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What You Should Already Know

You must have some interest in music, or you probably would not have signed up for this course. Besides a willingness to learn more, you do not need to have any natural talent or prior knowledge about the piano to take this course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Play notes correctly on the keyboard by reading them on the musical staff.
  2. Play rhythms correctly by reading them on the staff.
  3. Identify and interpret musical symbols in your performances.
  4. Exhibit hand and finger control, which allows you to play with two hands at once, while shifting positions on the keyboard and playing the correct notes and rhythms.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of basic music theory and how theory applies to playing the piano.

This is a beginning course, and the skills outlined by these outcomes will give you the confidence to learn even more and build a solid foundation as a musician. This is a great place to start.

Course Materials

Piano or keyboard

You’re going to need access to a piano or keyboard that you can play almost every day while you are taking this course. An actual piano is preferred.

If you choose to use a keyboard, look for one that has at least five octaves (sixty-one keys, including black and white). A piano has eighty-eight keys, but an electric keyboard that has less keys is acceptable (although not preferable).

Any video recording device that also captures audio

Every unit includes assignments that require you to play the piano. You will need to follow the instructions located [ LINK REMOVED ] here to upload your videos to an online storage site and obtain a sharable link.

In addition to improving the security of the the recitals, videos also allow me to visually spot any problems (or perfection) that you may have.

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Unit quizzes

This course has nine units that will each introduce new concepts about the piano as an instrument as well as introducing some necessary music theory concepts. Each unit is set up with clearly stated outcomes, and at the end of each lesson you will have the opportunity to check your understanding by answering the Self Check questions. At the end of most units, you will be required to complete a unit quiz. These quizzes will assess your ability to understand the concepts in each chapter. If you correctly answer the Self Check in each lesson, you should do well on the quizzes.

Recital assignments

Most units have several activites to turn in. See the specific assignment for assignment format and submission instructions.

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Once you have completed all nine units, there will be a final exam. This will not include any recordings of your playing. It will be a compilation of multiple-choice questions that are similar to those from the quizzes. The final exam will cover material from the entire course.

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The following table outlines the graded weight for each of the assignments in the course.

Assignment Points Percentage of Grade
7 Quizzes 5 each 35%
8 Recital Assignments 5 each 40%
1 Final Exam 25 25%
Total 100 100%


Grading Scale
A 100–93
A− 92–90
B+ 89–87
B 86–83
B− 82–80
C+ 79–77
C 76–73
C− 72–70
D+ 69–67
D 66–63
D− 62–60
E (fail) 59 or below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


Summary: 7 computer-graded quizzes and 8 instructor-graded recital assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee

Unit quizzes are computer graded quizzes you will complete at the end of most units. You will also complete recital assignments with most units. Each recital assignment must be complete upon submission. If you are missing any of the activities, you may receive a failing grade. Remember, there is room for a small amount of error in your recordings, so an imperfect submission is better that no submission at all.

A NOTE ABOUT PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism is a form of cheating. It is taking the work of someone else and claiming it as your own. To simply copy and paste ideas, words, or stories from the internet is stealing. This will NOT be tolerated at BYU Independent Study. If you plagiarize, you will receive an incomplete on the portfolio and must pay a fee to resubmit your own work. If you plagiarize twice, you will automatically fail the course.

Final Exam

Summary: 1 proctored, computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension. Because of the nature of some assignments, you will not be able to complete this course in less than 2 months.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor.

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.