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Learning Material for Piano / Keyboard Lessons

Phone apps

For lessons, you will need:

  • A audio recorder app (free)
  • A video recorder app (free)
  • A metronome app (free)
  • A virtual piano app (free) e.g. Mini Piano Lite (Android) and Tiny Piano (iphone)

Reading skill (rhythms)

Listening skill

Reading skills (pitch)

Learn the concepts in this order in the first year:

  • Names of white keys: Piano: Naturals 1 and Naturals 2
  • Names of black keys: Piano: Accidentals
  • Concept of line and space notes
  • Concept of notes going up and down
  • Concept of up skips and down skips
  • Concept of up 5ths and down 5ths
  • Concept of up 4ths and down 4ths
  • Memorise the letter names of:
    • line notes of treble clef: EGBDF
    • space notes of treble clef: FACE
  • Test yourself on the letter names of treble clef: Piano: Treble Clef
  • Memorise the letter names of:
    • line notes of bass clef: GBDFA
    • space notes of bass clef: ACGE
  • Test yourself on the letter names of bass clef: Piano: Bass Clef
  • Ledger lines on the treble clef: Piano: Treble Clef
  • Ledger lines on the bass clef: Piano: Bass Clef

Technical studies

Scales from memory

Play by ear

Play by improvising

Play by rote

Reading Challenge for 2023 Jan-March term

The three students with the most number of points win a mystery prize! To win points,

  1. During class time, read the exercises from Sight Reading Piano by James Treweek (Initial – Grade 2Grade 2 to 5Grade 6 to 8)
  2. Read from your own music books at home – confirm with Joseph whether your music books are suitable for use. Otherwise, you might be able to borrow a book from the library.

Expectations for each term

In essence, for most students, learn the material for the grade you are working on and the play by ear and impro material for that grade, record the material and perform a self-assessment followed by a tutor assessment. There is ALWAYS the choice to learn any tunes and/or other skills along the way. Each term, there’s a challenge which all students participate in.

Ask your tutor what grade you are working on. Even if you have played for a few years, Joseph recommends that you start from the very beginning – MTB’s Pre-grade Introductory. If you have the skills, you will progress through it rapidly e.g. you can learn and record all the material in one week.

To enter for an formal exam which is 100% optional, read this.

Other than for certain students (note 1), it is expected that for each term a student:

  • Inform the tutor of any favourite tunes and/or other skills that they would like to learn
  • Record the material they have learnt for the term, performs a self-assessment (there’s a template for this) based on the recording and submit both the recording and self-assessment to the tutor before the 9th lesson of the term.
  • Learns and masters a new 1) technical study or scale/arpeggio and 2) a new reading skill exercise with metronome (under the MTB Piano grades) each week and have fun with the listening skill exercises weekly. This means that a student usually covers all the technical, reading and listening requirements for the MTB Piano grade they are working on in one term.
  • Learns and masters at least one tune by reading, one by ear and by improvise each term
  • Learns and masters 3 tunes by reading each term for those who would like to progress quickly through the grades

Note 1: New students with Celbridge Piano, beginners who are with Celbridge Piano for less than a year, young students 4-6 years, students pursuing the LCM jazz piano track, students who specifically opt out of the general program.

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