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A-Stone's School of Music

Course Overview:

Piano/Voice 1&2 is a class for students of all ages, backgrounds and needs (including special needs) to gain or advance their piano playing ability along with learning vocal technics. Students spend a majority of this class in a group setting under the direct coaching of the teacher. Other aspects of the class include learning songs vocally and on piano, so that they will be able to perform in a concert on the 12th week of class. Those students who already have piano performance ability are also very welcome as the class will allow them to progress their playing from whatever level they may be at. Students without piano performance ability will start at a basic level and progress throughout the class.



  • Develop lifelong piano and vocal skills for any genre


  • Introduce Students to language, rhythm and style of Music; specifically playing Piano in Gospel, R&B, Pop and Jazz

  • Students will learn and memorize Note names, scales, diatonic chords and special voicing associated with the Gospel, Pop and Jazz genre.

  • Student will learn and memorize melodies to 3 - 4 songs that they will display during Recital/Concert

  • Student will use Visual Aids to reinforce the rhythm and tempo/real-time of class lessons and homework assignment

  • Student will learn and memorize vocabulary terms used to speak music language etc.

  • Bassline, invert, melody

    • Student will learn to improvise using chords


  • Demonstrate the ability to learn simple melodies by ear.

  • Demonstrate the ability to 'comp' chord progressions.

  • Demonstrate the ability to demonstrate to playing scales: C, F, G, Eb, and Ab.

  • Demonstrate musicianship skills in performance of selected and approved music.



Materials needed:

  • Headphones (w/earbuds recommended)

  • Electronic Keyboard with metronome & foot pedal (recommended)

  • 3-Ring binder w/Notebook (for music)

  • Pencil or mechanical pencil (No pens!)


Added material:

  • Special Handouts

  • Audio and Visuals Aids etc. Audio CD, DVD and YouTube links



A-Stone’s Special Formula for Accelerated Piano by Ear


Memorize the following:

  • 2 hands; right and left

  • 12 Note names (7 white keys 5 black keys) black keys have two names

  • 10 fingers

  • 4 Scales (per semester)

  • 7 notes in each Scale

  • 7 Diatonic (3-note) chords

  • 4 (7th chords) (4 note chords)

  • 3 to 4 Songs by end of Semester

*Student will set individual Goals…. based on their own or church needs.


Vocabulary Terms #1

Keyboard- A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, a row of levers which are pressed by the fingers.

Melody- Is a sequence of pleasing sounds that make up a particular musical phrase.

Traditions- Old school songs; “Glory Glory”, “This is Day” and “I’m on the Battlefield for My Lord”

Hymn- A religious song or poem, typically of praise to God or a god

Flat- (b) lower a pitch 1/2

Sharp- (#) raise a pitch ½

En-harmonic- Two names for the same pitch

Octaves- A tone on the eighth degree from a given tone

Accidentals- Are the sharps and flats notes on the keyboard

Preacher Chords- Chords played while the preacher is preaching

Metronome- A device used by musicians that marks time while practicing

Harmony- The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce      chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect.

Bass-line- The lowest part or sequence of notes in a piece of music.

Chords- 3 or more notes played together

Inversion- When a triad is played on the piano keyboard it can represent in three positions; the root (or original), 1st inversion and 2nd inversion. When a chord is made of four notes, that specific chord can be inverted three times. The chord in its original position is not included.

Improvisation- Create and perform (music, drama or verse) spontaneously or      without preparation.

Syncopation- The most common forms of playing off the beat in piano music.

Voicing- A choice of spreading out or arranging the note in a chord.


Note Names


White notes are called Naturals.

Black notes are called Sharps and or Flats.


Review of Note Names


Practice Link #1

Note name exercise

Vocabulary Terms

1.) Octave- A repeated tone eight notes higher or lower from itself

2.) Musical Alphabet- & letters A-G No “H”

3.) Sharp- to go higher by a ½ step of a natural note moving to right

4.) Flat- to go lower by a half step natural note moving to left

5) Accidental- 5 sharps or flats or black notes

6) Naturals- 7 White notes

7) Enharmonic- two notes that are the same but different names



Our Class Goal is to learn and memorize 4 scales out of the 12……C,F,G,Eb


Scale- Selection of Certain notes within an Octave. The First group of Scales we will discuss are:


Major Scale- Happy scale; however, there are other scales like chromatic, minor, blues, pentatonic and more. One of the most commonly used musical scales. Like many musical scales it is made up of seven notes. The eighth duplicates the first.


Major Scales with Correct Fingering


Practice Link #2


Playing C major scale separate hand


Practice playing f major scale separate


Practice playing G major scale separate

Practice playing Eb major scale separate

Diatonic Chords


Every major scale has 7 special chords that relates or represents that note called diatonic triads, which are formed from the scale notes.


Diatonic triads- 3 note chord built off of every note of the Scale


Practice link #3
Playing diatonic chords

Vocabulary Terms

  1. Correct fingering- played with giving fingering

  2. Right hand- playing scale smoothly with right hand with correct notes

  3. Left hand- playing scale smoothly with left hand with correct notes

  4. Both hands -together- playing both hands smoothly with both hand together

  5. Cross under- where finger cross under to finish sequence of scale

  6. Cross over- where finger crosses over to finish sequence of scale

  7. Metronome- a device used by musicians that marks time at a selected rate by giving a regular tick


Chord Names and Number System


What is a Chord?  3 or more notes played simultaneously (at the same time) with given hand grip.


Grips are special hand fingering to play chords like grips 1-2-4 or 1-3-5


Ex.  Play 1-2-4 Grip starting on C, Move it up to F and then G; then back to C


These 3 Chords are called Primary Chords or Major Chords. They are the most common chords you will hear in most songs. They have a distinctive a Sound.


