real clients and hire me with confidence. Let’s make some great music together!

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

630 Reviews - 122 Repeat Clients

Endorse Michael Arrom
  1. Review by George W.

    Another successful job working with Mike. He crushes it every time and delivers the goods to bring the song to a new level.

  2. Review by Geena
    by Geena

    Michael is a very talent pianist! He made an absolute beautiful acoustic version of my track. A pleasure to work with. Thanks Michael!

  3. Review by Audiowell

    Michael always delivers just what we ask for, we are glad to be able to work with such great musicians as Michael.

  4. Review by Ken C.
    by Ken C.

    Micheal has been our go-to keys guy for a long long time now. I could write an entire treatise on how amazing he is on all fronts. For this one—one of countless reviews—I'll simply say: AMAZING.

  5. Review by Bob T.
    by Bob T.

    Always, every time, the best. I can not say enough about tis super talented professional.

  6. Review by Sheisjules

    Super fast and great work! He got back to me right away and was super accommodating!

  7. Review by chronade_nallyways

    I loved working with Michael, his piano skills are world-class! Thank you for a magical song! ✨

  8. Review by Zolton
    by Zolton

    I've used Michael's talents on my music numerous times and he always surprises with the depth of his creativity and his willingness to go above and beyond to deliver world-class sounds!

  9. Review by George W.

    Another awesome keys part delivered by Mike. He's my go to guy for whenever I need keys. Catches on really quickly to the sound I'm after and delivers the goods.

  10. Review by Young F.

    To say that Michael nails the brief would be a significant understatement. A brilliant musician, you will not find better.

  11. Review by Ilia D.

    Michael is one of the best pianists I worked with. His thoughtful playing is exactly what is needed on my project. Highly recommend working with him.

  12. Review by Bob T.
    by Bob T.

    Always an amazing piano track from Michael. The best I have found online. Great feel, communication, and eager to get it righ. Though he has NEVER had to do a second take for me.

  13. Review by MB
    by MB

    If you ever work with Michael on a song, you will very quickly wonder "How have I ever worked without him?" He's a master and so supportive! Don't hesitate starting a project with him, you'll be thrilled.

  14. Review by George W.

    Another great keys part working with Michael. He delivered exactly what I wanted and upped the vibe of the song.

  15. Review by Gayle D.

    Michael is nothing short of FANTASTIC!! He goes above and beyond for his clients and he truly puts his heart into whatever project he’s working on!!! I absolutely love this guy :)

  16. Review by Rob C.
    by Rob C.

    Michael was fantastic. His playing was excellent, and added exactly what I wanted to the arrangement. His responsiveness and professionalism were unassailable. Very happy I've connected with this talented player, and I will definitely reach out again soon.

  17. Review by Zolton
    by Zolton

    Michael is just brilliant! Always goes above and beyond and possessed of an incredible ear for every genre of music. Love working with him and always appreciate the sounds he lays down.

  18. Review by Ilia D.

    Michael is an amazing piano performer. Very open in communication, intricate in his arrangements, it was a pleasure to work with him on a piece of music together. Highly recommend him!

  19. Review by Young F.

    There's nothing Michael can't do! One of the top people in the business, you won't find better.

  20. Review by George W.

    Michael took the rough voice memo I gave him and delivered the sound in my head but much better. His part transformed the song and took it to the next level. Great guy to work with.

Interview with Michael Arrom

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. 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!

  3. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  4. 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.

  5. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  6. 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.

  7. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  8. 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!

  9. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  10. 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.

  11. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  12. 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.

  13. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  14. 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.

  15. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  16. A: 100% effort until you're 100% satisfied. Music that serves your song. Professionalism throughout in my work, communications and follow up.

  17. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  18. 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.

  19. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  20. 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.

  21. Q: What's your typical work process?

  22. 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.

  23. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  24. 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.

  25. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  26. A: Sharing my skills with other talented musicians to create something special.

  27. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  28. 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.

I Can't Make You Love Me (Cover)

I was the Pianist and Arranger in this production

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    I Can't Make You Love Me (Cover)
  2. play_arrow
    Rather Be (Live Cover)
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    Rock With You (live cover)
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    When We Were Young (live cover)
Terms Of Service

Current delivery 3-5 weeks; Free revisions until full-satisfaction; ALL WORK IS 100% WFH; May not credit without prior approval. Please request any legal docs at time of proposal.

GenresSounds Like
  • Adele
  • Billy Joel
  • Bruno Mars
Gear Highlights
  • Arturia KeyLab88
  • Ivory II
  • LogicProX
  • Omnisphere
  • NI Komplete
  • Arturia V-Collection
  • Finale
  • Sibelius
  • AudioMovers
  • live acoustic piano available with outside studio rental and tuning surcharge (min +$400)
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More Samples
SoundBetter Deal

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  • Working on Reboot of Animated TV ClassicNov 15, 2022

    I wanted to explain the exciting news behind why I'm taking longer to deliver projects. I've been tapped to create music for a beloved animated TV series. I'm working to give this project the loving attention that will keep it alive for another 50 years. I'm hoping to wrap up in the next few weeks and return to my usual 3-5 biz day service soon. I'm always grateful for my amazing SB clients!

  • Proud to Finish My First Project for Diane WarrenNov 13, 2022

    I just completed a huge arrangement and orchestration project for the legendary Diane Warren! The 60-piece orchestral arrangement was performed at UCLA's Royce Hall before an audience of entertainment industry professionals, including Ludvig Göransson. Her song, "Applause" is expected to receive an Oscar nomination for best original film music!

