How Music Works

Award-winning composer-pianist-signer-songwriter Peter Saltzman is offering two unique classes—one for musical neophytes, the other for adult amateurs musicians—on How Music Works.

In each course, Saltzman breaks through walls of conventional music theory and history to explore the ways that our musical systems evolve out of nature and culture. The goal is to give you a deeper insight into the music you love.

Each class runs four weeks, then continues on to part two, which builds on the first segment. Below are descriptions of the two courses.

In Person or Online: All classes are held in Peter Saltzman’s Oak Park, IL Recording Studio AND online.

Two New Classes!

For Non-Musicians

This class assumes no prior musical expertise, and you do not need to be able to read music.

In the first four-week segment, we delve into the origins of music itself, and how our perceptions of it—the way we experience it—are directly related to natural laws of acoustics. Using “natural music” as the premise, we explore the ways human cultures have played with and subverted natural laws to create the music they want.

We use examples from multiple eras and genres—everything from Gregorian Chant, and Bach to jazz and hip-hop—to discuss both the universals in melody, harmony, rhythm, and form and the particulars to each culture.

Details...

When: The class meets on Tuesdays, October 23 through November 13, 7 to 8:30 pm.

Where:  You can attend the class in person or online. Classes are held in Peter Saltzman’s Oak Park recording studio. Students from out-of-the-area, and those who can’t make it can view and participate in the interactive multi-camera online version. All classes are recorded and posted privately online. 

Cost: $140 per 4-Week Session (full payment due before the first session)

Class size is limited to 10 students. Sign up now!

For Adult Amateurs*

This class requires at least basic music reading ability** and assumes you have played an instrument or sung. You do not need to be a professional.

We start from the beginning and will delve into not only the how of harmony, rhythm, and form but also the why. The course takes a holistic approach to music, using examples from multiple periods, genres, and styles. From classical and jazz to blues, pop, and hip-hop. The first four-week segment focuses on diatonic harmony, modes, and song forms. Subsequent segments will delve into chromaticism, advanced modes, and various modern techniques.

  • Where do all these melodies, chords,  and rhythms come from? Are they part of nature in some way?
  • What are the important musical forms, and how and why did they evolve throughout history?
  • What are the constants throughout musical history, regardless of culture and period? What are the variations in period and place, and why? 
  • Do aliens play major chords?  (OK, we won’t really go there. But you will see that the laws of nature do suggest certain “universals.”)

 High School age and above.

** A  short music-reading refresher lesson is available prior to the class.

Details...

When: The class meets on Thursdays, October 25 through November 15, 7 pm to 8:30 pm

Where:  You can attend the class in person or online. Classes are held in Peter Saltzman’s Oak Park recording studio. Students from out-of-the-area, and those who can’t make it can view and participate in the interactive multi-camera online version. All classes are recorded and posted privately online. 

Cost: $140 per 4-Week Session (full payment due before the first session)

Class size is limited to 10 students. Sign up now!

About Peter Saltzman

Award-winning composer-pianist-singer-songwriter Peter Saltzman has taught piano, theory and music technology at Columbia College Chicago. He currently teaches piano at a Montessori school in Oak Park and is the theory coordinator at New Music School in Chicago.

Saltzman’s music has been called “Imaginative…brilliant” (Chicago Tribune), “ambitious, richly layered, wonderfully accessible” (Chicago Sun-Times), and ““Just plain genius” (All About Jazz). He is the recipient of the numerous awards and commissions, including the Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship.

More to Come…

The “How Music Works” series continues in the winter with level two on both tracks. But there’s more…

Peter Saltzman will be launching a new music education portal in the coming months will many different offerings. In the meantime, if you’re interested in private lessons in any of the areas listed below, please check the appropriate boxes in the form to the right.

Private Lessons Are Available in:

  • Piano (Jazz, Classical, Blues, Pop)
  • Improvisation (all instruments)
  • Composition
  • Songwriting
  • Theory
  • Recording

Sign-Up and Inquires

Please fill out the form below. Let me know if you have any questions. If you’re ready to sign-up for a class, please make payment through PayPal to petersaltzman@gmail.com. If you’d prefer to pay by check, please leave a note in the comment field and I’ll get back to you on how to do that.

Which Class(es) are you interested in?

Are you interested in attending the class in person or online?

How would you describe your level of musicianship?

I'm also interested in private lessons (indicate areas of interest)

6 + 4 =