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Piano Lab

Piano Lab

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Students are required to attend a weekly Piano Lab for one hour. You will be expected to prepare for your lessons by practicing daily as assigned by your Piano Lab instructor. The lab sessions are limited to four students per hour.

Suggested Goals

  • All students are required to attain - at a minimum - rudimentary keyboard proficiency employing scales, arpeggios, technical exercises, harmonizations, and traditional repertoire.
  • All students are required to attempt to master at least one composition.
  • Students who have already attained some proficiency will be enabled to continue to improve their technique and expand their repertoire.

Suggested Topics and Materials

Traditional Repertoire may include, but not be limited to, the following.

  • Bach - selected pieces from Anna Magdalena Bach's Notebook
  • Bartok - selected Mikrokosmos
  • Kabalevsky - selected pieces
  • Leopold Mozart's Notebook - excerpts
  • Schumann - selected pieces from Album for the Young

Melodies may include, but not be limited to, the following.

  • Beethoven, "Ode to Joy" - at least section A in multiple hand positions (keys)
  • Mozart, "Ah, vous dirai-je, maman " - at least the melody
  • At least in C, F, G (if not all keys), the melodies found in Duckworth and other class handouts, such as the following.
    • "Hot Cross Buns"
    • "Closet Key"
    • "The Boatman"
    • "Au Clair de la Lune" - melody with two hands (three fingers each)

Scales and Technical Exercises should include the following.

  • Hanon, Exercise #1 - hands separately or together, at least in C
  • Major scales (via tetrachords?) - complete Circle of Fifths
  • I IV V root position chords and arpeggios at least in C, F, G - hands separately or together
  • Natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales at least in a, d, e - hands separately or together
  • i iv V root position chords and arpeggios at least in a, d, e - hands separately or together

Harmonizations may include the following.

  • Harmonization of selected folk melodies (examples found in Duckworth and Fundamentals Class handouts) employing at least I IV V block chords in C, F, G

Example Materials Used by a Piano Lab Instructor

The materials for the piano lab are varied. Many students, as we have seen, are not truly beginners at the piano. Beyond the basic scales, triads and arpeggios, cadences and method pieces, the repertoire and technical exercises will be custom-tailored for each student during the semester.

Scales, arpeggios, triads, I-IV-V-I cadences in all keys

Selections from a scales book in the Albert method series; for example:

Palmer, W., M. Manus, and A. V. Lethco. Alfred's Basic Piano Library: Intermediate Musicianship Book 2. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co.

Selected beginner pieces dealing with C position, G position, F position, and basic chordal accompaniment

Selections from the Albert and Bastien Adult beginner method books, such as:

Amazon logo Bastien, Jane, Lisa Bastien, and Lori Bastien. Piano for Adults, Book 1. San Diego, CA: Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 1999. ISBN: 9780849773020.

Bastien's Older Beginner Piano Library: Easy Piano Classics. Edited by James Bastien. San Diego, CA: Neil A. Kjos Music Company.

Palmer, W., M. Manus, and A. V. Lethco. Adult All-in-One Course, Level 1. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., 1996.

Piano Literature Book 2: 17th, 18th, 19th centuries. Edited by Frances Clark and Louise Goss. Miami, FL: Summy-Birchard Company.

Simplified Hanon-type finger exercises from the Bastien technique book, as well as original Hanon exercises.Amazon logo Hanon, Charles-Louis. The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises. New York, NY: G. Schirmer, 1986. ISBN: 9780793525447.
Simple pieces from Bartok Mikrokosmos.Bartok, Bela. Mikrokosmos. Vol. 1. New York, NY: Boosey and Hawkes, 1987.
Selected pieces and exercises

Amazon logo Lindeman, Carolynn. PianoLab: An Introduction to Class Piano. 5th edition (Book and CD). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2003. ISBN: 9780534603540.

Amazon logo Olson, Lynn Freeman and Martha Hilley. Piano for Pleasure: A Basic Course for Adults. 4th edition (Book and CD). New York, NY: G. Schirmer, 2001. ISBN: 9780534519629

Sight reading exercises from a variety of sourcesAmazon logo Smith, Hannah. Progressive Sight-Reading Exercises for Piano. New York, NY: G. Schirmer Inc., 1978. ISBN: 9780793552627.
Classical repertoire from assorted collection booksChoices ranging from easy Bach minuets, Burgmuller, Clementi Sonatinas to Debussy preludes, Beethoven sonatas, etc.


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