NPC offers instant guitar, piano workshops | Briefs

SNOWFLAKE — Professional pianist and music director Craig Coffman will share the techniques and tricks used by professional piano and guitar players during noncredit “instant” piano and guitar for busy adults and teens workshops.

The workshops will take place at Northland Pioneer College’s Snowflake/Taylor – Silver Creek Campus, 1611 S. Main St., on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Coffman teaches the use of chords as a simple way to play your favorite songs.

“Your former piano teacher might not approve, but thousands have learned the secret of how to play piano without reading music,” commented Coffman.

His approach reveals how the pros play. He has extensive experience as a professional pianist and music director. Having taught piano privately for many years, Coffman will share piano players’ tricks of the trade. For over 25 years, this workshop has brought seldom taught and highly sought-after information to more than 100,000 nationwide.

Coffman’s “Instant Piano for Busy People” workshop (reference MUS 099x-43) meets from 9 a.m. to noon.

“If you can find middle C and know the meaning of ‘Every Good Boy Does Fine,’ you already know enough to enroll in this workshop,” Coffman said. “While the classical approach stresses discipline and precision in playing, this approach stresses enjoyment and getting great sounds early on. While precision is vital for classical music, this ‘pain free’ method is more suitable for pop music of all kinds, from Broadway to Rhythm and Blues.”

The total cost for the workshop is $54 and includes the $25 registration fee plus $29 paid directly to the instructor for an Instant Piano book and DVD. Students must be 18 and older.

An ideal follow-up is Coffman’s “How to Play Piano by Ear” workshop (reference MUS 099x-41) from 1-3:30 p.m.

Uncover one of music’s deepest mysteries — how to play songs without relying on printed scores — in this practical presentation of music theory. Learn how to predict chord progressions, discover how to learn from recordings, and how to transpose keys, all explained in simple, everyday language.

Open to anyone over 18 with a basic understanding of chords on any instrument, the total cost is $54, which includes the $25 fee, plus $29 paid directly to the instructor for the workbook and practice CD.

Coffman’s “Instant Guitar for Hopelessly Busy People” (reference MUS 099x-42) is a crash course in basic chords. “In just a few hours, you can learn enough about playing the guitar to give you years of musical enjoyment, and you won’t have to take private lessons to do it,” noted Coffman.

The workshop also covers the three main chord types, strumming patterns and how to play songs using chords. He will also list the pitfalls to avoid when buying a guitar and how to tune the instrument. Students must be 13 and up and bring an acoustic guitar. The class meets from 3:45 to 6:15 p.m. The total cost for the workshop is $54, which includes the $25 registration fee and $29 is paid directly to the instructor for an Instant Guitar book and DVD.

Sign up for the “Instant Piano,” “Play by Ear” or “Guitar” workshops at least three days before the class starts to ensure it is not canceled due to insufficient enrollment. Register at any NPC location during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.

NPC’s Community and Corporate Learning Division provides personal interest and specialized corporate training throughout NPC’s service area.

For more information about noncredit, personal interest classes, contact Katie Olsen, community and corporate learning specialist, 800-266-7845, ext. 6244, or email or visit and click on the “Noncredit Classes Learning Adventures” link.

For corporate training, contact Royce Kincanon, community and corporate learning coordinator, (800) 266-7845, ext. 6239, or email

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