Brazilian Piano Master Class

Course Progression

Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started
Live Sessions Begin: 

Monday, February 15th at 8:00pm EST

Repertoire, Technique, Improvisation and Analysis of the Main Exponents of Brazilian Piano

Type of Class:
Recorded and Live Zoom meetings with comments and discussion. All classes will be recorded and archived for those who could not participate live and for those wishing to review.

Target Audience:

  • Open to all pianists and keyboardists.
  • Other interested musicians are welcome as well.
  • Students should be able to read music and have basic command of the instrument.
  • Limited to 25 participants per live class, unlimited via recording.


  • Open to pianists and keyboardists at all levels.
  • Classes will be flexible so that all will benefit.

Course Length & Frequency:

  • Each class will meet weekly for 8 weeks
  • Session length will be 75 to 90 minutes depending on activity and discussion
  • All classes will be live and those live sessions will be recorded


  • Week 1: Main elements of Brazilian Music.
  • Week 2 (Bossa-Nova): Analysis, comping, accompanying piano.
  • Week 3: Solo piano approach to Bossa-Nova.
  • Week 4 (Samba): Adapting the percussion lines to the piano. Comping. Bass line.
  • Week 5 (Samba & Partido-Alto): Solo piano on Samba. Partido Alto comping.
  • Week 6 (Baião): The rhythms of the traditional Forró Trio on piano.
  • Week 7: Solo piano on Baião. The uses of Lydian Dominant and Dorian scales.
  • Week 8: Review and final questions.


  • Cut time rhythm feel.
  • 16th notes subdivision and groupings.
  • Paradiddle technique.
  • Original percussion lines from each style.
  • Rhythms divided between the two hands (polyrhythm).
  • The Standard Brazilian repertoire.
  • Relevant comping patterns for each style.
  • Scales with applied Brazilian rhythms.
  • Accompanying piano, Brazilian combo, and Solo piano strategies.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will listen and analyze the African percussion and rhythm concepts that are in the “roots” of Brazilian Music.
  • Students will listen, analyze and discuss the music of the main Brazilian composers and piano players.
  • Students will compose their own music in the various studied styles.
  • Students will make piano arrangements applying the concepts of Brazilian rhythm and harmonic structures.
  • Students will be encouraged to record themselves playing and send to me for comments.

Provided By The Instructor:

  • Scores and lead sheets with examples and repertoire.
  • Rhythmic and melodic exercises in pdf, with suggestions for an effective practicing.
  • Suggestions of youtube videos as examples of the studied material.
  • Backing tracks for selected songs. • Feedback on each assignment.