Exploring Dance Piano Styles with Amy McFarland – Session III: Contras and Squares


Explore playing back-up piano for traditional dance – Session III: Contras and Squares

This class will be held online.

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Date: August 12, 2021; 5:30 – 7:00 pm (online)

Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner and above. Students should be comfortable playing with both hands and should have a working knowledge of a few standard chords (A, D, G, C, Am, Em, etc.). Reading music is helpful but not required. No prior knowledge of music theory is necessary.

Note: This group of classes can be taken as a series, or a la carte.

Class Registration Fee:  $15

Have you ever wanted to play tunes at a dance, but have been unsure as to how to do that effectively?

Session III of Exploring Dance Piano Styles will address approaches to accompanying reels, jigs, breakdowns, and marches. Includes regional styles, plus how to work with a band and a caller.

Students can continue from here, and learn the specifics of playing for Irish/Scottish & Canadian dances, and English Country dances in subsequent months.

For these sessions you will need to be able to set up a device to show the student at the piano, with keyboard visible.

Amy McFarland has been playing piano since she was a young child, with a focus on traditional music, dance music of many styles, song accompaniment, ragtime, swing, and more. She has played for traditional  dancing for over forty years, has taught lessons and workshops, and has composed music. She has taught Piano off the Page to nearly 100 students for over a decade.


Listen to Amy play a contra dance, here with Maria Terres on fiddle: