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Academy Keyboard Literature and Piano Ensemble

This course, created and taught by Claire Aebersold-Neiweem and Ralph Neiweem, provides the history of keyboard literature from renaissance to contemporary. The students also study the evolution of keyboard instruments through the same period. The course features teacher lectures and student self-study projects, both written and spoken. Experience is gained in speaking and performing before an audience.

Students also explore the rich literature for two or more pianists at one or two pianos. Some of these pieces are prepared for performance at Academy concerts, and some are used as a basis for improvement of sight-reading skills.

Academy Piano Improvisation

Piano improvisation is the ability to create music spontaneously without reading notes, and is an extraordinarily valuable tool for any musician.

The Academy's piano improvisation class, taught by artist faculty member Abraham Stokman, leads the students from the simplest exercises in composing a short, single voice melody to conceiving longer works in styles from Baroque to romantic, jazz and popular, Latin and European.

By breaking down music to its component parts - repetition and contrast, different kinds of melody, harmony, and rhythm - students are given the chance to think about music as a Mozart or a Duke Ellington did.

Sean Yeh