A Live Workshop Series

10 Levels of Arranging
using Christmas Music!

4-week Live Online Series (Zoom)
Mondays: November 21 - December 12, 2022

9:30 - 11 AM (Pacific)  |  12:30 - 2 PM (Eastern)

Registration at bottom of page!

Want to dive more into arranging and playing from a lead sheet?

While good piano technique helps you to play physically freely, arranging helps you to play musically freely!  Arranging (playing from a lead sheet) and improvisation will help you not only get “off the page” but also rediscover fully-notated music in different ways!  Performance anxiety also becomes significantly less with the mindset and tools arranging and improv provide.

As a classically-trained pianist, I was a “sight-reader” before becoming comfortable (and enamored!) with arranging and improvisation.  I was not one who learned arranging and Creative arts from the beginning and have only come into it from my adult life -- so it is not too late!!

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Is this course for me?

This course is designed for teachers, although intermediate/advanced adult students could certainly participate.

The 10 Levels of Arranging cover from the very beginning of arranging to the advanced, so this course covers a wide spectrum of arranging levels.  For those of you that participate in 10-level exam syllabi (RCM, Certificate of Merit, etc.) these ten levels of arranging approximately correspond with the same leveling.

Cost

The course is $89 and the registration deadline is November 19.

Recordings will be made available for all registrants.

Content

I will use the following two samples to demonstrate different styles and levels of arranging:

  • O Holy Night -- a traditional ballad carol with many opportunities for colorful harmonies

  • Mary, Did You Know? -- a modern song with a lot of melodic and rhythmic interest

Week 1: November 21

Exploring 10 Levels of Arranging with Ballad Style with "O Holy Night"

Week 2: November 28

Exploring 10 Levels of Arranging with Upbeat/Popular Style with "Mary, Did You Know"

Week 3: December 5

Exploring YouTube Christmas arrangements in different levels and styles

Individual Guidance on your lead sheets

Week 4: December 12

Performance Day

It is optional to perform, but those that do generally see better results!

Materials & Syllabus
  • Please prepare your own lead sheet for a piece you would like to work on

Fake Books (compilations of lead sheets)

If you would like to get a Christmas Fake Book (and I highly recommend it), here are some great options:

 

Easy Fake Books (key of C, simplified chords)

Traditional Carols  |  Popular Christmas

Professional Fake Book (original key, more colorful harmonies)

Ultimate Christmas Fake Book

Resources on Arranging

I will not cover these in depth too much, but some great resources for further study into arranging.

 

Forrest Kinney: Puzzle Play  |  Quick Chord Course  |  88 Birthday Variations

Jeremy Siskind: Jazz Piano Fundamentals (Books 1 & 2)  |  Playing Solo Jazz Piano

Randy Felts: Reharmonization Techniques

Sample Videos

You can check out some of my recordings at my YouTube Channel.  Virtually everything is played either from a lead sheet or like a lead sheet (taking fully-notated scores and making my own versions of them).

https://www.youtube.com/@grantkondo