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ADULT MUSIC EDUCATION
Small group classes
Ainslie Arts Centre & Online

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What classes do you offer?
    Piano 101 (beginner, continuing and advanced levels) Piano 201 (standard and advanced levels) Music Reading & Theory (beginner and intermediate levels) Composition & Arranging World Music
  • Where can I view a timetable?
    Here
  • Do I have to start a class in Term 1, or can I join as a new student in later terms?
    Individual class pages and the enrolment form indicate whether classes are accepting new students. Generally: Piano 101 (new) and Music Reading & Theory (beginner) usually commence in Term 1, however may also commence in subsequent terms if there are sufficient expressions of interest. In these cases, complete courses will cross over a calendar year. Piano 101 (advanced) and Music Reading & Theory (intermediate), Piano 201, Composition & Arranging and World Music welcome new students in any term throughout the year. Students are also welcome to enrol in and attend any fortnightly module, when offered. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you'd like to join a class.
  • How long does each class run?
    Classes normally run over a 9 or 10 week term, and include: (a) weekly one-hour face-to-face or virtual group lessons; and (b) continuous online access to course content. Both Piano 101 (beginner) and Music Reading & Theory (beginner) incorporate four successive terms, with each term building on content and skills learnt in the previous term. Piano 101 Advanced, Music Reading & Theory (intermediate), Piano 201, Composition & Arranging and World Music have no fixed completion timeframes with content and progress tailored to suit the class. Enrolment is on a per term basis.
  • Can I do just one term of a class?
    Yes, however: If you want to enrol in Piano 101 (beginner) and Music Reading & Theory (beginner) you are strongly encouraged to plan participation over four successive terms because you will not get the full benefit of learning outcomes designed for your class in a single term. Please be aware that your choice to drop out after one term may impact the viability of the class for other students.
  • Do you have classes for children?
    No. The content, materials and delivery of all classes are designed especially for adult students.
  • How do I enrol?
    Go to the Timetable & Enrolment page. When the timetable has been released for the upcoming term, every class with availability will have an Enrol Now button. When you click the Enrol Now button for the class in which you want to enrol, it will take you to a fee payment page to complete your enrolment.
  • I've enrolled in a class. Now what?
    You'll first receive an enrolment confirmation email from us. We'll then email you with complete details to get started and attend your first class!
  • Where is my classroom?
    Face-to-face classes are held at Ainslie Arts Centre. Your classroom will be advised via email before the commencement of term. Please note, we're on Elouera Street, Braddon, not on Ainslie Avenue (where you'll find Gorman Arts Centre). The twin arts centres operate under the same banner and are only down the road from each other, but are separate venues and easy to get confused!
  • I'll be away for one of the classes during the term. How will that affect my progress?
    Standard enrolment covers both: Weekly group classes; and Access to progressive course material via an online forum. All essential material is detailed in the online forum, so if a class is missed in any week for any reason, students can keep up to date with everything. Likewise, the forum enables review and revision at any time.
  • What are Forums?
    Forums are online learning platforms where, along with accessing progressive course content and additional material, students can ask questions, discuss their own findings and collaborate with classmates. Content is updated regularly throughout the term and all enrolled students have continuous access for the duration of their enrolment.
  • How do I access my Forum?
    Forums are accessed via the Student Portal (located in the footer of this website). All enrolled students will be provided with instructions and a password after payment of term fees.
  • I'm going to be away for the entire term. Can I still access Forums?
    Yes! You can enrol as on Online Forum Student Only.
  • I'm going to be away for some of the term. Are part term fees available?
    Yes. Please see the Fee Policy for details.
  • I love the class I'm doing! Can I continue next year?
    You certainly can! Piano 101 and Music Reading & Theory are designed to feed into Piano 201 and Composition & Arranging respectively. Piano 201, Composition & Arranging and World Music are designed for ongoing progression.
  • Do I need to bring my own keyboard to class?
    No need! Piano 101 classes are mostly conducted around a single piano for instruction, demonstration, participation and discussion. There are also a number of keyboards for practice within class time, for 1 to 2 students per keyboard.
