Ken Johansen

Ken Johansen is on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, where he teaches keyboard skills, including sight-reading, keyboard harmony, and score reading, to piano majors. Johansen holds degrees from Peabody and from the University of North Texas, and trained extensively in the pedagogical tradition of Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He has given concerts and lectures across the U.S. and France and has written articles for American Music Teacher, Piano Journal, Clavier, and Piano and Keyboard. He is one of the co-inventors of Read Ahead, a piano sight-reading app for the iPad and is also the author of Harmony at the Piano, a textbook on using keyboard harmony to learn advanced piano music.

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Featured content

From the Ground Up

From the Ground Up is a series devoted to learning individual pieces using outlines and reduced scores that help you to practise more effectively, memorize more consciously, and interpret music more creatively.... Read >>

Ken Johansen Learning pieces

Nocturne in E-flat

Op. 9, no. 2

Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat Op. 9 No. 2, has long been a favourite of both pianists and audiences with it's richly-ornamented melody, supported by exquisite harmonies in the left hand. This From the Ground Up walk-through provides a detailed guide to learning this piece efficiently and with understanding and... Read >>

Ken Johansen Learning pieces Chopin

Von fremden Ländern und Menschen

Kinderszenen, Op. 15, no. 1

Schumann’s Von fremden Länder und Menschen (Of Foreign Lands and People), the first piece of his Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), is a poetic evocation of the dream-like world of children. In this article, the three strands of the music — melody, bass, and accompaniment — are studied individually before being... Read >>

Ken Johansen Learning pieces Schumann

Little Prelude in F

BWV 927 (From the Notebook for Wilhelm Friedmann Bach)

Bach’s lovely Little Prelude in F is a harmonic prelude, essentially an elaborated chord progression. In this article, the basic harmonic skeleton of the piece is gradually fleshed out, allowing students to understand its simple underlying structure, and to work systematically on its various layers.... Read >>

Ken Johansen Learning pieces Bach

Sonatina in G - First Movement

This walkthrough of the first movement of Beethoven’s popular Sonatina in G will help students to assimilate essential elements of the Classical style: articulation, balance, ornamentation, and clear phrasing. The series of reduced scores provides students with a step-by-step approach to learning the piece, and makes it easier for teachers... Read >>

Ken Johansen Learning pieces Beethoven