What is the course about?
The foundation year 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.
This course is taught in the digital piano classroom with a maximum of 15 per class. You will need access to a keyboard or piano outside class to practise between sessions.
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 foundation: module 2’, 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 significant experience of playing piano and reading music, you may wish to attend a music advice session to ensure that you enrol on a course at the right level for you.
Alternatively, if you are new to Build 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.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Classes will comprise tutor explanation and demonstration, group playing and individual practice (using headphones so the tutor can check individual progress). Sessions will also include aural skills and theoretical study. Students are required to practise a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
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).
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to ‘Piano/keyboards 1: module 1’.
You may also be interested in Music theory, Practical Musicianship or Music appreciation courses.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details