When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Late starts accepted
  • Tutor Sara Dhillon
  • Course Code W21JPMG10B
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

For intermediate players (Grade 4 ABRSM of higher), this fun practical taster workshop introduces you to the dynamic role of the piano in Salsa and Afro-Cuban music. We will focus on harmonic and rhythmic development, improvising, and learning common montuno patterns found in classic Cuban styles.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • • Understand the function of the piano in Salsa and Afro-Cuban music and how to play in these styles.
  • • Play classic montuno patterns and learn common harmonic and rhythmic variations
  • • Be familiar with some common Cuban music styles including Salsa, Son montuno, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha, Bolero etc.
  • • Have a better understanding of how to improve your music reading in this style including exercises to help you improve your sense of rhythm, an important facet of playing Latin music.


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee
  • Class format and activities

    You will be taught online playing on your own piano or keyboard and you will be directly accompanied by the tutor. You will be set various rhythmic and harmonic exercises to help you play in this style and will be provided with bespoke backing tracks with which to practise outside of the class. You will also listen to musical examples, do some clapping exercises, practise some of the new rhythms and learn how to improvise over some simple Salsa and Afro-Cuban grooves. Constructive and supportive feedback from your tutor will help you succeed during the class.

    Entry requirements

    You will need some competence on your instrument, preferably at Grade 4 (ABRSM) standard or higher and be able to play basic chords.

    What you need to know before you enrol

    You will need a printer so you can print off any handouts sent by the tutor before the start of the course. If you don’t have a printer, you can view the pdfs digitally on whichever device you’re using. This is an online course, therefore you will need access to a personal computer/laptop/ipad with working internal microphone and camera, and decent internet wi-fi connection. You will also need to have and basic IT skills, in order to be able to access and use effectively the online material, eg. the online platforms for the live sessions and shared material. Ahead of the first session, you will receive information about the exact format and length of the live part of the course, together with guidance on how to access the relevant platforms. During the first session, you will receive guidance from your tutor about how to access the online course material, such as recordings and sheet music

    What you need

    Notebook and pen it you want to take any notes. Also a metronome would be useful (digital is fine).

    What you can do next

    You could join one of the following classes in the Autumn/Winter terms: Afro-Cuban and Salsa Music (Practical Study Course), Bossa Nova and Brazilian Music Classics (Winter Term only), Jazz Harmony and Ear-Training. Ask your tutor for more information or contact the music department.