Course Abstract Details

MUSIC-142, Class Piano

Credits: 2

Course Description

MUSIC-142, Class Piano, is an active study in learning to read and perform the most basic, beginning-leveled music on the piano. Students will understand the introductory principals of harmonic structure, and achieve adequate facility with the keyboard. Two hours laboratory each week. Two credits. Two billable hours. Offered Spring and Fall terms.

Course Objectives and Grading Information

Major Course Objectives:   

1. To gain keyboard facility commensurate with elementary skills of musicianship; 

2. To develop the ability to play simple accompaniments; 

3. To sight-read, transpose, improvise and harmonize at the elementary level; 

4. To understand the structure of music through keyboard experience; 

5. To analyze the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic elements of short piano pieces; 

6. To promote musicianship by studying and playing simple compositions; 

7. To examine various styles and utilizing various incipient techniques.   


1. Class participation: Student participation is based on attendance, promptness, and participation in the in-class coachings and solo performances.  Excused Absences- may require documentation. Emergency (ex. Documented illness, death in family) Religious holiday (ex. The observances of which require restricting daily activity) Participating in official College functions (ex. Field trips) Special reasons approved by instructor.    Unexcused Absences Excused absences, except for the first one, that are not made up. Excused absences that are not communicated ahead of time. If an emergency prevents prior notification, the teacher needs to be contacted ASAP, before the class, if possible.   

2. Concert Response Papers Each student will attend two concerts throughout the course of the semester and write a critique of each performance. Any type of concert is acceptable as long as it features a solo piano performance. Since this particular course focuses on techniques of western classical piano playing, it is required that one of the two performances be either a solo piano recital or orchestra concerto performance.  Papers should be double-spaced, 12-point font.  Papers should include who, what, when and where the performance took place.  Papers should include a thorough critique of the following: style, stage presence, articulation, aspects of technique we have discussed in class, personal opinion of the performance as a whole, and any suggestions or changes that might improve upon the performance.  Attach the program or ticket stub to the back of the paper.   

3. Peer Critique Students will select a peer as the focus of two written critiques, one to be completed following the first set of in-class coachings and one following the final set of coachings at the end of the semester. The critique should include a description of the student's technique and overall presentation, a reaction to the selection, observations about the issues addressed in the coaching, observations about how the student responded to exercises and suggestions, and anything else the student wishes to include. The second self-critique must include a comparison of the first and second performances, making special note of any specific improvements in the student's technique or presentation of his/her piece. The critiques are due one week following the date of the coaching.  Self Critique Audio recordings will be made available to all students following their mid-term and final in-class performances. After each performance, the student will review the video and respond in writing to what is seen and heard. These self critiques should address the POSITIVES of the performance in addition to opportunities for improvement. This would be a good chance to put goals into writing for the student's next performance as well as to highlight areas of the performance where the benefits of practice and the work done in in-class coachings can be seen. Students should include a comparison of the two performances in the final self-critique.   

4. Solo Performances and Preparation Each student is required to do two solo performances and two coachings prior to the performance. The student must be musically prepared prior to the coaching, having used the rehearsal CD to learn the correct notes and rhythms. Grading will be based on the student's willingness to make necessary changes, and on the accuracy of the music itself.   

5. Midterm and Final exam   GRADING PROCEDURES: The final grade for this course will be based on a combination of class attendance and participation, written assignments, the preparation and completion of in-class performances and a final exam.   The Breakdown: 20% Class participation 20% Concert response papers (2 @ 10% each) 15% 2 self critiques, 2 Peer Critiques 10% First in-class solo performance and preparation 10% Final in-class solo performance and preparation 25% Written MIDTERM and FINAL exam      

Learning Goals

The abbreviations in parentheses represent Learning Goals which have been identified for this course and program of study:

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