key word

Keyboard

The piano (and its contemporary descendant, the keyboard) have played a crucial part in all forms of Western music. With its substantial range of notes, and vast potential for melodic and harmonic interplay, the instrument has remained a mainstay in diverse genres like classical music, gospel, R&B, jazz, and film music.

Even within the primarily guitar-driven landscape of rock music, innovative players like Jon Lord (Deep Purple), or Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) have managed to make the keys an irreplaceable component of their respective band’s unique sound. Composers across the board frequently prefer to compose on the piano or the keyboard, because it is able to carry the key aspects of melody, rhythm and harmony simultaneously and allows them possibilities that are either impossible or obscured on other instruments. As an electronic, digital instrument which functions on samples of actual acoustic sounds, the keyboard is perfectly suited to sync with most of the radical innovations taking place in musical and recording technology today. Learning the keyboard can have huge theoretical and physical benefits for the serious musician. Apart from a grounding in how music works, playing the keyboard also cultivates dexterity with the fingers that can be effectively transfered to playing any other instrument. All this and more, makes the keyboard an excellent choice both as a primary or a secondary instrument.

Foundation

The Piano/ Keyboard course is aimed at complete beginners, music industry pros, producers, songwriters, DJ’s, electronic musicians and Classical piano students. The main aim here is to generate a fair level of comfort on your instrument after 10 weeks at Nathaniel. If you have been playing for a while, this course would still help you to build up core concepts, start composing and play with a band

Introduction to the Piano
In these sessions, we prepare ourselves to learn one of the most diverse instruments in history by figuring out what it can and cannot do, along with all the tools essential to being a solid piano/ keyboard player

Role of the Keyboard

  • Demonstrating Melody, Harmony and Rhythm
  • Exploring the range
  • Evolution with Technology
  • Use of the keyboard in Multiple Genres

 

Understanding the skills required to play

  • Independence (Finger and Hand)
  • Finger Strength
  • Mind to finger transfer
  • The approach to making music on the piano
  • Physics and Mathematics basics related to sound and music
  • Ear Training
  • Theory
  • Notation

 

Exercises

Being a capable musician is about the ability to play what comes from the mind. Hence, the fingers have to be capable enough to handle long passages, chord changes and maintaining accurate tempo. The keyboard is a more than capable “Percussion” instrument and hence the skills of syncopation and independence become very crucial. “Ear Training” is essential for composing, improvising and collaborating with other musicians.

Technique

  • Posture rules
  • 5 finger patterns to build up agility, flexibility, strength, speed and control
  • Composing and Transcribing melodies on different signatures
  • Spider Exercise
  • Czerny and Hanon classical exercises
  • Playing scales
  • Crossing over exercises
  • 5th chord exercises
  • Chord playing techniques using full, broken chords and arpeggios
  • Practicing chord inversions
  • Basic styles and progressions on the piano : Rock n Roll, Blues, Country, Reggae, Waltz and Ballads
  • Developing independence of hands
  • Working with accents and syncopated phrases
  • Playing melodic and rhythmic patterns via notation and grid-based approach

Advanced

The Piano/ Keyboard is for students who already have a level of confidence, theoretically and technically on the instrument. They would have to present their skills at an audition where they will be tested on various musical concepts and exercises. Level 2 is also for students who wish to learn advanced music theory, develop the harmonic and rhythmic ear, discover music from various cultures and learn contemporary styles of keyboard playing. Focus is also on music technology, recording concepts and MIDI programming as the student desires.

Intermediate Rhythm

  • Swing, Triplets, poly-rhythms and advanced time signatures
  • Creating Bass Lines
  • Treating the keyboard as a percussion instrument
  • Creating your own grooves and studying great rhythm creation methods
  • Accenting and Syncopation
  • Rhythm styles of various genres (Funk, Country, Latin….)

