Composer based in Perth, Australia
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Copy of Course Details

Course Details

Course #1

“I'm a total beginner”

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If you've never had music lessons before, and couldn't tell an F# from a Gb, then this course is for you. It's essentially a “How to Learn Music from Scratch” course, for people who wouldn't have a clue where to start. We'll cover all the basics, including:

  • What skills you should focus on to avoid feeling overwhelmed

  • How to buy the right keyboard/piano for you

  • What books/materials to get

  • How to practise effectively

  • The pros and cons of YouTube tutorials and other self-teaching methods

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We'll get straight into playing from the first lesson. You'll be surprised how much you can do at the piano with no previous experience. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Improvise in a 5-finger position (yes, using both hands at once!)

  • Find your way around the piano

  • Play at least 4 short pieces/songs

  • Play basic chords in C major

And hopefully you will feel empowered and inspired to continue on your path of learning!


Course #2

“I have some

musical experience”

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This course is for those who have 'dabbled' in playing piano/keys, or those who play another instrument such as guitar. It is perfect for those who would like some focus and direction in their learning. In this course you will:

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  • Identify your musical strengths, interests, and goals

  • Increase your musicianship by working on your 'underdeveloped' skills (e.g. note-reading, aural, rhythm, fingering, pedaling)

  • Learn two short technical studies and one longer piece in a style of your choice

  • Develop your understanding of keys, scales, chords and harmony

You will be given exercises, pieces, and mini-assignments based on your level of musical experience. Hopefully, after completing this course, you will have the confidence to go out there and pursue your musical dreams.


Course #3

“I really want to learn this piece!”

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Is there a piece you've always dreamed of playing – a classical masterpiece, an old jazz standard, a recent pop hit, the theme from your favourite movie, some obscure synth riff that nobody's ever heard of? If we can get the sheet music for it, you can learn it! I will show you the most effective methods for learning and consolidating a new piece, such as:

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  • Analysing the form, texture and harmonic structure

  • Working out the best fingering

  • Breaking down the rhythm in an intuitive way

  • Reducing difficult accompaniment into 'blocks'

  • Dividing long passages into manageable 'chunks' or 'links'

This course requires you to have previous experience playing the piano and reading music (2+ years of formal training/lessons). If you don't have a particular piece in mind but would still like to do this course, I am happy to offer suggestions and source sheet music for you.


Course #4

"I want to compose, arrange, or transcribe something"

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For those of you who are competent note-readers with some music theory and basic piano skills under your belt, you may be interested in exploring your creative side. You are invited to pick your own project, which may be:

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  • Composing a short piece from a prompt, or from scratch

  • Arranging an existing piece of music for other players/singers (e.g. for choir, piano solo, rock band)

  • Arranging a piece of sheet music to make it easier or harder, depending on the skill level of the player

  • Transcribing a song from audio into written music notation

  • Learning how to use Sibelius software

  • Setting a chosen text/poetry to music

You will learn how taking a harmonic, key-centred approach gives your project direction and momentum. You will learn stylistic conventions and composers' 'tricks' to give your work extra pizzazz. Once we have decided on your project, we will create a plan that includes all the stages leading up to the completion of your work. You will be given weekly tasks that need to be completed at home...but it's not homework if you love doing it, right?