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.
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This course has now finished
- Course Code: ME233C
- Dates: 18/09/23 - 04/12/23
- Time: 16:15 - 17:45
- Taught: Mon, Daytime
- Duration: 11 sessions (over 12 weeks)
- Location: Online
- Tutor: Simon Atkins
Course Code: ME233C
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Duration: 11 sessions (over 12 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?
Our beginners programme of piano courses operates at a pre-grade1 standard. This course aims to increase your fluency and confidence at the keyboard, and develop aural skills and theoretical knowledge at every stage. We will focus on co-ordination, playing hands together and understanding increasingly patterns in music. We also encourage critical listening so that you can learn independently by working out notes, rhythms, fingering, phrasing etc.
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 1D.
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?
- Continued work on co-ordination: playing hands together in similar and contrary motion
- Reading and playing patterns and shapes in music
- Identification of primary chords
- Introduction to minor scales
- Development of sight reading and rhythmic vocabulary
- Recognising recurring fingering patterns in music (e.g. arpeggio shapes)
- Recognise Key signatures of 1 flat or 1 sharp.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Play simple pieces hands together with fluency
- Read a simple key signature (G major or F major)
- Play with basic legato and staccato articulation
- Understand simple time signatures (2/4, 3/4, 4/4) and more varied rhythmic patterns: quavers and dotted rhythms
- Identify and play major and minor chords and melodies
- Play 2 or more major scales and one minor scale, one hand at a time
- Differentiate between loud and soft playing
- Hear and correct mistakes in your own and others' playing.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You should have completed ‘Piano/keyboards 1B’, or equivalent. You must be able to play simple melodies with basic tonic-dominant chord textures in C & G major (hands together), follow basic rhythms, and read music notation in bass and treble clefs. You will need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions in English and engage in class discussions.
If you already have experience of playing piano and reading music, and are not sure about your level, you can download our: preparation piece for piano/Keyboards 1C . If you can play this piece confidently (with two weeks’ practice) then this class is the right level for you. We also recommend you study this music ready for the start of your class as it addresses many of the points already covered in the previous piano class.
If you need any further advice please take a moment to read our blog: Choosing a piano class at City lit which lists our full sequence of piano classes and you can always contact the music department directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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?
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).
To see the repertoire and any required music books you will need to bring to this course please refer to our list as follows: City lit piano repertoire books [external website]
A notebook and pencil is also useful. 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). A notebook and pencil are also useful.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to Piano/keyboards 1D
Please note: we have multiple courses at different times throughout the week.
You may wish to support your learning through a focus on reading, writing and hearing music and musical patterns. For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.
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.