Piano & Keyboard Basics 3

If you have previous keyboard experience but have always wanted to continue developing as a holistic performer, then this hands-on online piano course is for you.

Over four weeks, you will push the boundaries of your keyboard skills while gaining professional musicianship knowledge. Through a progression of exercises, you’ll explore, play, and master an arrangement of a Mozart sonata, perform a piece with theme and variations, and even improvise melodies.

At the beginning of the course, you’ll dive into popular chords and learn how to interpret lead sheets, while developing your ability to play more complicated rhythmic subdivisions. The course then explores how to integrate music theory more deeply into your playing and how to modulate to transpose a piece of music. You’ll learn to play chord inversions, seventh chords, major ninth chords, and sus chords, in addition to working on major and minor scales. You'll also learn the mechanics and functions of the three piano pedals (damper, sostenuto, una corda). The course culminates with a focus on improvisation, in which you’ll learn to improvise melodies based on the blues scale with guided harmonies and rhythms.

Come to this course with the skills of a basic musician and leave with a more complete understanding of the instrument and how to demonstrate its versatility in various settings.

What you will learn:

✔ Interpret and play from lead sheets in multiple keys           
✔ Demonstrate proficiency in reading and executing rhythmic subdivisions           
✔ Devise harmonies to accompany given melodies           
✔ Differentiate between, and use, the three piano pedals (damper, sostenuto, una corda)            
✔ Use modulation to transpose musical pieces            
✔ Create improvised melodies based on the blues scale with guided harmonies and rhythms            

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Prerequisite Skills

What you need to participate:

  • Computer or mobile device with Internet. Internet speed must be at least 1.5Mbps download and 800Kbps upload. For students using a mobile device, download the Canvas mobile app and select “Interlochen Online” as your school.
  • Electric or acoustic keyboard/piano, minimum of 61-keys
  • Sustain/damper pedal (an example can be found here)
  • The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences by Willard A. Palmer, Morton Manus, and Amanda Vick Lethco

How the course works:

Interlochen Online courses are designed to be inspiring and flexible with weekly learning units that combine video segments and guided instruction that you can complete on your own schedule during the week. You will interact regularly with your teacher and peers inside the learning environment. 

You can also participate in an optional weekly hour-long video class meeting, where you can learn from the teacher and interact with your classmates in real-time. At the beginning of the course, you will complete a survey indicating your preferred times for the class meeting. The teacher will make every best effort to identify a meeting time that works for everyone. The teacher will also post recordings of the meetings and you can view them when it is convenient. 

The goal is that you walk away not only with practical skills and friendships but that you are inspired and motivated to pursue your art and realize your potential.

Program Snapshot

Upcoming Course Dates

Sept. 16 - Oct. 12, 2024 | Teen and adult sections

Oct. 28 - Nov. 24, 2024 | Teen and adult sections





Teens: Grades 6-12

Adult Learners: 18+

Future Sessions

Academic Calendar

Meet the Faculty

Jason Terry, D.M.A., NCTM

Instructor of Piano

Questions? Speak with an Advisor.

Email: online@interlochen.org 

Phone: 231.276.5990 

You can also schedule an appointment.

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An image of the cover and first few pages of the Piano & Keyboard Basics guide