Award-winning pianist and producer Kiefer and music education platform Soundfly have teamed up to launch a comprehensive new piano course, Kiefer: Keys, Chords, and Beats. Kiefer, known for both his solo work and for his collaborations with artists including Mndsgn, Drake, and Anderson .Paak, creates music that blurs the lines between jazz and hip-hop.
The course is available today in Soundfly’s subscription library of creative music courses and offers an inside look at Kiefer’s creative process, giving students the tools to transform their own piano skills.
Kiefer Shackelford (who performs as Kiefer) is part of a new vanguard of progressive musicians, pairing deep instrumental skill with an electronic sound and hip-hop beats. In 2018, Kiefer joined legendary music label Stones Throw Records, home to such hip-hop heavyweights as J Dilla, Madlib, and MF Doom, as well as Kiefer’s collaborators Mndsgn, DJ Harrison, and Knxwledge. Kiefer won a Grammy in 2020 for his production work on Anderson .Paak’s Ventura. The launch of his new course comes as he wraps up a North American tour in support of his latest album,When There’s Love Around.
Kiefer: Keys, Chords, and Beats features over 40 videos of Kiefer as he walks students through his artistic and technical approach to a series of creative challenges on keyboard and piano — from writing an inspiring chord progression, to harmonizing a melody, to crafting a great solo. The course features 57 lessons made up of readings, audio examples, backing track downloads, sheet music, activities, writing prompts, and much more.
Students will learn how to craft sophisticated chord progressions, write and harmonize melodies, develop their improvisational skills, and bring full, piano-based tracks together with beats and electronic elements.
Soundfly CEO Ian Temple said of making the course, “This is the kind of course I dreamed of one day making when we were starting Soundfly. I’ve never encountered an instructor who has inspired my own piano playing more than Kiefer has over the time we’ve spent making the course. I know that this course is going to be a game-changer for both pianists and producers who play piano.”
Kiefer has shared hundreds of piano lessons with students on his Twitch channel and through private master classes over recent years, but this is the first time he’s putting his approach to music making together into an overarching course.
Describing his motivation for filming a course, Kiefer said, “A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that great musicians were just born different or that they have access to some sort of divine inspiration. But over the past 10 years, I’ve learned so much that has changed that idea for me and taught me that anything can be learned. Anything can be studied. Anything can be improved. And those are the lessons that I’ve put into this course.”