Full Course Curriculum

Sheet Music | 3 Mini Courses | 5 In-Depth Courses | Performance Videos and MP3s for Study

    1. Course Overview and Study Plan

    1. Silent Night PDF

    2. Away in a Manger PDF

    3. O Come All Ye Faithful PDF

    4. Deck the Halls PDF

    5. Joy to the World PDF

    1. 1 - Introduction

    2. 2.1 - Review of Intervals

    3. 2.2 - Building and Reading Triads

    4. 3.1 - Interval and Blocked Triad Practice

    5. 3.2 - Interval and Blocked Triad Practice (P2)

    6. 4.1 - Application of Concepts to "O Come All Ye Faithful" Left Hand

    7. 4.2 - Application to Page 2 of "O Come All Ye Faithful" and Using Quick Recognition to Find Harder Shapes

    8. 5.1 - Using Chord Shape to Read Hand Position

    9. 5.2 - Using Chord Shape to Read Hand Position (Advanced)

    10. 6 - Horizontal Shape Reading Guide

    11. 7 - Shape Principles Applied Away from Music Notation

    12. 8 - Summary and Recap

    1. 1 - Introduction

    2. 2 - The Importance of Scales and Arpeggios

    3. 3 - Scales Overview

    4. 4 - Arpeggios Overview

    5. 5 - Ideas to Keep Scales and Arpeggios Interesting

    6. 6 - Targeted Left Hand Practice

    1. 1 - Introduction

    2. 2.1 - What Do the 2 Fingering Choices Mean?

    3. 2.2 - Basic Concepts of Choosing Fingerings

    4. 2.3 - Measure 11 and Developing Your Own Fingerings

    5. 2.4 - Measure 5 and Developing Your Own Fingerings (cont.)

    6. 2.5 - Measures 27-29 and Developing Your Own Fingerings (cont.)

    7. 2.6 - Fingering Recap

    8. 3.1 - The Art of the Phrase (Measures 5-6)

    9. 3.2 - The Art of the Phrase: Dynamics and the Bullseye

    10. 3.3 - Using the Left Hand to Shape the Right Hand

    11. 4 - Counter Melodies

    12. 5 - Tackling the 16th Notes

    13. 6.1 - Musicality: Background Tempo and The Backwards Arrow

    14. 6.2 - Musicality: Recital Tempo and Rubato

    1. 1 - Introduction

    2. 2.1 - Ways to Interpret 2 Repeated Pitches and Color of Chords

    3. 2.2 - Letting Rhythm and Harmony Help Dictate Rubato Choices

    4. 3.1 - Basic Left Hand Feel

    5. 3.2 - Inner Voices in Left Hand

    6. 3.3 - Right Hand Thumb and Left Hand Large Rolls

    7. 3.4 - Left Hand Jumps and Fingering Choices

    8. 4 - Finger Legato and Holding Voices

    9. 5 - Form and How It Impacts Musical Choices

About this course

  • $247.00
  • 99 lessons
  • 9 hours of video content
  • Lifetime Access
  • Click on "Silent Night" to expand and find a FREE lesson preview!

Hey hey, I'm Charles!

I'm an International Award-Winning Pianist, I've collaborated with Grammy-Award winners, I've taught Finalists on America's Got Talent... I've spent over $150,000 on my music lessons and degree programs studying with the world's best... AND YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO to still get the best music education money can buy.

Ready to take your playing to the next level?

"Next Level Piano: Christmas Edition" teaches 5 holiday favorites, but it is SO much more than that.

  • 5 Main Courses: Through music, Charles teaches concepts like emotional connection, storytelling, how to choose your own fingerings, wrist and hand techniques, chord voicing, phrasing, the dynamics "bullseye", tempo choices, practice tips, and even MORE! All presented in ways that pertain to ALL of your music, not just these 5 pieces.

  • 3 Mini Courses: 1) The Damper Pedal, 2) How to Improve Your Sightreading, 3) Extra Technique and LH "bespoke" exercises.

  • 5 New Christmas Arrangements: Intermediate Level, and available in the course as PDF downloads direct to your device.

  • Piano Visualizer Videos: For those who like the added visual aid of the "synthesia" style or "waterfall" videos, recorded by Charles himself.

  • All Is Calm - Peaceful Piano Christmas EP: Felted-piano performances of all 5 arrangements, recorded by Charles himself.

Individually, this entire package would sell for $1,610... BUT


What Others Are Saying...

