Piano: return to playing

Course Dates: 01/10/21 - 03/12/21
Time: 17:00 - 19:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Did you once play the piano? Would you like to return to playing in a friendly and supportive class? This short online course will help you refresh your dormant skills and whet your appetite to go further.
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
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Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00

Course Code: ME802A

Please choose a course date 

Fri, day, 01 Oct - 03 Dec '21

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Any questions? music@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2630

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 2-5 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 2-5 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?

- All courses use Google Classroom to share materials and messages, including any homework tasks.
Each member will be individually coached, workshop style, in front of the class. You will be asked to comment on each other’s 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. Also two pieces of music you would like to work on.
You may like to look at some exercises in advance. If so, please use the following links:

The virtuoso pianist (Hanon) [External website]
Passagenübungen (Czerny) [External website].

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.
Please note: we have multiple courses at different times throughout the week. 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 - music@citylit.ac.uk

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.

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.