Neo-Soul Harmony & Improvisation for Keyboardists

Wed. 6–7:30 pm 4/3 – 5/29 (9 weeks)

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Neo-Soul Harmony & Improvisation for Keyboardists
Age Adult
Event Type Class
Department Piano and Keys
Day Wed
Instructor Marcelino Quiroz
Status online event

Have you ever wondered how artists like Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper and Moonchild write their music? In this class, you will learn how to hear, analyze, improvise and write your very own neo-soul tunes. Take a deep dive into neo-soul/jazz harmony through a series of ear training exercises, harmonic analysis methods, improvisation and chord scale usage techniques, and reharmonization and composition strategies, ultimately composing your own neo-soul chord progression or song by the end of the term. Prerequisites: basic keyboard proficiency and knowledge of chord structures (triads and 7th chords).

About Marcelino Quiroz

B.M. Film Scoring (’04), Berklee College of Music (piano principal), studied jazz piano performance with Joanne Brackeen; Professional Musician: performing regularly on piano, synth and Hammond B-3 in the Greater Cleveland area (Bluewater Kings Band and others) in a variety of genres, including: jazz, funk, neo-soul, R&B, reggae and more; Musical Director/Bandleader: The Mars Express (neo-soul/cosmic gospel); Principal Film Composer/Audio Editor: MRQ Productions; Private Piano Instructor/Certified K-6 Educator: 19 years experience teaching music theory, harmony & improvisation to groups and individuals, ranging from beginner children to advanced-level adults; Faculty/Curriculum Development: Wrote and currently teaching ‘Neo-soul Harmony & Improvisation for Keyboardists’ at the CA Jazz Conservatory (

Student Reviews 

“Extremely well prepared and structured, especially given the confinement due to Covid. Marcelino went out of his way to always look for tools that would display his playing better on screen, including apps to display chords, keyboard, and music notations.”

“The class went beyond what I was expecting. Really glad I took it.” 

“I loved this class. In addition to being an amazing knowledgable player, Marcelino is able to clearly explain and break down concepts. It is clear he is passionate about neo soul.  I liked how we worked on ear training and not just theory. I also really enjoyed how we got to pick songs to break down and analyze them. This was the best music class I’ve ever taken. The progression of material covered in class was very well structured.” 

“Marcelino is a wonderful teacher. If there was a moment during class when a student had a question or comment, he always gave ample attention to answer thoroughly and make sure the student understood the concept or material fully before moving on. He always said – during and at the end of class –  that he was happy to answer any questions or help us if we got stuck on homework assignments as well.” 

“Best class ever! I’m looking forward to taking another class at CJC or, hopefully in the future, taking a Neo-Soul Piano level 2 if it ever becomes available. I really enjoyed my experience and learned so much.”