Piano and Keyboard Classes


Piano and Keyboard Classes

Jazzschool-Online Technical Notes
All Jazzschool-Online classes meet online via Zoom. Technical requirements include: computer, tablet or phone with a reliable internet connection. Computer (laptop or desktop) is preferred, but a tablet or phone is also possible, with somewhat limited functionality. Optional for improved sound quality: external microphone, either connected via USB or XLR cable to audio interface. For a budget USB mic option, we recommend the Samson Go, currently retailing for around $50 new. Additional technical requirements are listed for specific classes below.


Piano 1
If you’ve ever wanted to play the piano, now is your chance! Sign up for Piano 1 and you’ll learn how to read music, play scales, perform a piece, play duets, discover what musical forms and keys are all about, read a jazz chart and play ensemble music with fellow students. Prerequisites: none. Required texts: Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One (Willard Palmer); and Piano Town Lessons Level 1 (Keith Snell), both from your preferred online retailer.

Saturdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am
9/26 – 12/5 (10 weeks) no class 11/28
Jeanne Walpole, $395

Piano 2
For those with some keyboard experience, Piano 2 picks up wherever you left off in your pianistic pursuits and challenges you to go farther with your musical endeavors. Ensemble and solo music is selected to match your own level and ability on the piano. This class presents individual guidance as well as group performance opportunities. Prerequisites: Piano 1 or equivalent experience. Required text: Bastien Piano for Adults II from your preferred retailer.

Saturdays, 11:45 am – 1:15 pm
9/26 – 12/5 (10 weeks) no class 11/28
Jeanne Walpole, $395

Applied Keyboard Harmony
Learn tonic-dominant chord progressions, basic turnarounds and chord inversions in all keys, while developing the ability to play standard tunes using those basic progressions in lead sheet format. This course prepares students for Jazz Piano 1 and is recommended for pianists with a classical background interested in breaking free of the printed page and learning how to interpret lead sheets, as well as learning how to improvise. Handouts provided. Prerequisites: basic keyboard knowledge.

Saturdays, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
9/26 – 12/5 (10 weeks) no class 11/28
Jeanne Walpole, $395

Frank Martin

Piano Comping
Learn useful one- and two-hand jazz piano comping techniques as applied to the 12 bar blues, “rhythm changes” and jazz standards. Loads of voicing ideas and techniques utilizing tertian, quartal, and quintal harmonies, all with a focus on making things groove. Prerequisites: knowledge of major, minor and dominant 7th chords, intermediate keyboard facility.

Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Frank Martin, $395

Jazz Keyboard Harmony and Voicings for Non-Keyboardists
A hands-on course for non-keyboard instrumentalists who want to understand more about jazz harmony and be able to play through standard jazz tunes with fundamental jazz voicings. Students learn to play several jazz standards, starting with left hand two note voicings and progressing up to four note voicings. The course also covers basic two hand voicings on the same jazz standards. So if you are, for example, a trumpet, sax or bass player and want to learn some keyboard to support your improvising and get deeper into harmony or want to be able to use the keyboard to get your arrangements together, then this is the course for you. Recommended text: Jazz Keyboard Harmony by Phil DeGreg from your preferred retailer.

Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Glenn Richman, $395

Jazz Piano 1
Learn to play jazz standards and the 12-bar blues through the study of jazz chord voicings and improvisation techniques. Required text: Jamey Aebersold Play-along Vol. 54, Maiden Voyage from your preferred retailer. Prerequisites: basic piano proficiency, knowledge of major scales, ability to play root-position major, minor, and dominant 7th chords in all keys, ability to read treble and bass clefs.

Mondays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
9/21 – 11/30 (10 weeks) no class 11/23
Bob Karty, $395

Jazz Piano 2
In this continuation of Jazz Piano 1, you’ll learn more advanced chord voicings and soloing techniques, as well as standard re-harmonization techniques. Required text: Jamey Aebersold Play-along Vol. 54, Maiden Voyage and The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine from your preferred retailer. Prerequisites: ability to play 3-note voicings with proper voice leading through a jazz standard (e.g., “All The Things You Are” or similar), ability to improvise on a 12-bar blues in time, playing 3rds and 7ths in the left hand. A placement consultation is required; please email rob@cjc.edu to schedule your consultation.

