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Let’s Make Music! Course (8 years and up)

This is a course for students from 8 years old onwards where you learn to play the piano based on an approach that Joseph has found most helpful to playing the piano over the years. You will learn to play by ear, create your own music on the piano, play music with others, write your own music and read music.

There are 9 levels in this course: pre-grade and grades 1 to 8. Each level typically take about one year to complete although motivated students can complete faster. There is the option of taking exams – the Practical Musicianship exams of ABRSM (100% optional). There are usually two or three students (and their parents of younger children) for each lesson.

Note: The emphasis of this course is to make and play music. if your focus is on learning piano the “traditional” way i.e. focus on reading notes, and/or passing traditional piano exams, select the Graded Piano Course instead.

For this course, the student will need:

  • Access to a keyboard or piano. For keyboards or digital piano recommendations, go here.
  • Youtube reminder videos of rote pieces
  • Plenty of patience and hope when your progress is not going the way you would like
  • A notebook for taking notes / smart phone for taking videos of “create your own music” tunes
  • Book to learn solfege and practise reading notes: Sing at First Sight by Andy Beck
  • A smart phone for taking videos
  • [Others to be updated]

What to practice / what if I missed a lesson?

Above all, have fun with the skills for the level you are working on.

  • Play something by ear
  • Sing the tune (using any syllable or the lyrics) that you are learning to play by ear
  • Play something by improvising
  • Sing music using solfege
  • Read music daily even if it is just one bar. You can use any piano/keyboard book to practise reading notes.

Frequently Asked Questions

The material for this course are:

  • ABRSM Practical Musicianship syllabus
  • Play by Ear: Colin Aston’s How to play by ear correctly for complete beginners and How to fit chords to tunes for all chord playing instruments, Claire Lidell’s So you want to play by ear?
  • Improvising: Forrest Kinney’s Create First books 1, 2, 3 and 4, and Pattern Play books 1, 2 and 3.
  • Chord reading: Piano for all
  • Sight singing and reading: Andy Beck’s Sing at first sight
  • Reading lead sheets: Ann Collin’s Lead lines and chord changes