Time: 16:15 - 17:45
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now finished
Course Code: ME233A
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Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
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.
If you are choosing an online course, please watch our course introduction video for online piano lessons to help you prepare for your first online lesson.
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 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?
You need access your own piano or keyboard with between 60-88 full-sized keys to practice between classes, 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.
Simon has been working as a musician for nearly forty years, initially solely as a performer with occasional composition, and then more latterly in education. After a mainly classical music training, he studied music at Goldsmiths College. His first job was at the Laban Dance School as an accompanist for contemporary dance, which required extensive improvisation, an experience that proved very useful training for his subsequent work as a keyboard session player in live performance and recording studios. In 2000, Simon became involved with adult edu0c.12ation, and started working at City Lit teaching jazz, pop and classical piano and theory, and also as a community musician and workshop leader for Trinity College of Music, working with all ages. He has taught on Jazz Summer Schools for the Workers Music Association and Music for People, worked as accompanist and workshop leader for Mbawula, a South African Township choral project, and set up a weekly Jazz club in Hackney. Simon runs a successful private teaching practice in addition to his City Lit classes.
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.