Music 160

MUSC 160

Beginning Class Piano

Catalog Entry

MUSC 160. Beginning Class Piano
Three Hours Laboratory (1).

Prerequisite: Audition/Interview

Keyboard skills at an introductory level are offered for non-keyboard music majors, minors and non-music majors who have had limited experience. The course includes sight reading, analysis, memorization and performance of music; technical skills to develop a "feel" for the topography of the keyboard; harmonization and transposition of melodic lines; playing "by ear" and other creative activities including improvisation.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. This course teaches the beginning level of keyboard skills in a laboratory setting. Reading music is emphasized which includes new and reviewed material as well as solo and ensemble repertoire.
2. Technical exercises to develop facility, fluency and a "feel" for the topography of the keyboard are practiced using the following theoretical concepts:

        a. Major and minor pentachords, triads and arpeggios in in various keys. The arpeggios are played in root position, two octaves, using cross hands. The chromatic scale is also introduced.
        b. Various major and minor scales played one octave hands separately.
        c. Cadences played in various major and minor keys, hands separately, in closed position, beginning with a root position tonic triad: I in root position, IV in second inversion, I in root position, V7 in first inversion and I in root position.
        d. Triads and inversions, blocked only, played one octave, hands separately in various major and minor keys.

3. Harmonization of melodies using LH single notes on I, IV, V progressing to full chords.
4. Transposition of pentascale position repertoire and single line melodies within a one octave range.
5. "Ear-to-hand" aural skills training.
6. Playing "by ear", improvisation, composition and other creative activities at a beginning level.
7. Throughout the course, students are coached by the instructor in basic piano technique including such aspects as posture at the keyboard, hand position, using fluid motions and keeping the wrists flexible.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class will meet three times a week in the digital keyboard laboratory. The students will play together in class and are expected to do individual practice (about 3 hours per week) outside of class.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will attain the skills necessary to enter the first basic level of Class Piano MUSC 161. These skills include being able to play scales, cadences and triads, hands separately, in various keys. They should be able to read fluently at a level comparable to the music found in the first part of Book 1 of Bartok's Mikrokosmos, perform memorized repertoire comparable to "The Bear" by Rebikov. They should be able to demonstrate "ear-to-hand" ability such as playing tunes like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in various keys and be able to transpose and harmonize a single melodic line in a pentascale position within a one octave range.


Assessment Measures

Students are evaluated through performance of skills tests given approximately every 2 weeks throughout the course. There is also a mid-term and final exam which will test all of the skills outlined in the content of the course above.


Other Course Information


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

February 2006 Reviewed E. Fellin, Chairman