Finger Exercises

  • Holding a groove while playing a tune
  • Keeping notes constant while moving others
  • Constant bass exercise
  • Practicing Chord Inversions
  • Augmented and Diminished practice. Shifting from normal to weird
  • Playing tune and harmony in one hand
  • Playing melody with arpeggios
  • Polyrhythms
  • Styles: Rock n Roll, Country, Reggae, Blues, Flamenco, Latin, Waltz, Swing, Classical, Folk, Ballad playing, Grid based approach, Improvisation
  • Arpeggio exercises and patterns for Right and Left hand
  • Syncopation exercises for funk, metal, reggae and rock
  • Blending on Sus, Dominant 7th, Augmented and other fancy chords

Intermediate Harmony

  • 4 note chords (Sevenths, Sixths and more)
  • Blues Form
  • II – V – I progression
  • Circle of Fifths for harmony
  • Travelling between scales
  • Chord resolution
  • Using notes of the chord to compose melodic patterns
  • Advanced Chord Inversion practice to become comfortable with chord changes
  • Creating harmony on the fly
  • Guide tones and common tone voicing

 

Voicing

  • Theory of Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass
  • Reading and analyzing 4 part music
  • Analyzing voices via church hymns, orchestration and choir
  • How to use voices to enhance melody
  • Composing your own arrangement

 

Improvisation
Musically, improvisation is the act of writing a song while performing it. Improvising is a little more complicated than an imaginative children’s game. Though it is a highly creative and flexible technique, it requires great skill on the part of the musician. A musician involved in an improvisation must have a detailed knowledge of chord structure and complicated scales and modes. Exercises include improvising bass riffs in the left hand using only two to three notes, use a pre-determined series of chord changes and improvise to create new melodies and harmonies, jamming along to a constant riff in the bass line and rearranging popular songs.

Using Chords

  • Styles: Rock n Roll, Country, Reggae, Blues, Flamenco, Latin, Waltz, Swing, Classical, Folk, Ballad playing, Grid based approach, Improvisation
  • Arpeggio exercises and patterns for Right and Left hand
  • Syncopation exercises for funk, metal, reggae and rock
  • Blending on Sus, Dominant 7th, Augmented and other fancy chords

Exercises

  • Covering all elements of music at the same time on the piano
  • Playing scales over multiple octaves
  • Octave playing- Broken, Flamed, Voiced
  • Modern Devices- Crushed Notes, Flams, Triplets, Trills, Fluttering, Vamping, Arpeggiate, Fills
  • Finger independence exercises
  • Jamming on the Blues and Pentatonic scales with various embellishments
  • Popular licks and riffs used for contemporary styles like funk, blues, folk and country
  • Following the Melody with harmony and vice-versa
  • Ostinato bass patterns

Study of Different Sounds
A modern day keyboard can have sounds including acoustic and electric pianos, organs, orchestral instruments and monster synths. A different approach to these various sounds is required to get the best results. Study concepts of pitch bending, layering multiple sounds, studying the role of each sound, applying specific techniques to each sound for a wide repertoire of music.

 

Song Analysis

  • Song Structure
  • Scale recognition
  • Figuring out chord patterns
  • Learning chord changes via bass line and emotion
  • Rhythm recognition
  • Working out Riffs
  • Creating Motifs and patterns
  • Styles- Gospel, Reggae, Latin, Blues, Country, Pop Rock, Folk, Funk

When you learn the rules of music, they give you a solid platform to confidently express yourself as an artist. Every new concept is like entering into another musical adventure. You will discover the nuances of vast musical cultures and study the harmony, melody and rhythms in detail. And of course, we will also help you break all the rules!

Music Theory is important for any musician. Firstly, the ability to communicate ideas between musicians becomes simpler to do with one common language of notation. Secondly, a vast knowledge of music theory broadens and sharpens your skills as a composer. We will realize that after studying the theory of music, we enter into a huge world of permutations and combinations of notes, rests, chords, beats, sub-beats and amazingly enough, all of them sound really cool and remind us of songs we have heard before, innovations or an entirely new musical creation.

