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Introductory Class Piano I

Course Code: MUSC 1160
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Music
Credits: 1.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

A progressive study of learning to play the piano for students who possess no previous experience. The course includes technique, keyboard harmony, sight reading, transposition, and the playing of appropriate repertoire.

Course Content

  1. Sight Reading
    • To recognize and play notes on the staff.
    • To recognize and play notes on ledger lines.
    • To recognize and play intervals and triads at random.
    • To play short melodies, hands separately and hands together.
  2. Transposition
    • To transpose simple pieces, hands separately, up or down a major second,  minor second, major third or minor third, using the principles of vertical and horizontal transposition; recognition of intervals and melodic patterns.
  3. Technique
    • Development of individual finger control by the use of exercises, i.e. major and minor pentascale studies, Hanon, Schmitt, Wieck etc.
    • Scales  – modal, major, natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor, using tetrachord fingering, one octave, hands separately. The scales will be played with legato, portato and staccato touch.
    • Triads  – major and minor, root position and inversions, solid and broken form, one octave, hands separately, legato touch.
  4. Keyboard Harmony
    • Simple improvisation.
    • Triad construction: major and minor

Methods of Instruction

The instruction will be by lecture, demonstration, and supervised practice.

Means of Assessment

The grade will be calculated on the basis of progress made in the various aspects of the course:

  • 60% of the mark will be based upon regular evaluation (minimum of 1 per week).
  • 15% of the mark will be allotted for a mid-term examination.
  • 25% of the mark will be allotted for a final in-class examination.


As this is a skill-oriented course, regular attendance is required in order to develop fluent keyboard skills. Therefore, 100% attendance is desired. The failure to attend regularly will result in reduction of a final grade as shown below:

  • 4 unexcused absences: minus 10%
  • 6 unexcused absences: minus 15%
  • 8 unexcused absences: minus 20%
  • 10 unexcused absences: minus 25%
  • 12 or more absences (excused or unexcused) will result in a 'UN' grade

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the successful student should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of, and skills in, the fundamentals of keyboard sight reading, simple transposition, technique, phrasing and articulation, and simple repertoire.

course prerequisites


Full-time status in Basic Muscianship Program or instructor permission

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.