Over the course of five chapters, the trajectory of skills required for a budding multi-functional pianist has been examined in an “A-to-Z” approach. “A” is perhaps a piano major with some formal functional keyboard training, while “Z” is the keyboard wizard, at the graduate level, who possesses a great functional capacity as a successful collaborative pianist. I hope this course inspires more pianists to embark on their own path of skills discovery, which might otherwise take up too much time in a typical piano lesson. In addition, it is my goal to maximize this course’s coverage in terms of having materials resonate with curricula of music theory, aural skills, piano repertoire class, chamber music, and many other key courses in higher-ed music education, while ensuring opportunities for concept reinforcement, experience relating, and knowledge building. I would not be surprised if an instructor finds their own personal way to reorder, combine, and/or eliminate any modules, while tailoring to the student’s needs.
The repertoire pieces provided in this course are merely pointers for much more to be discovered by the student and instructor. They were chosen with the intent to offer supplements to repertoire and stylistic exploration. The 20th and 21st centuries saw a rapid growth in the number of new styles, as well as pastiched ones. Subsequent to training from this course’s drills and improvisations, the student is encouraged to find ways to apply and adapt basic principles and methodologies acquired to pieces in the post-romantic or modern eras, or indeed to any realm that might not have been well-represented in this course.
Finally, although the ultimate success of a multi-functional pianist’s career rests upon many factors beyond the coverage of this course, it is certain that the skills and ideas found here can only increase the marketability and creativity of a pianist. The reward may not pay off immediately, until perhaps one day, when a pianist is asked unexpectedly to do a last-minute fill-in for someone else, the skills of keyboard harmony, improvisation, score reading, and piano reduction will all serve the pianist well.