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Charles Preis

Contact Information:


Room: 326


Music Exploration



Piano syllabus


Thomas Edison High School

Picture 1.png2019-2020



Piano/Keyboard 1 & 2

Charles Preis      

Room 326

School phone: 612-668-1300 - Ext. 34109


Website: Preis

* E-mail is the best way to communicate with me.



Course Description

Piano/Keyboard 1 & 2 is a semester long instrumental music course with the focus on developing independent and group skills through playing piano, interacting with various musical genres and exploring solo and ensemble performing.  Students will be engaged in their course materials through individual practice, large and small group rehearsals, lessons, projects and class discussions.



Course Objectives

The objective for the class is to provide opportunities for students to explore instrumental music by developing skills and technique on the piano, performing in an ensemble, performing solos and developing practice strategies and rehearsal skills necessary for successful musical development.



Overview of Units

As an IB World School, our units are organized around “inquiry questions” which help focus learning, develop curiosity, and promote critical thinking.  Some of the inquiry questions we will study in this class include:

  • How does my role as a musician benefit myself and the world around me?
  • What significance does music have to cultures, including my own?
  • How does learning to play piano have academic significance for my career goals?


Texts and Resources

Resources for this course will consist of sheet music alongside technical methods, etudes, rhythm exercises, and scales.  Units from The Older Beginner Piano Course Level 1 by James Bastien will be the main focus for the course. Students will need headphones or earbuds to use while practicing. There are a few pairs of headphones that students may borrow, but not enough for the entire class. Research for class projects will need the use of the media center and computers.



Grading Policy

80% Academic Achievement Assessments- playing tests, final project, classwork

20% Practice- small and large group rehearsal, individual practice


Homework Policy

Students that are absent for the class period need to consult with peers and Mrs. Earles as to the work they missed.  Practicing the music that was rehearsed the day of the absence is a MUST to aid musical growth. Playing tests can be made up during advisory, before school or after school and scheduled at a time that works for both the student and Mrs. Earles. All work must be completed by the end of the semester in order to receive any credit.




Extra Credit Opportunity

If you attend a fine arts performance (music, art, dance, theater) or are involved in a form of art OUTSIDE of the school day, you can receive extra credit! You will need to write 250 words describing the event, your critique of the event and how attending the event has made you into a better artist. Extra credit points will be awarded based on complete sentences, complete thoughts, and meaningful critique of the event.  The amount of points will be at the teacher’s discretion.

If you attend a scheduled performance that is not required, you may also receive extra credit. Please see Mrs. Earles should you have questions. Extra credit will be accepted up to the week before finals for each semester.




Attendance and Tardy Policy:

Regular, daily attendance is mandatory for the growth of the individual musician.  Please show up to class every day with all equipment and materials ready and a positive attitude.  Showing up late to class hinders the musical growth of the student. Please make a habit to be ready for rehearsal 3 minutes after the bell. Students with consistent tardies will be in conference with their dean and Mrs. Earles to develop an effective plan for improved involvement in the class.




Classroom Conduct Expectations

It is expected that all students will be ready and engaged in the class.  If you have personal issues that you need to address, please see Mrs. Earles.  Cell phones will not be allowed in class unless Mrs. Earles states otherwise.  Please be respectful to those around you by not being a distraction. If a student is having difficulty being in charge of their electronics, they will be given one verbal warning. If it is still an issue, the cell phone will be confiscated until the remainder of the class. Please be responsible with your technology.

Food and drinks other than water are prohibited in the band room. If food items are seen, there will be one verbal warning. If it becomes a consistent issue, food will be confiscated until the end of rehearsal. Please make sure to take care of your dietary needs before entering rehearsal.