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Key-Notes: A Piano and Voice Exploration

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Course Description

The objective of the course is twofold: to build piano skills, improve music reading skills and music theory knowledge; and to develop vocal production, sight-sing skills and ensemble experience. The course is designed for a multi-level classroom, so complete beginners and intermediate pianists and singers can learn in this self-paced course. There will be an element of course tailoring for the needs of individual student.

Goals and objectives of the class are:

  • to learn/improve keyboard technique: fingering, hand position, touch etc…
  • to develop vocal technique: posture, breathing, support etc...
  • to improve sight reading and sight singing skills
  • to play examples of classical, jazz and popular piano and vocal literature
  • to participate in ensemble playing and singing

Since this is a skills-based course, ongoing work daily and regular class attendance will be essential.

This course fulfills the Creative Expression (CE) requirement.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Marie-Louise Catsalis


 Marie-Louise Catsalis

Marie-Louise Catsalis initially trained as a piano major. She performed several piano concertos in Australia and Italy. is a conductor, vocal coach and keyboard accompanist (piano and harpsichord). she completed a graduate opera repetiteur's course at the Sydney Conservatorium in 1993. That year she also took part in the Pacific Music Festival, Saporo, Japan, where she gave recitals with chamber soloists of the Vienna Philharmonic and Santa Cecilia Orchestras, played in the festival's orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas, and worked with composer Lou Harrison. Thereafter she began to specialize in vocal music of the Italian Baroque, taking lessons in Italy and eventually completing the Master of Music degree at the University of New England, Australia, in 1998. She went on to doctoral studies at the University of Newcastle, Australia, which focused on the serenatas or occasional vocal music of Alessandro Scarlatti (degree conferred 2005). Marie-Louise has experience in collaborative piano, harpsichord and other historical keyboards. Since coming to Stanford, she has produced and been Musical Director for fifteen productions, including A Little Night Music, The Ballad of Baby Doe, Candid and most recently, One Touch of Venus, and Company.

Benjamin Liupaogo

Benjamin Liupaogo

Benjamin Liupaogo is currently on the Stanford University Department of Music faculty as a full-time Lecturer of Vocal Studies. He is a proud Pacific Islander Samoan, San Francisco Bay Area tenor and collaborative pianist who has performed in Europe and throughout the U.S. He is currently an AGMA Tenor with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, an Extra Chorus Tenor with the San Francisco Opera Chorus, a Tenor with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, Tenor with American Bach Soloists, and a Tenor with the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys.  In 2017 – 2019, Benjamin was a tenor young artist with Madison Opera, performing and covering operatic roles. Benjamin served as an assistant to the director and vocal coach at the Música nelle Marche summer program in Urbino, Italy, from 2017–2022 and performed in many Italian cities.  He also served as a vocal coach on the faculty for Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute.

As a well-versed classical musician, he has performed in various professional companies and organizations in opera, musical theater, concerts, recitals, chamber ensembles, and choral ensembles. Along with singing, Benjamin is a collaborative pianist, voice teacher, repetiteur, vocal coach, church musician, and music director/conductor for musical theater, opera, and choral ensembles. As a collaborative pianist, Benjamin has worked as a music director, vocal coach, repetiteur, and pianist for Boston University Tanglewood Institute, San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, Roosevelt University, DePaul University, North Park University, University of Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin Madison, The Floating Opera Company, Madison Opera, Pacific Boy Choir Academy, Golden Gate Boys Choir and Men, San Francisco Boys Chorus, Sacred Heart Atherton, and The Hamlin School.