Time: 19:45 - 21:15
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
What is the course about?
This is the first step in our beginners' piano programme. It offers an introduction to the keyboard layout and basic keyboard skills music reading and your listening skills. You need access to a full-sized keyboard or piano for practice (and lessons if choosing the online option). This course continues to Piano/keyboards 1B.
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.
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 to 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).
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 simple tunes (in C position) in 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/or reading music, please read our blog Choosing a piano class at City Lit to help you choose the right level. You can also contact the Music Department for advice.
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?
Please check carefully whether you are booking an online or an in-person course. Online runs via Zoom; in-person uses the digital piano classroom. All courses use Google Classroom to share materials and messages, including any homework tasks.
You will learn through:
- tutor explanation and demonstration
- group playing and individual demonstration tasks
To make good progress a regular practice routine is essential. We recommend a minimum of 20 minutes, 4-5 times per week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please watch our course introduction video to help you prepare for your first lesson.
You need your own piano or keyboard with 88 full-sized keys, a computer or tablet with screen large enough for you to read handouts, and a copy of Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course Book 1 [external website].
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to Piano/keyboards 1B. There are multiple iterations of this at different times throughout the week.
Sarha is an experienced teacher and gigging musician, performing on the saxophone, arranging and composing on the piano, in classical, jazz and world music genres. Her principal band, Bollywood Brass Band, is the UK’s pioneering Indian-style wedding band, performing tunes and compulsively danceable rhythms of Bollywood films. Twice nominated for Songlines World Music Awards, the band has performed across the world in concerts, festivals, and Indian weddings in the UK, Europe, India, Thailand and South Africa. Sarha played with Ghanaian Highlife band Orchestre Jazira, and socialist big band, The Happy End. She also plays in the Charlie Mingus jazz cover band Hog Callin’, The Great Yiddish Parade marching band and Freylekh klezmer band. Sarha’s specialist area is World Music, and she has a PhD on the study of the Flattened Supertonic across different cultures. At CityLit she teaches jazz and classical piano, saxophone, world music styles (practical and academic courses), musicianship and music theory.
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.