What is the course about?
You will work on establishing good technical foundations for your playing as well as developing strong practice strategies to enable you to study more independently. You will be encouraged to develop your critical listening skills to achieve greater confidence. This workshop is taught in a friendly and supportive environment with each student playing in turn, on an acoustic piano. The maximum number of pianists per class is 12 and students usually stay at this level for at least three terms.
**There may be other classes at this same level taught by different tutors: please check the drop-down menu for other course dates/times
If you are unsure which course is best for you, please come to an advice session and bring a piece to play.
Our teachers will help you select a class at the right level.
What will we cover?
- The choice of repertoire will be discussed at the first class - usually two collections of pieces to choose from, supplemented by material written by the tutor
- Technical problems, style and performance skills will be discussed
- There may be some opportunity to play duets
- Students will be encouraged to make up their own technical exercises, to harmonise simple melodies, and to sight-read
- Co-ordination between hands, rhythm and pulse and establishing sound dynamic control
- Practice strategies.
- Course repertoire will be of a grade 3 standard (and increase in complexity with tutor guidance)
- Scales: C, G, F, D and A majors and A, E, D and B minors (harmonic and melodic, 2 octave hands together).
- Arpeggios in the same keys as scales (2 octaves hands separately).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Perform at least 3 pieces on the piano from the selected repertoire
- Recognise and explain perfect cadences
- Shape phrases and play expressively using contrasting and gradual dynamics
- Perform 3 major scales and 3 minor scales suitable for the level
- Play using finger and wrist staccato
- Play using direct and legato pedalling.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Students should have completed a City Lit Piano/keyboards 3 or its equivalent, be reasonably fluent in simple major and minor keys, have an understanding of simple and compound time and some knowledge of triads, inversions and cadences to a confident Grade 3 standard. The ability to learn music independently is useful at this level and you need to be confident to have a go playing in front of other students.
You also 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?
Classes are taught through tutor explanation and demonstration, and playing/listening workshop style on an acoustic piano. Sessions will also include aural skills and theoretical study.
A regular practice routine is essential to progress on this course.
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; one or two printed books as decided by the students (approx. cost £10 each). Music may be purchased new or second-hand and/or borrowed from local libraries. Westminster Central Music Library (Victoria) and the Barbican Music Library have very comprehensive collections.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course typically comprises of three terms spread across the academic year, after which you may continue to ‘Piano workshop 4’, or you may repeat the course to gain more experience at the same level.
You may also be interested in Music theory, Practical Musicianship or Music appreciation courses.