Scale Theory

  • Forming and applying the Major Scale using multiple approaches
  • Circle of Fifths
  • Minor Scales, Blues, Pentatonic and scales from other cultures
  • Transposition

 Intervals

  • Melodic vs Harmonic
  • Perfect, Diatonic and Chromatic
  • Inversion of Intervals
  • Ear training to appreciate and recall intervals
  • Upper third and Lower third usage in harmony

Rhythm

  • Meter, Beats and Sub-Beats
  • Accenting and Syncopation
  • Tied Notes and Rests
  • Putting it all together

Chord Theory

  • Diatonic Triad Formulation
  • Classification of Chords by emotion
  • Implementing popular chord progressions
  • Visual recognition of chords
  • Chord Inversions
  • Rules of Harmonization
  • Voicing and SATB (4 part Harmony)
  • Composing Harmony given the Melody
  • Composing Melody given the Harmony
  • Blues Form
  • Basics of Voicing
  • Circle of Fifths for Harmony

The production package is a carefully designed package based on the myriad needs of people that want to work with sound.

Over the years, with our experience of working as sound engineers, as producers, recorders and much more; we designed a course that can teach you all these things together in a span of four months.

The program is designed to give you training in the latest softwares used in the industry, an in depth know how of sound, studios, equipment and a lot more.

This package is a collection of 8 mini courses related to sound engineering.

This is useful if you are a novice in the field of sound or have dabbled a bit in it for a while.

We also ensure that our students get to work with an industry professional first hand and learn the tricks of the trade.

 Home Recording (10 hours) – From the basics of sound and its properties to understanding equipment in a studio, this is the foundation course of our production package. Students familiarize themselves with concepts, equipment and softwares that will help them set up their own home studio. Additionally at Nathaniel, we offer them the best deals, where we acoustically treat and soundproof your room for you.

Wizards of sound (10 hours) – As a continuation of the Level 1 course on home recording, this advanced music production course is where you practice whatever has been covered earlier. The course is designed in a way where all learning is hands on as students record a live band and produce, mix and master the entire song on their own aided by their mentor over a span of ten hours. Learn advanced editing, mixing, effects and much more in this course. This is the course you want to be doing along with our synthesis module if you are into electronic and dance music too.

Music Theory/ Ear Training (10 hours) – As a sound engineer, it is very essential that you train your ears as much as your technical skills. One has to know the slightest note that is a little off while working on a song. You should also be able to hear what each instrument is doing at a time. And all this while still maintaining its raw feel and not making it sound artificial. Learn how to understand the finer elements of music with an option to study either music theory or ear training.

Synthesis (5 hours)

Arrangement and Orchestration (5 hours) Learn how to create a finished product from scratch to finish and radically transform a raw track. This module will be useful to bands, solo artists, composers and others who want to either create a new product or revamp an existing piece. Learn how to add different musical instruments and much more in order to create/ recreate music.

Internship – No course is complete without field work. Work as an apprentice to a professional for ten hours and assist them in real world work involving sound, recording, production and much more.

In addition, if after completion of the course, you need assistance/ direction in setting up your own studio, we offer you packages that involve completing doing the entire place up for you. We use material and people that have worked on our own studio, so we know we can offer you the best in gear. During the course, expect constant expert production advice constantly during classes, on your assignments and feedback on any questions and doubts you may have.

The mark of most great musicians is original music. Many musicians want to create music that they believe in, that they are inspired by and that speaks their story for them. Be it film scoring, background scores, composing for your band, parts for a choir, working on original material or anything else, this course targets all aspects necessary to kickstart your journey as a composer and provide you a sense of direction.

 Music Theory (10 hours) – This course is aimed at covering core theoretical concepts and then applying them in real-world scenarios and to your own creations. Learn concepts like notes, note values, scales, intervals, chords, time signatures, pitch, rhythm, notation and much more. Once you complete this course, you’ll have a better sense of communicating your musical ideas and you will gain the core foundations to take your music skills to greater heights.

Sight reading and notation (5 hours) – Learn how to read and write music using Staff Notation – a universal method for music composition and communication. Various musical pieces are taught with our teachers whose experience spans more than 30 years. Our unique method will be able to put you ahead of your peers in terms of reading ability.

Piano Basics (10 hours) – In recent times, the piano is the most versatile instrument and the array of things it can do is almost too many to list. Piano basics are a foundation module in all composition courses and can propel your composing skills far ahead by knowledge of core theory and technique aspects.

Song Writing (10 hours) – Have something to say? How are you going to find a way to say it in a way that hasn’t been said before? Our song writing course looks at popular song writing techniques, methods and properties. It also involves the component of adding music to lyrics and understanding structures of songs.

