Explore and Improvise: The Preludes (March 2021)

Charl du Plessis

Charl du Plessis Charl du Plessis

Recordings are available in your account for 30 days from purchase date (or 30 days from class date if you attended live).

This introduction to improvisation takes place over three classes and is aimed at classical pianists wanting to explore their creative abilities beyond the musical text and have fun with music. Each lesson is based on a different classical prelude and focuses on extemporisation of the harmonies, creation of new harmonies, exploring different styles and building confidence in improvisation. This customised programme meets the pianist at his/her level of skill and comfort with improvisation and follows an easy-to-understand approach to the freedom of spontaneous piano playing.

Aims of the course:

  • Improve basic improvisation skills and knowledge of chords
  • Expand your basic pianistic skillset to play with/without notes
  • Understand the composer's material by means of analysis
  • Create your own version from the composer's material
  • Have fun with music by means of improvisation and creative playing

For the lessons in improvisation you will need:

  • Basic sight reading skills
  • Knowledge of basic chord structures (major/minor)
  • Basic knowledge of scales and arpeggios
  • Listening skills to analyse and imitate by ear
  • Self confidence and imagination

After three lessons you will be able to:

  • Explore Preludes by Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninov from the original version to create your own improvisation on it
  • Follow a method on how to alter the material for either or both the left hand and right hand to create your own original material
  • Explore improvisation in three different styles and in various keys
  • Make an introduction and ending
  • Understand the arrangement behind the creation of your own version and improvisation of any work

March 3rd Lesson 1: Bach Prelude no. 1 WTC I

  • Chords, chord symbols and harmony: how to analyse
  • How to extemporise on the given harmonic scheme
  • Melodic improvisation: how to use scales and arpeggios
  • How to add chord notes to a melody

March 10th Lesson 2: Chopin Prelude Op. 28 no. 20

  • How to use variation as a form of improvisation
  • How to alter the tempo and style
  • Why is listening and ear training important?
  • How to make an introduction

March 17th Lesson 3: Rachmaninov Prelude Op. 3 no. 2

  • How to practise improvisation
  • Introduction to three basic styles
  • How to create an ending for your new arrangement
  • The role of confidence in improvisation

Classes held via zoom, limited to small numbers. This event has multiple classes. Missed a class? You can still purchase a ticket to access the recording.

All times are displayed in your timezone: America/New_York Edit Timezone

All sessions: €55.00 Individual sessions: €20.00