Course Spotlight: Piano for Beginners: Levels I & II

Piano for Beginners gives students the chance to learn the skills required to proficiently play the piano.

Dinah Stillman

By: Patrick Piscitelli, Program Specialist

The sounds of Schubert fill the auditorium as Professor Chris Madden plays a piece of music by one of his favorite composers and talks with us about the upcoming semester where OLLI will be offering Piano Levels I and II for beginners.

"Adults often have two reactions when the topic of piano comes up: 'I wish I wouldn't have quit.' and 'I've always wanted to learn.' In offering this class, we're hoping to reach adults who love piano and are interested in playing for enjoyment." says Madden the primary professor leading Piano for Beginners Levels I and II.

Chris Madden is currently working on a D.M.A. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at OU after having received his M.A. in Music Theory/History from Penn State University and an M.M. in Piano Pedagogy from Florida State University.  (Piano Pedagogy is the study of the teaching of piano.)

Although Madden plays mostly classical music, in Piano for Beginners students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of musical genres from folk songs to newly-composed songs and the popular songs of today. 

"We try to incorporate a pop project for students who want to learn a particular song, and we also offer duets for students that want to play together!" says Professor Madden.

As part of OLLI’s hands-on courses, Piano for Beginners gives students the chance to learn the skills required to proficiently play the piano. In our intimate class structure with no more than 16 students per class, students will have the unique opportunity to work directly with state of the art technology and one of the best piano teachers in the state. The facility features 18 cutting-edge pianos complete with headphones, allowing students to focus solely on what they’re playing, and giving the instructor a chance to listen in and provide individual feedback to help them progress and reach their musical goals.

This semester, OLLI at OU is offering two levels of Piano for Beginners: level I for those who have never played the instrument or would like to become more familiar at a comfortable pace and level II, for those who have completed level I (either this semester or spring 2015) and strive to continue sharpening their piano skills.  Level I will begin Friday, August 21 and will conclude October 9, 2015, all sessions are at 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.  Level II meets October 16, through December 11, 2015 at the same time.  All sessions will take place in the Catlett Music Center, located near the intersection of Elm Ave. and Boyd St on OU’s Norman campus.  Ample parking is available on the top level of the adjacent parking garage on Elm Ave.

Space is limited, go to OLLI to sign up today or call our office at (405) 325-3488.

We look forward to seeing you in the fall!