2017 Elective Choices

The list of 2017 electives is provided below. Each class meets once. Please complete the online form below to indicate your elective and instructor preferences. Faculty information can be found here.

Beethoven
Explore the piano works of one of music history's most important composers. In his 32 solo sonatas, five concerti and numerous other works, Beethoven revolutionized piano writing, musical form and even the instrument itself. Find out how.

Voicings for jazz/pop/rock accompaniment.
Begin learning basic chord voicings to use when improvising accompaniment patterns in jazz, pop, or rock music. Learn to apply these patterns when reading a lead sheet. If you already know a bit, you’ll learn more!

Piano Technology
Have you ever wondered why the pedal squeaks, the action feels heavy, or the keys seem to jiggle under your fingers?  Have you ever wondered how often your piano should be tuned, what to do if you spill your glass of water in it, or if you should try to tune it?  Leonard Ostrander and Thom Sayers, technicians extraordinaire, of Ithaca College, will answer your questions.

Collaborative Piano - Vocal. 
Do you ever play the piano with vocalists?  Do you accompany a choir?  This class could be for you.  If you are interested in accompanying, this class will give you some tricks of the trade.

Collaborative Piano - Instrumentalists. 
Do you ever play the piano with other instrumentalists? If you are interested in chamber music (trios, quartets, etc.) and accompanying, this class will give you some helpful ways to get started and be successful.

Playing the Harpsichord and Organ
What should I know before I accept an invitation to play the harpsichord or organ?  Which of my piano technique skills will transfer over, and which ones won’t?  What are some of the outstanding characteristics of each instrument?

Piano Pedagogy
What should I teach at the first lesson?  How do I get someone off on the right track? If you’ve ever been asked to give someone a lesson, and you found you enjoyed passing along your art, then this class is for you.

Russian Piano School
Sergei Rachmaninov, Vladimir Horowitz, Josef Lhévinne, Evgeny Kissin. Each a great pianist with a unique personality. But is there anything they all have in common? If you want to learn more about the famous Russian Piano School, this is the class to take.

College Preparation. 
I think I’d like to be a piano major in college.  How should I prepare?  What will the audition be like?  When do I need to decide?  What can I do with a major in music?  If you are asking these questions, this class is for you!

Performer's Playbook
Have you ever had stage fright? Whether you get a little or a lot nervous, there's a strategy for you! This class will give you ideas for feeling more comfortable on stage.

Beginning Improvisation
Learn essential basics of improvising like as how to develop ideas, play over chord patterns, and using new scales. More advanced topics may include improvising formal designs, modulation schemes, and using more sophisticated harmonies. All activities will be designed to apply to many styles of music---classical, pop, jazz, etc.

Please read the class descriptions below and rate your choices according to the 1-2-3 scale below.  We will do our best to place you in the classes that interest you the most.