Mondays, 8:15 – 9:45 pm
9/21 – 11/30 (10 weeks) no class 11/23
Bob Karty, $395

Adam Shulman

Bebop Piano
Study the soloing techniques developed by the great bebop pianists Bud Powell, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Hampton Hawes, Oscar Peterson and others. From the 1940s on, these masterful pianists developed a linear concept akin to the innovations being made by Charlie Parker and other great bebop horn players. Learn to play flowing 8th-note line improvisations outlining the underlying harmony, drawing on the techniques developed and exemplified by these mid-century innovators. This style of “playing changes” is a core element of contemporary jazz improvisation and is an important part of any aspiring jazz pianist’s tool kit. Prerequisites: functional piano technique and knowledge of jazz harmony.

Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9/24 – 12/3 (10 weeks) no class 11/26
Adam Shulman, $395

Solo Jazz Piano
This course guides pianists through the process of developing interesting and effective solo jazz piano arrangements. Learn techniques for harmonizing melodies, constructing keyboard bass lines, developing intros and endings, various groove possibilities, reharmonization techniques and more. Prerequisites: functional piano technique and knowledge of jazz harmony.

Fridays, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
9/25 – 12/4 (10 weeks) no class 11/27
Ben Stolorow, $395

Piano Trio – The Pianist’s Role NEW!
This course both prepares pianists to work in a jazz trio setting and to refine and advance the skills of pianists who are already doing so. Topics include a wide variety of approaches to interpreting and harmonizing melodies, from the traditional to the contemporary, in addition to essential rhythmic concepts and ideas for developing as an improviser. Students may optionally make use of the iReal Pro app for real-time playing online. Prerequisites: functional piano technique and knowledge of jazz harmony.

Mondays, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
9/21 – 11/30 (10 weeks) no class 11/23
Peter Horvath, $395

Jennifer Jolly

Pianist’s Survival Guide Series: Must-Know Chord Progressions NEW!
Most of the music we play is based on common and predictable chord progressions. Familiarity with these chord changes is an important aspect of musical literacy, and makes our playing, improvising, and composing both more intuitive and more coherent. This class will go beyond the ii-V-I and blues progressions to cover the nuts-and-bolts chord changes from many genres of popular music. Materials provided by instructor. Prerequisites: familiarity with common 7th chords; basic keyboard and reading proficiency.

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Jennifer Jolly, $395

Gospel’s Influence on Blues, R&B, and Jazz Piano NEW!
Whether you play blues, jazz, R&B, neo-soul, or funk, your music is influenced by gospel music. In this class you’ll learn the gospel elements in the playing of artists such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Jay McShann, Billy Preston, Dr. John, Cory Henry, and others. Materials provided by instructor. Prerequisites: familiarity with common 7th chords; ability to read standard notation.

Tuesdays, 7:45 – 9:15 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Jennifer Jolly, $395

Neo-Soul Harmony & Improvisation for Keyboardists
Have you ever wondered how artists like Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper and Moonchild write their music? In this class you will learn how to hear, analyze, improvise and write your very own neo-soul tunes. Take a deep dive into neo-soul/jazz harmony through a series of ear training exercises, harmonic analysis methods, improvisation and chord scale usage techniques, and reharmonization and composition strategies, ultimately composing your own neo-soul chord progression or song by the end of the course. Prerequisites: basic keyboard proficiency and knowledge of chord structures (triads and 7th chords).

Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Marcelino Quiroz, $395

Check Out This Short-Term Workshop:

Let’s Boogie Woogie NEW!
with Wendy DeWitt
A deep dive into Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson, two of the boogie woogie piano greats from whom Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and even Liberace received inspiration. We’ll explore left and right hand coordination, licks and the technique necessary for smooth execution, breaks, intros and endings. Be ready to flesh out your improvisations with lots of new material. We’ll also cover how to use dynamics, develop themes, and keep your playing interesting with the many tools available to pull in a listener’s attention. Have a notebook handy. Attendees are welcome to record the session. Recommended level: Intermediate and beyond. Celebrating eight years of the San Francisco International Boogie Woogie Festival.

Sunday, November 8, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Wendy DeWitt