Hear That!

a harmony course for creative pianists

As heard at the MTNA National Conference! 

Are you struggling with understanding the "harmonic grammar" in the music? Do you desire to play with more expression? Are you frustrated by "dry analysis" without creativity? 

Whether you have years of formal training or you are self-taught, learn the Harmonic Expression™ 4-step Process to quickly transform notes into meaning!

Hsing-ay Hsu, Steinway Artist and former University of CO faculty, presents a 6 week harmonic analysis intensive with a fun contest and the chance to win great prizes.


Lead with the question "What For"? Questions to consider:
*What does an understanding of the composer's harmonic language allow me to do with my playing?
*How do I translate the Tension-Release moments and the emotions implied by the choice to chords to make my playing more conversational and spontaneous?
*How does my understanding help me organize the musical material
I will guide you towards discerning the nuances and multiple options that is the fruit of careful score study and fluency in music theory, one step at a time.


Crack the harmonic code! Get the skills to see the compositional designs hidden in plain sight, and help your audience savor the harmonic intensity of every "magical moment"...

While having FUN! Celebrate all your incremental steps. I will meet you where you are and guide you with my step by step process for lasting change, so that you have all you need to open your heart to the most emotional element of Western tonal music: the HARMONY!

For the first time in my life, when I am playing, I find myself wondering where is this going? What is [the composer] doing? Instead of just playing the notes.  Marge H. 

Two Formats

2) 6-week Independent Study. Rolling admissions.
Video lessons & homework + 1-hour Private Zoom Coaching

Work at your own speed.

1) 6-week Online Group Intensive & Contest. Next date TBA. Sign up below to be notified.
Video lessons & homework + Live Zoom Masterclass + Contest + Mini-Coachings

Be part of a ZoomRoom-full of cheerleaders encouraging each other to accomplish faster comprehension, more confidence, and expressive playing! 

Why is this class more inspiring than looking at a free YouTube?

"5 Themes for Composing an Intensive"
*NOTE: the following details are for the "Group Intensive & Contest". However, the concepts still apply to the "Individual Course" format.

The Harmonic Expression Process
*Train your ears with this proven 4-step process
-drill for interval identification aurally, mentally, and in the score
-sing the bass line with scale degrees (this should be fun - bring a sense of humor)
-find the skeletal chords to understand the organization of the materials
-express the emotions of harmonic tension-release in multiple layers
*See Musical Prerequisite below

*Six Weekly Challenge modules start and end on your own on WEDNESDAYS, with video lessons, video demo, and score assignments
*Flexibility to prep and re-do at your own pace; Submit the weekly 1-2 minute video homework online. Video tape yourself doing the 4 steps. You can either put on my video and just follow along with me for most of it, or go solo and sing/play on your own. When you feel ready, volunteer to lead in the live masterclass!
*Six 45-minute live masterclasses on SATURDAY mornings to make sure you are gaining mastery
[drills + masterclass + Q&A + peer discussion]. Additional one-on-one time with me.
*Record your video with a button on Flipgrid - it's easy! If you are anxious about sharing your videos, you have the option of only showing it to me. Just let me know.

*Accountability by having scheduled meetings and homework deadlines
*Positive peer pressure
*Peer to peer Learning - compare how others approach the same piece
*Recalibrate study habits and answer "Know Thyself" assessments
*Weekly video uploads of yourself in action
*Share your progress for group encouragement
*Opportunity to "re-do" what you can do better
*Celebrate and recognize your progress by earning points
(If you don't want to compete that's ok too so long as you do the work.)

*A One-on-one 15min Zoom coaching with Hsing-ay to polish your final presentation
*Personal support - email Hsing-ay for a response within 24 hours (TUE-SAT's)
*"If you're not failing, you are not trying." - Brené Brown

*Creative ideas on how to apply harmonic analysis in your practicing, performing, and teaching
*This is the Harmonic Analysis Process that is at the core of my own performing career, has worked for students at all levels, and is required for communicative playing

*Win great prizes in the Group Intensive Friendly Contest! See below.

I now have tools and techniques to improve my aural skills, to examine scores in multiple ways, and to be creative with improvisation. Memorization is easier. I also enjoyed the community of learners and Hsing-ay's teaching style.  John W. 


In our consumer culture, when we buy audiobooks and TV show seasons, more time is associated with more value. However, in learning, more time and effort doesn't automatically produce better results. The strategy has to be coherent. As for teaching, the majority of my time is spent creating brevity for you, in a way that Beethoven cut out all the unnecessary notes so that only the most indispensable notes reach the audience's ears.

This process is Transformation-Driven. It is not a comprehensive "memorize-everything" preparation towards an exam; it is about helping you pinpoint exactly what YOU need to do practically, at this moment in your journey, to be more creative!
*NO rabbit holes trying to do your own DIY diagnosis
*NO wasted time reinforming the wrong habits
*NO procrastination for getting this important work done

(For Group Sessions: 45minute Live Zoom Masterclass + 15minutes Social Learning)
1-2 hours homework, depending on your speed and goals. Plan ahead on set times to do the work in bite-size increments that fit well with your life.

Lifelong Learners & Music Teachers who play the piano. Age 14+. 
Intermediate to Advanced Level.

Ability to read music and play (or sing) comfortably from treble & bass clefs, hold a major triad mentally and sing it, and find the dominant chord aurally and visually. We will use piano scores. 


*Earn points for Saturday Zoom attendance and weekly video submissions.
*During Week 5, each participant will give points to another participant other than themselves.
*The participant with the most points becomes the "Hear That Champion" and earns


1. $250 Scholarship for Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, CO, in August.
2. "Performance & Analysis One-hour Private Session" with Hsing-ay at Aeyons Global Online Music Studio (Value $160)
3. Interview on Youtube Channel "HsingayHsu"

Let's Crack the Code Together!
Questions? thenutmegstudio@gmail.com.
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/NutmegStudioNYC

The Independent Study 6 week Course & 1-hour Private Online Coaching $197 through August 2023
I will invoice you via Zelle or Paypal. Snail nail check is also accepted. Please email thenutmegstudio@gmail.com to confirm registration and coaching schedule.

*Partial scholarship will be considered if finance is preventing you from making a positive impact on others - please make a proposal (including how your impact will be measured) by email.
Sign up for notification of next date!
6 week Group Intensive & Contest:
Limited to 9 Spots
Early Bird Discount - please inquire.
1. Fill out "Registration Form" below.
2. I will email updates.
3. Once your date is confirmed, you can process payment by clicking Paypal "Buy Now" button. Snail nail check or Zelle is also accepted; please email thenutmegstudio@gmail.com to confirm