What is the course about?
If you have practical keyboard skills of Grade 5+, this course will introduce you to keyboard harmony with a view to learning improvisation techniques in future. Ideal for pianists with little experience in this area, and who wish to experience a short-course to find out more. Also ideal for players who require new ideas, structure and supervision to develop their existing keyboard skills
This course is taught in the digital piano classroom with a maximum of 15 per class. You will need access to a keyboard or piano outside class to practise between sessions.
What will we cover?
- Development of aural ability as an aid to realising musical imagination
- Understanding of the function of key and of chord patterns within a key
- Understanding a simple structure as a basis for improvisation
- Ability to add rhythmic interest to basic piano chords.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Improvise a simple 8 bar melody
- Read and perform from selected chord symbols with more fluency
- Understand the harmony of a chordal accompaniment at grade 5 standard.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You will have fluency at the keyboard to at least Grade 5 standard. You should have had at least three years structured tuition and be able to coordinate both hands comfortably. A good knowledge of key centres and chords is essential, including fluency at the keyboard in playing chords and chord progressions, and reading chord charts.
You need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions in English and engage in class discussions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Classes will comprise tutor explanation and demonstration, group playing and individual practice (using headphones so the tutor can check individual progress). Sessions will also include class discussion, aural skills and theoretical study. You will take it in turn to improvise as a soloist, and accompany others.
To make good progress, you should practise regularly outside class, at least 4 times per week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pencil. The tutor will provide all other material.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We offer regular term-long course modules in Keyboard harmony and improvisation for pianists for which this course offers a suitable introduction.
You may be interested in developing your skills further through Pop piano or Jazz piano, higher level piano classes, playing with others in Chamber music, Jazz harmony and ear training, or Music theory / Musicianship courses. For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details