Students write and create a song during the course and record it.

Artist Analysis (10 hours) – Learn from the masters. This unique module looks at the music of some of the top artists and bands and deconstructs their music. In a first of a kind course, all our faculty come together in a two day marathon session to analyze and teach using the music, styles, techniques and aspects of a band that students rated top on our page.

Arrangement and Orchestration (5 hours) – Learn how to create a finished product from scratch to finish and radically transform a raw track. This module will be useful to bands, solo artists, composers and others who want to either create a new product or revamp an existing piece. Learn how to add different musical instruments and much more in order to create/ recreate music.

Notation Software (5 hours) – The course also gives you a jumpstart into Sibelius – The industry standard Music Composition and Notation tool. The software will be installed on your machines during the course. All this in 4 days over 10 hours of instruction filled with assignments, worksheets and interactive exercises.

Reading Rhythms (5 hours) – Using the top rated book with respect to rhythm – ‘The Encyclopedia of Reading Rhythm’, get a know how into how note values, sub values, rests and other concepts work. With interactive exercises involving clapping, tapping, using our very own grid method and much more, learn how to get comfortable with rhythm in both popular time signatures and otherwise.

Styles and Genres (5 hours) – As a musician, one has to be familiar and comfortable with different styles and genres of music. Understand properties that generally define different genres and ways of commonly playing these styles and references to defining artists in those genres.

What does it take to be a performer? In this extremely competitive field, what gives you that extra edge?

Our performance package looks at how we can equip an aspiring performer or an existing performer to carve a separate identity for themselves and have some knowledge in a variety of areas relevant to the art of performance.

Theory in practice (5 hours) – This module takes traditional theory and shows you how to practically apply it in your rehearsals, training and practice. How can you do differently what you have been doing the same way all these years? A sound theoretical foundation empowers the performer to improvise and confidently solo better during their performance.

Improvisation (5 hours) – Every performer dreams of being able to solo impromptu given say a standard chord progression. Improvising is a technique that requires a fair bit of theory and practice and creativity. This course tells you how you can improvise on different instruments. The course is taught by three different faculty and looks at demonstrating patterns, rethinking standard ways of playing etc.

Song Writing (10 hours) – Have something to say? How are you going to find a way to say it in a way that hasn’t been said before? Our song writing course looks at popular song writing techniques, methods and properties. It also involves the component of adding music to lyrics and understanding structures of songs.

Students write and create a song during the course and record it.

Artist Analysis (10 hours) – Learn from the masters. This unique module looks at the music of some of the top artists and bands and deconstructs their music. In a first of a kind course, all our faculty come together in a two day marathon session to analyze and teach using the music, styles, techniques and aspects of a band that students rated top on our page.

Band Dynamics (5 hours) – Everything from forming a band, interpersonal relationships, things to consider like finance, defining your sound, getting gigs, resolving conflicts, roles within a band and much more. Whether you’re already in a band or looking to be in one, this module looks at how to optimize the functioning of a band and getting it to do well. The special thing in this program is that, our faculty sits in on the band’s rehearsals real time and gives them feedback on everything from their presence and performance to what they can do better. A combination of tips, tricks of the trade, lessons and experience from seasoned performers and one on one feedback, Band Dynamics is a course that you should attend with your band.

Music Business (2 hours) – As a one off workshop, Nathaniel brings you a manager of one of India’s leading indie bands to teach our students the business that is music. Understand the intricate details of how this business works, who are involved, how to make it grow and sustain. Hear the resource person’s personal experiences of what worked for their band and what didn’t and what you can do differently.

Grooving (3 hours) – Watch as rhythm, theory, melody and harmony come together in our grooving course, a module with customized syllabus combining the relevant aspects of all instruments in order to get the performer to create something unique.

Perks : Our performance package essentially looks at being able to create performers who are serious, passionate, hard working, enthusiastic and have that extra edge. In order to promote and encourage them, Nathaniel School of Music looks for talented upcoming musicians and gets them regular gigs at various venues in and around the city. We also offer you a 50% on our rehearsal rooms, which are full equipped jam rooms with industry standard equipment recreating the closest simulation to being on an actual stage.


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