What is the course about?
If you have practical keyboard skills of Grade 5+, this course will introduce you to skills of improvisation. Ideal for pianists with little experience in this area, or those who require new ideas, structure and supervision for to develop their existing improvisation 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?
- How to create a satisfactory melodic shape and to understand and balance musical phrases
- 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 your improvisation
- Different styles of music and improvisation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Improvise a simple 8 bar melody
- Improvise using major scale modes as a tool
- Structure an improvisation and explore the harmony of a chordal accompaniment
- Play confidently without music.
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, and ability to form chords and chord progressions, and read simple 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 notebook, manuscript paper and pencil. The tutor will provide material.
You may wish to record the class to aid your practice.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to Keyboard harmony and improvisation for pianists: module 3.
City Lit offers a range of piano courses for students at grade 5 and higher.
You may also be interested in developing your skills in harmony and improvisation through Pop piano or Jazz piano course, or playing with others in Art of Accompaniment, Chamber music ensembles, or Jazz harmony and ear training.
City Lit also offers a wide range of Music theory (through to Grade 8), Musicianship and Music appreciation courses of interest to pianists.
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