Piano: return to playing

Course Dates: 02/02/24 - 22/03/24
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Keeley Street
Did you once play the piano? Are you thinking of returning to playing? This short course, taught in a friendly and supportive environment, will help you refresh your dormant skills and re-kindle your passion for playing.
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Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
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Piano: return to playing
  • Course Code: ME804B
  • Dates: 02/02/24 - 22/03/24
  • Time: 11:00 - 13:00
  • Taught: Fri, Daytime
  • Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Gary Preston

Course Code: ME804B

Choose a start date  

Fri, day, 02 Feb - 22 Mar '24

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Any questions? music@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 4582 0412

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 mixed-level course is intended for pianists Grade 3-5 who are returning to playing after a long break but who are unsure of their standard. You will receive individual help on a piece of your choice during supervised practice sessions and enjoy group activities to refresh your knowledge of notation and piano technique.

What will we cover?

- How to practise effectively
- Refresh your knowledge of music notation
- Sharpen your aural (listening) skills
- Tutor advice for choosing suitable music
- Individual help on a solo piece
- Selected technical exercises for dexterity (eg. Hanon, Czerny).

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

- Demonstrate an increased awareness of your current level and future practice goals
- Receive advice on your level to join our main programme of workshops.

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

You should be of an approximate grade 3-5 standard and have had regular piano tuition in the past. You will need to prepare a piece that you have started to (re)learn and can play in part to work on in class practice sessions.
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.

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

We use GOOGLE CLASSROOM to share messages, documents, audio and video files and for you to submit any homework tasks.

Each member will be individually coached, workshop style in front of the class. You will be asked to comment on each others performances and on musical styles and textures. Involvement through attentive listening and practical illustration is also encouraged.
- Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts
- Class discussion and debate
- Supervised practice sessions with individual advice from the tutor
- Regular practise is essential. We recommend 20 mins daily.

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

A notebook and pencil are useful.
Please download our Return to playing resources booklet and prepare a piece of your choice to play at the first session. You may wish to play just an extract of one of these pieces. This booklet is comprised of copyright-free music from IMSLP.org
You are also welcome to bring a piece of your own choice.

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

This course will prepare you to join a Piano/keyboards or Piano workshop class during a subsequent term. Your tutor will advise which level would best suit you.

If you are interested in further 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.

For further courses in musicianship and music theory please click: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.

Gary Preston

Gary Preston began piano lessons aged 11 in South Wales and went on to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the Royal Academy of Music. He has given many solo recitals around the country. Venues include the Purcell Room, London and City Lit. He has also performed Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with orchestra. After playing piano in a production of Aspects of Love, Gary went on to play keyboards in Cats and Mamma Mia! in the West End. He also acted as musical director, conducting shows such as Oklahoma!, Annie get Your Gun, and Oliver!. For over ten years, he played jazz at various social functions around the country. Gary has been teaching for over thirty years, working at the Centre for Young Musicians, various schools in Croydon, and at City Lit since 1999. Several of his students have gone on to study music at university level. Gary believes that learning to listen and play by ear is an important part of one’s musical development. Gary holds a BA in music, an ARCM performer's diploma and an LRAM teacher's diploma. He practises yoga and is a qualified yoga teacher.

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.