  • Check Out My Work on "Kiss the Girl"Nov 03, 2022

    Head over to Derek Hough's YouTube page and search for his new video for "Kiss the Girl". Check out my piano, string and other orchestration work on this new version of the song inspired by the upcoming live-action Little Mermaid movie. 

  • See My Orchestration Work for Michael BubléOct 17, 2022

    I'm proud to have just wrapped a fun orchestration project to air on the October 24th episode of Dancing With the Stars, featuring Michael Bublé. Listen to my orchestration work while Bublé sings his hit song, "Higher". 

  • Celebrating 5 Years With SoundBetter!Sep 14, 2022

    I just noticed that I finished my first SoundBetter project 5 years ago today! I’m so grateful for all of the fantastic clients I’ve met. Thank you to all of my clients for letting me share your musical journey 🎹

  • Welcome to the USC Thornton Popular Music Class of 2026!Aug 16, 2022

    I’m looking forward to welcoming my new class of music students for the upcoming Fall semester! USC runs one of the most competitive popular music programs in the world. This class promises to be another great one! In addition to my classes on popular keyboard practice, I’m debuting a new workshop on the transcription of music scores. 

  • Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation Awards Prodigy ScholarshipAug 06, 2022

    I’m excited to be heading to Miami with Sofia Carson to help her award her namesake scholarship. The Sofia Carson Prodigy Scholarship awards up to $200k for a very talented young person to attend the Berklee College of Music. This year’s recipient is a very special young lady. I can’t wait to meet her and to hear what she can do. See you in Miami on August 11th!

  • Please join me in supporting children and UNICEFJul 23, 2022

    Children need our support now more than ever! I'm proud to be performing at the UNICEF Summer Gala in Capri, Italy on July 29, 2022. I'm excited to be opening with Sofia Carson for Jennifer Lopez. Local action counts more than anything. Whether it's helping maintain a playground or reading stories to a child, every little bit helps. 

  • Congratulations to Derek Hough on Emmy Nomination!Jul 13, 2022

    I'm happy to announce that Derek Hough's, "Stepping Into the Oscars" dance special has been nominated for a prime time Emmy Award. I'm honored to have orchestrated music for 2 of the dance segments.

  • See You at the BMI Pop Awards!May 10, 2022

    I'm excited to be at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel tonight to help direct a band performing at the BMI Pop Awards. I just created the final keyboard programming touches for a medley of Mike Stoller's (Lieber and Stoller) greatest works. Stoller will be receiving the coveted "Icon" award for his lifetime achievement as a songwriter.  

  • See you at The White House!Apr 16, 2022

    I'm proud to announce that I'll be playing piano at the US White House in Washington, DC on April 18th, 2022. Check out the White House Press Briefing for April 15, 2022 for details. I'll be sharing the stage with Jimmy Fallon and Kristin Chenoweth!

  • Time for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards!Apr 03, 2022

    It's Grammy day and I'm on my way to Las Vegas this morning to attend the awards show! Watch and cheer for your favorite artist!  I'm proud of my association with the Recording Academy since 2010. I might be slow on responses today, but I'll be back at my studio tomorrow night!

  • Listen to Michael Arrom on "Step Into...the Movies with Derek and Julianne Hough"Mar 15, 2022

    Tune into ABC on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 10PM EDT. The show will be available on Hulu beginning the following day. I had the pleasure of orchestrating and arranging 2 songs for "Step Into...the Movies with Derek and Julianne Hough". You can hear my work on "Singing in the Rain" and "Tango Roxanne" from Moulin Rouge. 

  • Michael Arrom Plays for Legendary Bill WithersMar 18, 2021

    Honored to have played a medley of his greatest hits for the legendary Bill Withers at USC Master Class. Read about it at the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

  • Michael Arrom Helps Pay Tribute to Rock Hall of Fame Songwriter Jerry LeiberMar 15, 2021

    Proud to join original Rock Hall of Fame songwriting inductee Michael Stoller in a loving family tribute to Jerry Leiber. Read the concert review in American Songwriter.

  • National Recognition and Major Radio Play for SoundBetter Client, Haylee JoeMar 14, 2021

    Proud that my SoundBetter client, Haylee Joe, is gaining national recognition for our work. I've produced 2 EPs for her. Both are featured in American Songwriter and receiving radio play on MIX FM in Chicago and KOST FM in LA. 

  • Michal Arrom Reunites With Steve Vai Band for Marathon FundraiserMar 14, 2021

    Proud to have joined Steve Vai to help raise $$$ for foster families. One weekend, 1mil+ online viewers and played with Moby, Orianthi, Rickey Minor (Whitney Houston, Jay Leno), Allee Willis, and Kenny Aronoff.

  • International Tour at 18 With the Legendary Steve VaiFeb 01, 2021

    Read about my first international concert tour with the legendary virtuoso guitarist and composer Steve Vai.

  • Check Out My Keith Urban Story!Feb 01, 2021

    Read about my epic LIVE performance with Keith Urban on national television at the American Country Awards! Thank you to the GRAMMY Foundation :)

  • Michael Arrom Knows the Way to Sesame StreetDec 11, 2020

    Listen to me accompany Sofia Carson on The Not Too Late Show with ELMO!

  • Michael Arrom Live at GMA with Sofia CarsonJun 25, 2020

    Take a look at my live performance on Good Morning America with Hollywood Records star, Sofia Carson.