Piano Courses

The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated so that they consistently reflect today's musical needs. In classes such as Contrapuntal Jazz Improvisation, Improvisational Theory, Piano Accompaniment Techniques, and Survey of Piano Styles, you will learn the history of your instrument, analyze its present-day challenges, and pursue an in-depth study of styles and techniques. Below is a list of all Piano courses for the upcoming semester.

Keyboard Fundamentals

ISKB-P111

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: PIANO

An online keyboard program for non-piano principals designed to give students skills in note reading, chord voicings, rhythmic interpretation, technique, and other instrumental skills. Using video clips, recorded play-alongs, chord-study exercises, weekly recorded assignments, and feedback from the teacher, students will be able to play simple accompaniments, read notes on the grand staff, realize a lead sheet, apply simple voice-leading techniques, and develop hand independence and a familiarity with different styles. Students will acquire the ability to use the keyboard as a resource in learning harmony, ear training, arranging, and technology applications such as notation and sequencing.

Survey of Piano Styles

PFSS-351

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: Piano and vibraphone principal PERF majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: PIANO

A study of the history and development of the art of jazz piano and the lives and times of the artists themselves. Through listening to archival and contemporary recordings and analysis and discussions, the rich diversity of the different jazz styles will be examined, along with the artists associated with certain styles. Solo piano and group playing from ragtime to contemporary will be addressed.

Private Instruction 1 - Piano

PIPN-111

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All Piano principals
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: PIANO

Principal instrument study level 1 piano.

Private Instruction 2 - Piano

PIPN-112

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All Piano principals
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PIPN-111
Department: PIANO

Principal instrument study level 2 piano.

Private Instruction 3 - Piano

PIPN-211

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All Piano principals
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PIPN-112
Department: PIANO

Principal instrument study level 3 piano.

Private Instruction 4 - Piano

PIPN-212

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All Piano principals
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PIPN-211
Department: PIANO

Principal instrument study level 4 piano.

Private Instruction 5 - Piano

PIPN-311

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All Piano principals
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PIPN-212
Department: PIANO

Principal instrument study level 5 piano.

Private Instruction 6 - Piano

PIPN-312

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Piano principals: MUED, PROM, and PERF majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PIPN-311
Department: PIANO

Principal instrument study level 6 piano.

Private Instruction 7 - Piano

PIPN-411

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Piano principals: PERF majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PIPN-312
Department: PIANO

Principal instrument study level 7 piano.

Private Instruction 8 - Piano

PIPN-412

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Piano principals: PERF majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PIPN-411
Department: PIANO

Principal instrument study level 8 piano.

Contrapuntal Jazz Improvisation for Pianists

PSPN-335

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: HR-212 and PIPN-112
Department: PIANO

This course offers a step-by-step approach to improvising contrapuntally in a solo piano context. Emphasis on walking bass lines through a series of rhythmic/melodic motives gives the pianist a basis for gaining the independence required to simultaneously improvise in a linear or chordal manner in the right hand. This eventually leads to multi-voice improvisation. Artists studied and transcribed include Lennie Tristano, Dave McKenna, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Oscar Peterson, and Diana Krall. Weekly class performance includes repertoire of the jazz standard literature.

Recital Preparation 1 - Piano

RPPN-311

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Stephany Tiernan
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Piano principals: PERF majors
Electable by: PERF majors
Prerequisites: PIPN-212 and concurrent enrollment in both ILRE-375 and PIPN-311
Department: PIANO

Taken in conjunction with ILRE-375. Includes preparation of repertoire for performances in the recital workshop.

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