Rhythmic Spirit

Music Education in Composition, Drums and Piano

New approaches to Piano through Composition.

If you are looking for a different approach to gaining Piano performing skills whilst developing your ability as a composer then this could be right up your street. 


As a composer and songwriter the ability to perform at the keyboard has always been an important aspect although not always absolute. Some of the greatest including Beethoven, Carol King, Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk where all great performers and composers.


With this in mind the following four levels are available to you:


Beginner Level

  1. At this stage you are introduced to the basics in piano keyboard performance. Therefore, you can expect to develop the ability to play at least two  beginner pieces. Work on playing chord sequences are also an important aspects in understanding composition at the keyboard. So you will be looking at playing some simple chord progressions as well at this level.
  2. Scales will be covered as these help you to understand tonal sound colours which develop your ear for composing and song writing.
  3. On the composing front you will start to explore some basic song and music forms as well as basic chord sequences and melody writing. The aim here is two write three pieces of  keyboard music. These compositions should cover contrasting styles from pop, rock, jazz, classical and electronic music. An example would be a piano piece of about a minute in length comprising of two sections.

Therefore, at the end of this level you should have a portfolio of three written piano compositions and also the ability to play keys in two pieces and a series of scales. An example of pieces currently covered include; The Beatles - Hey Jude; Keane - Somewhere Only We Know; LCM Jazz - Three Chord Trick; and Beethoven - Fur Elise.

Intermediate Level

  1. At this stage you will be developing further skills in piano keyboard performance. You can expect to develop the ability to play three intermediate pieces with some re interpretation of the original pieces. Study will also continue in developing different and more complex chord sequences and some basic principles of harmony.
  2. Scales will continue with the introduction of modes, blues scales and pentatonic scales.
  3. Some standard song forms and structures are introduced including 12 bar blues, AB, ABA form and Verse/Chorus. You will be expected to compose three contrasting pieces at least two minutes in length using the forms mentioned and again in a range of styles shown above.

Therefore, at the end of this level you should have a portfolio of three written compositions of piano music and also the ability to play keys in three intermediate pieces and scales. An example of pieces currently covered include; LCM Jazz - Slash Chord funk; Pink Floyd - Great Gig In The Sky; Einaudi - Melodia Africana; Miles Davis - So What; Coldplay - Trouble; Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata Introduction.

Advanced Level

  1. At this stage you will be extending further skills in piano keyboard performance whilst developing your own original voice. You can expect to develop the ability to play three advanced pieces and interpret them with a strong sense of originality. Study will also continue in developing different and more complex chord sequences and further principles of harmony.
  2. All major and minor scales should be covered by this point with some pentatonic, blues and modes.
  3. Compositions in Piano will be more mature at this level will some exploration of sonata form and Jazz 32 bar amongst others. You will be expected to compose three contrasting pieces at least three minutes in length using the forms mentioned and again in a range of styles shown above.

Therefore, at the end of this level you should have a portfolio of three written compositions of piano music and also the ability to play keys in three advanced pieces and a wide range of scales. An example of pieces currently covered include; Stevie Wonder - I wish; LCM Jazz - C Jam Blues; 
Scarlatti - Sonata in Fm; Frank bridge - Berceuse; Herbie Hancock - Cantaloupe Island; LCM Jazz - Autumn Leaves. Einaudi - Petricor.

Professional Level

Working as a professional composer and piano performer can mean many things with a wide range of possible career options. Therefore, the aim of this level is to mentor and support the student equipping them with the necessary skill set to start a musical career or study further at college and university. This will be based on a strong audition or score portfolio.

The aim at this level is to put together a strong portfolio of original piano compositions in a wide range of styles or a strong thematic and original voice. The facility to record and produce a CD of your performances is also available to support this.

At this stage you will be expected to compose a portfolio of 25 minutes in length with scores and a recording of at least 50% as previously stated. Outside of this you will be encouraged to explore a wide range of scales beyond major and minor. You will also look at more advanced techniques such as the Hanon system. Another aspect of helping you develop wider composing style is to study great masters of both popular and western art styles looking at there common signature. This will depend on how you see yourself developing in your specialised genre.

FEES - 1/2 hour / 1 Hour = £13.50 / £27

All of the above courses are offered as one to one tuition or via Skype and facetime. Get in contact to find out more.