MANY SONGS have 1-4-5 PATTERN SONGS (Magic chords that sound great together in any key)

Ex. Play 1-2-4 Grip starting on d, move it to up to a; then back down to e. These 3 Chords are called Secondary chord or Minor Chords. They have a distinctive sound also. What is it? MANY SONGS 6-3-2 PATTERNS


Ex. Play 1-2-4 Grip starting on b; The b chord is called a diminished Chord. It has a very special sound. What is it?  It IS MORE OF A TRANSITION CHORD

Vocabulary Term

  1. Major chord- the number 1-4-5 chord

  2. Minor chord- the number 2-3-6 chord

  3. Diminish chord- the number 7 chords

  4. Skip –A-note chord pattern


*How to make major- into a minor or diminish


Song #1:

Heart and Soul by Hoagy Carmichael

Chord pattern   1-6-4-5-1

CD Tracks 1-4


Song #2:

My God is Awesome by Charles Jenkins

Chord pattern 1-5-6-4-1

CD Track 11


Song #3

How great is our God by Chris Tomlin

Chord Pattern   1-6-4-5 -1


Song #4

Freedom by Eddie James

Chord pattern   1-5-6-4 -1


Song #5

Every Praise by Hezekiah Walker

Chord pattern 1-6-4-5-1


Refer to hand out and Audio CD for rhythm. These 3 Chords are called Primary Chords vs Secondary Chords


Primary Chords 1-4-5, PATTERN SONG Secondary Chords 2-3-6-7


Refer to Hand and Accompanied Audio CD for Vision Aid Assistance




Every 3 note chord has 3 position or inversions TO HELP HARMONIZE THE MELODY OF A SONG

Root………………..CEG…………using   1-2-4 Grip

1st position…………EGC…………using   1-2-4 Grip

2nd position………...CEG……….....using   1-3-5 Grip


Exercise: Play 1-6-4-5-1 (using all three position)  or

Vocabulary Term

Root position- the vertical distribution of the written notes of a chord in which the root of the chord is in the bass

Invert- rearrangement of the top-to-bottom elements in an interval, a chord, a melody, or a group of contrapuntal lines of music. The inversion of chords and


7th Chords

A seventh chord is a triad which has been extended to include the 7th. Seventh chords create a much fuller sound than triads and are used in jazz music to create richer harmonic progressions.

There are 5 main types of seventh chord that you need to learn – major, minor, dominant, half diminished and diminished. Learning these chords and understanding their function in harmony is essential for learning jazz piano. The vast majority of chords you will come across in jazz will be one of these 5 chord types.

Major 7th Chords

First of all, we have the major 7th chord. The major seventh chord is built by playing the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of the major scale.

The interval relationship is root, major 3rd, perfect fifth, major 7rd. In the key of C, the root of the chord is C, the major 3rd is E, the 5th is G and the major 7th is B. We can also build a major 7th chord from a major triad with a major third stacked on top.

Dominant 7th Chords

The dominant 7 is a very important chord. It has an unstable sound and wants to resolve to a major chord a fifth away. Dominant chords give movement & tension to a piece of music.

Dominant chords are built by playing the 1st, 3rd, 5th and flat 7th of the major scale. A quick way to build a dominant chord is to play the major chord and then lower the 7th note by half a step. We can also build a dominant 7th chord from a major triad and a minor third stacked on top.

The interval relationship of dominant chords is root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th. It’s important to note the presence of the tritone interval in the chord. This is what gives the chord it’s unstable and tense harmonic quality. If you are unsure on what a tritone is, watch the lesson on intervals.

Minor 7th Chords

The minor 7th chord is built in the same way as the major 7th chord except we use the 1,3,5 & 7 from the natural minor scale. The interval relationship is root, minor 3rd, perfect fifth, minor 7th.

To find out the natural minor scale you simply take the major scale and lower the 3rd, 6th & 7th notes.

You can also build a minor 7th chord by playing the major 7th chord and then lowering the 3rd and 7th note by a half step. Alternatively, play the dominant chord and lower the third by half a step.

We can also build a minor 7th chord from a minor triad with a minor triad stacked on top.

Minor 7 b5 Chords

The minor 7 flat 5 chord, also known as the half-diminished chord is most commonly used as the 2 chords in a minor 251 progressions.

Minor 7 flat 5 chords are built using the 1, b3, b5 and b7 of the major scale. A simpler way to build a half-diminished chord is to play the minor chord of the key and flatten the 5.

We can also build a minor 7th chord from a diminished triad with a major third stacked on top. The interval relationship of a half-diminished chord is root, minor 3rd, diminished 5th & minor 7th.

Diminished 7th Chords

Finally, we have the diminished 7th chord. Diminished 7th chords are the strangest sounding chords of those we have covered so far.

A diminished chord is 3 stacked minor thirds so the interval relationship is root, minor third, minor third, diminished 7th. You could also look at diminished chords as a minor 7 flat 5 with a double flatted 7. We can also build a diminished 7th chord with a diminished triad and a minor third stacked on top. The diminished chord does not have a definite tonal center which makes them sound ambiguous. You can use this as a device to add tension to a piece and the resolve the chord.

The best thing about diminished chords is that you only have to learn 3 of them for all 12 keys as when you invert the chord it creates a diminished chord a minor third above. or

Print: Piano 1 Course Syllabus

(Students MUST bring a copy of the syllabus to every class and bookmark for practice.)

Print: Responsibilities and Obligations

(Students MUST bring this signed form by the 2nd week of class.)


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