  • I don't have a piano or keyboard to practise on. Will I manage to keep up?
    We often have students commence Piano 101 as absolute beginners without having their own instrument, and because the classes focus heavily on observation, discussion and in-class participation, this can work up to a point. Most students, however, do find they want to start applying their understanding to practice within a few weeks from starting and, importantly, technique only develops with practice. As such, we encourage that students plan to purchase their own instrument within the first few weeks.
  • Can you recommend a good keyboard that isn't too expensive?
    An entry-level keyboard that we recommend is the Yamaha P45. If you're after a cheaper option, the Yamaha Piaggero NP series are solid keyboards. These don't have 88 or weighted keys, so they're not full size and you don't get the piano 'feel', but they are absolutely fine for learning your way around a keyboard. We actually use Yamaha Piaggeros in class for practice. DW Music and Better Music are both excellent musical instrument stores in Canberra.
  • Do I have to start Piano 101 in Term 1, or can I join as a new student in later terms?
    Piano 101 (new) is always offered in Term 1, however new classes for beginners are offered in subsequent terms if there are sufficient expressions of interest. We recommend that you contact us to register for the Piano 101 priority list to be notified for pre-enrolment ahead of any term. Piano 101 (continuing) is for students progressing from the previous term, however can sometimes be the right fit for new students with some background music experience. If you're interested in joining a continuing class as a new student please contact us first to discuss suitability. Piano 101 (advanced) welcomes new students in any term throughout the year.
  • I've learnt a little bit of piano in the past. Which Piano 101 level should I join?
    For students who have some background knowledge, the decision about which class to join can be quite personal. We've had some students who've completed Grade 8 AMEB choosing to start Piano 101 at the beginning to refresh themselves; we've also had students who've learnt a few things on YouTube and feel ready to challenge themselves with Piano 101 Advanced. Piano 101 starts from scratch and includes: notation in treble and bass staves; recognising intervals; melodies, harmonies & bass lines; major, minor & extended chords; major, minor & blues scales; time signatures, simple and compound note values, basic rhythms; reading and playing from conventional scores as well as lead sheets; and introductory improvisation. Piano 101 Continuing consolidates and expands on the material introduced in Piano 101 and adds: diminished & augmented chords; chord inversions; more reading and playing from conventional notation as well as lead sheets; and extended improvisation. Piano 101 Advanced focuses on developing reading and playing skills and includes: lots of short, stylistically varied pieces, to explore a wide range of musical ideas, theory and different techniques. Pieces are offered at a range of levels - easier to more difficult - to suit student readiness. Piano 201 is a step above Piano 101 Advanced, and is for students who are ready to push their reading and understanding a bit further with pieces that tend to be a little longer and more technical than for Piano 101 Advanced. Students are always welcome to switch to a different class if the general class level isn't quite right.
  • How does the class format work?
    Piano 101 classes are mostly conducted around a single piano for instruction, demonstration, participation and discussion. There are also a number of keyboards for practice within class time, for 1 to 2 students per keyboard. Class material is structured around specific learning areas - both theoretical and practical - with a lot of scope for student enquiry and collaboration. Because group classes are shared experiences, students' learning is enhanced by connecting with other students and we typically see an exciting level of progress and engagement in the group environment.
  • How many students are there in each class?
    A minimum of 4, a maximum of 10.
  • I'll be away for one of the classes during the term. How will that affect my progress?
    Standard enrolment covers both: Weekly group classes; and Access to progressive course material via an online forum. All essential material is detailed in the online forum, so if a class is missed in any week for any reason, students can keep up to date with everything. Likewise, the forum enables review and revision at any time.
  • Do you teach individual piano lessons?
    No. We are passionate advocates of group classes. Although we've offered individual piano lessons in the past, in our experience teaching adults, we've seen students learn quicker and gain stronger and more active understanding from group classes. We love the class setting, typically see an exciting level of progress and engagement from students doing classes, are encouraged by the support networks and friendships formed amongst students, and highly recommend them!
  • Do you prepare students for AMEB exams?
    No.
  • Do you have Piano 101 classes for children?
    No. The format and course materials of all classes are designed especially for adult students.
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