Fine Arts Academy
Instrumental Music: Collaborative Piano
Our Collaborative Piano major was created and aligned to prepare students for further studies at the university level in piano focused on chamber music and accompanying. Specifically, The University of Texas at Austin houses one of the nation’s premiere collaborative piano programs.
Only a very few students are accepted into this strand each year so that we can provide the best educational experiences and give them the marketable skills needed to be a successful accompanist in a variety of art forms. Our collaborative pianists complete year-long “residencies” with our large musical ensembles, participate in chamber music groups, and accompany soloists at various contests.
Our collaborative piano program is not designed to replace private piano study nor is it designed to prepare students for a career as a solo concert pianist.
Piano Course Descriptions:
Music Theory I: This course is designed to provide students an understanding of keyboarding skills. An emphasis is placed on developing technique and music reading. These skills will be demonstrated in both informal (class) and formal (recital) settings throughout the school year. An ability to read music in both bass and treble clef is suggested, but NOT required. Piano I is a great class for beginner pianists as well as pianists with previous experience but who have not had rigorous lessons recently. All students will work out of the same textbook, however, solo pieces will range in difficulty contingent on previous piano experience. Students will not only learn beginner to intermediate piano repertoire, but an extensive understanding of basic to intermediate music theory concepts as well.
AP Music Theory: This course is designed to prepare you for the freshmen experience in music theory at the university level. Strong emphasis is given to listening skills, particularly those involving recognition and comprehension of melodic and rhythmic patterns, harmonic functions, small-scale forms, and compositional techniques. Fluency in reading musical notation and a strong grounding in music fundamentals, terminology and analysis is required. Throughout the course, you are encouraged to listen to musical works attentively and analytically, developing your “musical memory” and your ability to articulate responses to formal, stylistic, and other aesthetic qualities of the works. Study both in and outside of the classroom is expected. You will need to have a basic command of the piano keyboard and be able to play simple scales, chords and two, three and four-part harmonization. Though not required, it is highly recommended that students take the AP Music Theory exam during the spring semester.
Large Ensemble Collaboration:
Piano I: Same as Music Theory I
Piano II – IV: These courses are to be taken after Piano I (or with special permission from faculty). An emphasis is placed on developing technique and music reading. These skills will be demonstrated in both informal (class) and formal (recital) settings throughout the school year. An ability to read music in both bass and treble clefs is required for this class. Solo and ensemble repertoire will be more challenging than that in Piano I. Students will continue to learn beginner to intermediate music theory concepts throughout these courses.
Students taking any level of piano have the option to compete in UIL Solo and Ensemble piano competition.