The Pianist’s Guide to Dance Accompaniment – ONLINE

WKS 487
The Pianist’s Guide to Dance Accompaniment – ONLINE
June 24-August 2, 2024 / Tuesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, plus private lessons
Online course

Yoshiko Arahata, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University

This course is available in two formats: a one-week in-person institute and a six-week online workshop. This listing describes the online workshop. For information about the in-person institute, click here.

Dance accompaniment is a great gateway for pianists to deepen skills in music performance, improvisation, sight-reading, composition, and mastery of collaborations encompassing broader musicianship and interdisciplinary artistry. In this course, pianists will learn methods for preparing piano accompaniment for ballet and contemporary dance classes, using repertoire and improvisation based in Baroque, Romantic, jazz, and contemporary styles.

If you are looking to gain skills needed for professional ballet accompanying jobs, learn an approachable method to start improvising music, develop exquisite listening skill, or find ways of collaborating with artists across diverse disciplines, this online institute will help you become a more versatile musician and artist.

The course meets once weekly for six weeks. A typical class will feature instructor presentation of techniques/tools to enhance dance accompaniment music, participants demonstrating their work to the class, detailed comments by the instructor, and feedback from other students. Assignments will include a variety of activities such as listening, arranging, practicing improvisation at the piano, and some composition. Participants will receive two private lessons with Dr. Arahata in addition to the weekly class sessions. All participants will perform in an online concert at the end of the course.

This course is designed for late-intermediate to advanced-level pianists (collegiate and adult). No previous improvisation experience is required, but participants should be able to sightread or easily learn Classical sonatinas and Chopin waltzes, and should have an understanding of basic chord technique. Basic music theory knowledge is also recommended.

No audition is required for this institute; admission is by résumé review only. To apply, contact Dr. Arahata at; include your music résumé with your message (use this template if you need help putting a résumé together). Registration deadline: May 1, 2024.

Students wishing to take this course for 1 credit must email Dr. Sylvie Beaudette at to register as independent study.

Participant Showcase (online): TBA

Professional Development Hours:  18
$445 / noncredit 

Registration opens January 2024

Read our blog: Summer@Eastman Spotlight: The Pianist’s Guide to Dance Accompaniment