What is the course about?
This course is the very first step in our beginners piano programme. It offers an introduction to the keyboard layout and basic keyboard skills, using five-finger patterns. You will learn the basics of music reading and develop your listening skills through practical application. You will need access to a keyboard or piano to contribute to and practise between sessions. After this course our programme continues with Piano/keyboards 1B.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Keyboard geography
- Posture and hand shape
- Basic fingering patterns for melodies and chords in ‘C position’
- Reading music from note-names A, B, C, D, E, F and G
- Music notation: pitch on treble and bass clefs, simple time signatures and rhythmic patterns
- Reading by shape, interval and pattern
- Aural awareness of pitch (high/low, intervals) in relation to the keyboard.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the geography of the keyboard and be able to find and name specific keys
- Read and play a simple tune (in C position) in either the bass or treble clef
- Recognise and play at least two simple chords
- Understand basic rhythmic symbols and realise simple rhythmic patterns.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for absolute beginners: no previous musical experience of any kind is needed. If you already have experience of playing piano and reading music, you may wish to attend a music advice session to ensure that you enrol on a course at the right level for you.
You need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions in English and engage in class discussions.
If you are new to City Lit piano classes, please take a moment to read our blog: Choosing a piano class at City lit which lists our full sequence of piano classes.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course you will need your own piano (or keyboard) with 88 full-sized keys, a copy of the course text-book (see below) and a computer or tablet with a webcam, microphone and reliable internet connection to take this class. We use GOOGLE CLASSROOM to share messages, documents, audio and video files and for you to submit any homework tasks. We use video software to meet for classes via webcam (ZOOM or GOOGLE MEETS).
Your tutor will teach though a variety of techniques:
- tutor explanation and demonstration via webcam
- short revision videos and audio files (posted in Google Classroom)
- worksheets (posted in Google Classroom)
- group playing and individual demonstration tasks
Sessions will also include aural skills and theoretical study. To make good progress, you will need to practise regularly: preferably 20-30 minutes every day.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Students should have access to a keyboard or piano for practice between classes plus material, usually one or two printed books (approx. cost £10 each).
For this course there are music books which you are asked to buy and bring to class. Please buy your own copy of:
Adult All-in-One Course: Lesson, Theory, Technique Level 1 (Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course) [external website] Please email the music office email@example.com if you would like further details of how to purchase this book.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to Piano/keyboards 1B.
Please note: we have multiple courses at different times throughout the week. Some courses are online, and some take place in our college building.