Latin piano

Course Dates: 03/06/24 - 01/07/24
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
Location: Online
This practical online course for pianists (grade 4 ABRSM and above) will introduce you to the dynamic role of the piano in Afro-Cuban and Salsa music. We will focus on harmonic development, rhythm, learning common montuno patterns. Whether your background is classical, jazz or pop music, this short course will teach you classic Cuban styles including Son, Mambo, Bolero, and Cha Cha Cha.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £76.00
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Latin piano
  • Course Code: ME629
  • Dates: 03/06/24 - 01/07/24
  • Time: 19:00 - 21:00
  • Taught: Mon, Evening
  • Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Sara Dhillon

Course Code: ME629

Choose a start date  

Mon, eve, 03 Jun - 01 Jul '24

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Any questions?
or call 020 4582 0412

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The course will focus on playing Latin piano styles including common montuno patterns, and you will learn how to develop your solos with a particular emphasis on rhythm and harmony. You will be taught as a class on Zoom playing your own piano or keyboard, accompanied by the tutor or playing to bespoke backing tracks.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- Introduction to Salsa, Son Montuno, Mambo, Cha-cha-cha and Bolero and Afro-Cuban piano styles.
- Approaches to soloing in these styles.
- Classic montuno patterns and how to play them including common variations.
- The percussion instruments used in Salsa (congas, bongos, clave, guiro and cowbell) and their associated rhythms
- Understand how the piano interacts with and fits into a traditional Latin rhythm section.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand the function of the piano in Afro-Cuban and Salsa music and learn how to play in these styles.
- Be familiar with the most common Latin music styles and be able to distinguish between them : Son, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Bolero.
- Solo in these styles of music with competence incorporating idiomatic harmonic and rhythmic features.
- Have a better understanding of how to improve your music reading in this style including exercises to help you improve your sense of rhythm, a vital part of playing Latin music.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is designed for intermediate players at Grade 4 and higher with sight-reading skills at a similar level. Ideally you will have a minimum of four year’s regular playing experience to get the most out of the class.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught in practical playing sessions on Zoom, at your own piano or keyboard, receiving feedback from the tutor as well as listening to musical examples. You will be taught rhythmic and harmonic exercises to help you play in this style, and we will provide backing tracks for practice inbetween the 5 sessions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

A notebook and some manuscript paper. All materials will be available in the google classroom.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit offers a range of pop, jazz and classical piano courses.

Sara Dhillon

Sara Dhillon is a composer, arranger, pianist, vocalist and bandleader, born in the UK and educated in Los Angeles. She plays with various jazz, salsa and samba bands on the London music scene. She plays regularly with her own jazz trio and also leads the popular salsa sextet 'Grupo Malanga'. She has worked with artists including Joss Stone, Geri Haliwell, Darius, Juliet Roberts, Talvin Singh, Kuljit Bhamra and Jocelyn Brown, performed at Elton John's wedding, and has toured with Shakespears Sister. Sara composes music for TV and stage, including a West production of "Twelfth Night" set in modern day India for which the music blended jazz, Indian classical music, Hindi pop music and spiritual songs. She also wrote string arrangements for top-selling Bhangra/Hindi pop artist Sangeeta's album "Footsteps in the Sand." Sara teaches at City Lit, Morley College, Royal College of Music (Junior Department), and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.