Next Semester Starts
June 26, 2023

Private Piano Lesson Level 3 builds upon the skills developed in Level 2. You will be introduced to major scales and major root-position triad arpeggios in the keys of B, F♯, and C♯, as well as triadic chord progressions in those keys. You will continue to work on technique exercises as well as hand position and posture. You will be introduced to the concept and application of altered tensions, which are additional notes added to chords to add harmonic richness.

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You will develop rhythmic skill and awareness, muscle memory, and hand strength, and these exercises will reinforce the skills required for Level 3.

A Level 3 traditionally notated piece in any style will be introduced. This you will learn from a specifically notated score working with your instructor, to adhere to all expressive, fingering, touch, and technical elements.

A Level 3 chord symbol improvisatory piece will be introduced. These can be in any contemporary style, such as jazz, pop, R&B, rock, blues, and more. The harmonic texture required for Level 3 is to play the melody in the right hand harmonized with chord tones and tensions and bass line activity in the left hand. You will work with your instructor to arrange an approved piece employing proper voice leading, expressive elements, fingering, and technical elements.

The ensemble playing technique called comping will be introduced. Comping is an improvised accompaniment technique utilized in many contemporary styles. Level 3 will utilize open-voicing concepts for comping.

There will be continued study of improvisation concepts, including appropriate melodic and harmonic vocabulary for specific song styles, rhythmic and phrasing principals, and technical considerations. You will begin by improvising on a 12-bar blues form and/or a diatonic chord progression in various styles. You will then apply improvisation concepts to your chord symbol improvisatory tune. (Improvisation will NOT be part of your final exam or final grade consideration. Grading considerations based on improvisation will not begin until Level 6.)

By the end of Private Piano Lesson Level 3, you will be able to:

  • Play major scales hands together, two octaves ascending and descending with the proper fingers at 72 BPM in the keys of B, F♯, and C♯
  • Play major triad root-position arpeggios hands together, two octaves ascending and descending with the proper fingers at 72 BPM in the keys of B, F♯, and C♯
  • Perform triadic chord progressions I IV V I and I VI II V I in B, F♯, and C♯
  • Perform a technical exercise designed to develop rhythmic skill and awareness, hand strength, and muscle memory essential for conventional movement and movement specific to Level 3 repertoire
  • Perform a Level 3 piece in the traditionally notated style
  • Perform a Level 3 piece in the chord symbol improvisatory style, right-hand melody harmonized with chord tones and tensions and left-hand bass line activity
  • Employ comping techniques on your Level 3 chord symbol improvisatory piece
  • Employ melodic and rhythmic improvisation concepts to a 12-bar blues or diatonic chord progression
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Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Completion of Private Piano Lesson Level 2 is required.

Required Textbook(s)

Software Requirements

  • Students are required to create notation and submit it in PDF format. Options include:
    • Notation software such as Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore (free), Dorico, etc.
    • Handwritten notation captured by photo or a scanner

Hardware Requirements

  • Piano or keyboard instrument with 88 weighted action keys equipped with a sustain pedal
    • If using a MIDI keyboard controller, a sound source, such as a high-quality piano sample library on your computer, is also required.
    • If using a digital piano or keyboard workstation without built in speakers, an audio interface is also required.
  • Headphones

After enrolling, please check the Getting Started section of your course for potential deals on required materials. Our Student Deals page also features several discounts you can take advantage of as a current student. Please contact for any questions.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


You'll learn from the best, in an exclusive one-on-one session each week. Meet your Piano private lesson instructors.


Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at

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