Instructor: Dr. Andrew Focks


This course series will traverse general musicianship knowledge required for advanced execution of musical performance. Topics include harmony, musical structure, ear training, composition, history, style, terms, improvisation, and analysis. The student that completes all courses will have received a thorough and complete foundation in western music, equivalent to, or exceeding, college entry level at most universities/conservatories.


All levels focus on providing many examples of western art music to explore various skills, concepts, and executions of subject matter. Classes will be interactive, with several projects throughout the course to showcase the student’s growth and understanding of the material.

These classes will help provide students with a toolkit for music success, sharpening their skills which will influence the sophistication of their musical understanding. Influenced by the Russian and European Schools, history, theory, improvisation, terminology, composition, and more will be explored in a systematic way to provide valuable structure to their musical thinking and skills.


By the end of this series, students will have been exposed to, and analyzed, dozens upon dozens of pieces by composers such as D. Scarlatti, Handel, J.S. Bach, Corelli, Telemann, Purcell, Vivaldi, Stamitz, L. Mozart, W.A. Mozart, Clementi, Dussek, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Säens, Sibelius, Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Babbitt, Arvo Pärt, and more representing genres of opera, chamber music, vocal, symphonic, and piano repertoire.

Playing the Piano

We offer 3 levels of Musicianship courses: Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advanced. Each level will be divided into two courses consisting of 12 class sessions each.


The Fundamentals Musicianship class is 60 minutes in length and meets once per week. Open to students ages 8-12


The Intermediate (75 minutes) course meets once per week. Open to students ages 13-17 who have successfully passed an entrance assessment for the course; the assessment will take after registration and before classes start.

The Advanced (75 minutes) course meets once per week. Open to students ages 15 to adult who have successfully passed an entrance assessment for the course; the assessment will take after registration and before classes start.

***Please note that class meeting times are Eastern Standard Time (ET).***

Piano Keys




This course is ideal for students (typically ages 8-12) looking to gain a basic understanding of musical foundations and are eager to take their musicianship skills to the next level. Certificates will be issued upon the successful completion of the final assessment

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4:15-5:30PM EST


This course is ideal for students that already have a solid knowledge and foundation in music theory basics, and are eager to take their skills to the next level. Certificates will be issued upon the successful completion of the final assessment.



5:45-7PM EST


This course is ideal for students that are at an advanced level and are aspiring to understand musical theory and musicianship at a college level.

Certificates will be issued upon the successful completion of the final assessment. 



12 weekly live class sessions taught by our outstanding faculty, Dr. Andrew Focks

Weekly homework assignments with homework and project ideas

Detailed instructor evaluations of students' written assignments and projects

Weekly assigned readings in our textbook

Detailed reporting that allows students and parents to track progress and performance throughout the course



Our teachers are world class musicians as well as experienced classroom instructors at top level conservatories. Our instructors draw from their personal experiences to inspire and challenge eager music students, and they serve as role models for our students who aspire to similar success.



Learning about musicianship can be fascinating and engaging. Students best learn in an interactive environment where they participate actively in class discussion, activities, and be encouraged to form their own creative ideas and thinking skills.

Andrew Focks, DMA

Cleveland Institute of Music


Greatly in demand as a teacher, Dr. Andrew Focks regularly works with students of various ages and levels furthering their musicianship skill sets. He has taught multiple courses in music theory and analysis, ear training, improvisation, sight-reading, and more, at the precollege through university levels. His lectures, “The Complete Musician: Getting Behind the Notes” have been presented for students as well as teacher workshops and conferences throughout the USA and Europe. 


Dr. Focks’ piano students have performed in venues including Millennium Park (Chicago), Severance Hall (Cleveland), Carnegie Hall (New York), Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles), Olympiahalle (Munich), Sportpaleis (Antwerp), The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), the White House, and more. They continue to be frequent scholarship recipients and competition prizewinners at the regional, national, and international levels and further their studies at some of the world’s most distinguished music institutions.


Born in Germany, Focks received his early music training at the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. He holds degrees in piano performance from Florida State University (BM ’11), Rice University (MM ’13), and the Cleveland Institute of Music (DMA ’16) and was awarded numerous scholarships and awards throughout his studies. His education was further supplemented at numerous summer festivals, including seven years at the Mozarteum Sommerakademie in Salzburg. His list of teachers and mentors include Arnaldo Cohen, Jon Kimura Parker, Daniel Shapiro, and Ya-Fei Chuang.


Focks has served on the faculty of several music schools, universities, and summer academies, including annual engagements at festivals in both the United States and Europe. He is currently a member of the piano and music theory faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory & Continuing Education Division. Working with teachers and students from around the world, he is also an independent teacher and coach, and travels extensively as a performer, adjudicator, workshop and masterclass clinician, and teacher.


An award-winning pianist, Andrew Focks has performed as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician in venues throughout the United States, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Germany, England, and China. He has made successful solo debuts in concert halls around the world, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and has been broadcasted on television and radio. Within the United States he has appeared on artist series and performed in Cleveland, Houston, Chicago, New York, Interlochen, Ft. Myers, Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Tallahassee, Columbus, Tampa, and Albuquerque, among others.


Focks gives frequent masterclasses and lectures throughout the United States and Europe, including at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (Chicago) and multiple state music teacher association conferences. His articles have been published by Piano Magazine as cover stories and online content, and he is routinely asked to sit on the jury of competitions and festivals. He is the current President of the Ohio Music Teachers Association after previously serving as President of the Northeast Ohio Music Teachers Association and Vice President of Student Activities on the OhioMTA State Executive Committee. He has also been an advising member of multiple arts committees and chair for music conferences.