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
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!
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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?