In response to COVID-19 and the continuing need for online resources, we have developed classes and materials for online instruction.
To inquire about specific classes, please fill out the interest form below.
We are now accepting registrations and payment through the following links:
Piano Lessons - You will receive scheduling and Zoom class info upon registration.
Piano Music From Around the World - check back for the next class enrollment!
Some class descriptions are provided below. Students receive Certificates of Completion for each course. Please make additional topic and scheduling requests through the form below.
Piano Music From Around the World
This class provides an introduction to various styles of piano music with selections from Argentina, Costa Rica, Croatia, Turkey, Ghana, Nigeria, China, Japan and more! Students learn about the composers of the pieces, styles that influenced their compositions, and features of their culture that also inform their music. Each class begins with a geography lesson and some feature of the language that enhances the music lesson. Students do not need to play the piano in order to take the course -some students will learn to play pieces but others can complete written assignments about the course material to receive their certificate.
A class for students of all levels! Most students learn rhythm by ear at the keyboard, and an understanding of rhythmic notation comes much later. This class embraces that approach, introducing students of all ages to simple and complex rhythm patterns through clapping and counting but adding some discussion of notation for older students. Examples range from common meters and subdivisions in classical piano music to irregular meters of the Balkans, cross-rhythms in West African drumming, North Indian tala counting and much more!
Exploring Modes in Music
Level 1: The class will start with a discussion of whole steps and half steps on the piano keyboard and how to build a scale. It will also include listening activities to identify the character of a piece by listening for the mode, not only major or minor but also other modes that may appear in the pieces they are learning.
Level 2: This class will build on the previous level by introducing additional scales and modes, such as the Blues scale or the Dorian and Lydian modes, and will provide examples where they appear in piano works. It will also apply the student's knowledge of scales to identifying key areas and modulations in more advanced pieces of music. While focused on piano music, the class will also provide students with the opportunity to listen to a broad array of tuning systems.
Understanding Harmony and Timbre
Level 1: This class will explore different sonorities from pieces that students are playing. Students will learn how different intervals can be used to build chords with an introduction to triads and inversions. An introduction to primary chords (I, IV, V) will follow along with examples of how they appear in familiar pieces of music.
Level 2: Building on the previous level, students will learn about seventh chords and more complex chord progressions. Students will harmonize melodies and compose their own sonorities.
Level 3: Students will continue to hone their improvisation and composition skills and share their work with others. Class discussions will include analyzing chord progressions in various styles of music.
View the ★★★★★ reviews for our recent Lessons with Big Red Bird class!
Use the contact button to schedule a first lesson, and we have new descriptions for our online classes!
Learn about Ottoman composer Leyla Saz and listen to her Victory March from 1908 in several arrangements. This work is featured on ...And We Were Heard in a performance by Jacob Wallace and the South Dakota State University Wind Ensemble (also available in the audio player below). Peruse instrumental arrangements available for purchase here