“Few people have the ability to take a complex subject, parse it down to the essential elements and then explain it in a fashion that makes sense to the rest of us mere mortals. Charles Szczepanek is one of these born teachers. There are literally hundreds of piano programs and courses on YouTube and similar platforms. What differentiates ‘Next Level Piano: Christmas Edition” is that Charles has constructed his course from the viewpoint of a true instructor. Charles is more than a great pianist and performer; he can actually explain music. This new course from Pianist Academy is simply stated, ‘Excellent’. I am an adult, intermediate piano player and my comments come from that perspective. I am always anxious to improve my skills and to learn new songs. When I first reviewed the syllabus for Next Level Piano: Christmas Edition, I thought this might just be another run-of- the-mill, ‘how-to’ course of Christmas music. I was very wrong. This course is not really about Christmas music, although it does have Christmas music to learn. Charles has taken a unique approach in developing the program. He leads the student step-by-step through the process of learning to read a score by chord shapes (not just notes), analyzing and understanding the harmony of the piece, how to play efficiently and logically in order to make the music flow, AND YES, he also helps the student discover how to make the music sing. All of this is accomplished in an easy to learn format suitable for students at an intermediate level and beyond. The concepts taught in this course are applicable to every single piece of music you will ever want to play.”

Louise Bailey

“I’ve studied piano for 7 years, two of which were part of a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance. I went into this course knowing most of my scales and being an ok sight reader (or so I thought), and I can confidently say that Charles gave me some incredible new tools to learn, not only his music, but any piece I endeavor to learn in the future. This course gave me perfectly sized lessons with enough content to challenge, but not overwhelm me. I loved that I could move through as many lessons as desired or camp out on a particular set of exercises until I felt prepared to tackle the next lesson. I found myself revisiting previous lessons as warmups or reinforcements daily. The layout of the course is exceptionally easy to navigate and the volume of materials was shocking given the price point. I would have expected to pay hundreds more for instruction and materials of this caliber. I got from this course what would have taken months or years of “lessons” from an “online piano teacher.” I know I will continue working through the exercises and concepts in this course for many months ahead and really look forward to taking my playing to the “Next Level.” Overall, 12/10 would recommend to anyone, beginner to advanced, who wants to become a more well-rounded musician that can find and convey their own voice through music.”

Eliza Bustos

“For those that are self-taught or beginning, the lessons are a must-watch. Easily absorbed over time or quickly, each session will bring life to your daily exercises and enhance your abilities. Relish in the historical recaps, savor each sentiment, and improve your instincts with this class. As Charles says, you will “feel the music!” No longer will your sheets be flat notes on a page; each piece you play will jump into life with a discerning glance. While the lessons relate to the particular Christmas pieces, many can be prescribed to alleviate the pains of a challenging or difficult piece that you may want to add to your repertoire. For those that have learned music theory and played piano for years, this IS the course for you! Charles’ teaching is impeccable. He reminds us of the simplicity of why we know what we know! All of the theory programmed into our brains comes to life again with a flourishing fresh perspective and a renewed vigor for relevant practice.”

Jackie Morgan

“This course is a monster. Whether you are beginner, intermediate or advanced pianist you can progress quickly by using Charles’s methods to improve rhythm, sight reading skills in learning the Blocking technic, feeling Chord Shapes to Read Hand Positions. You will learn how to tell a story in your own playing by following Charles through these five beautifully arranged Christmas songs. If you are committed to studying the 5 In-Depth Courses along with the practice downloads and apply what is presented, you will be at the Next Level.”

Bob Geurs

But What If???

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if I don't have time?

    The entire course, all videos, recordings, and sheet music is YOURS... FOREVER. You can take things exactly how you'd like to. Individual modules average only 8 minutes, so you can choose to tackle many concepts in one sitting if you have time, or only one concept if time is short.

  • What makes this course different?

    Charles Szczepanek learned music and piano from some of the world's best concert pianists, professors, and teachers. His knowledge is vast and beyond 99.9% of local piano teachers AND teachers online... yet he also understands how many people WANT and NEED to learn about music. Lessons are real and straightforward, even though they are eye-opening. They aren't esoteric, academic, or pretentious. They get down to business helping you be the best musician you can be, in terms and words that you will understand! OH! And the concepts taught here aren't covered ANYWHERE ELSE online! Instructors usually reserve teaching concepts like these for their high-paying in-person students.

  • Is this course right for me?

    The arrangements themselves are written for the Intermediate Pianist: RCM level 6, ABRSM level 6, Henle level 3. Despite the level markings, Charles has successfully taught these concepts to a wide variety of pianists from first year of study to those preparing for college auditions in music and even other piano teachers themselves!

  • Do I have to be able to read music notation?

    Yes. BUT, the entire mini course about reading music is designed to help you read better, faster, and more accurately than ever before. And if you need some extra help, the piano visualizer videos are the perfect bridge between styles of learning.

  • How long is the membership?

    There is none! You pay once and get lifetime access to all of the lessons. There's no worry about squeezing enough time to make this course worth it. You can revisit it literally any time... ever.

  • Is there a return policy?

    We are confident you will love this course! However, if you don't feel like it helped you, we offer a 30-day 100% Money Back Guarantee! Send us a message and we will refund your purchase.

Meet Your Instructor

Charles Szczepanek

Charles is an international prize-winning pianist, has collaborated with GRAMMY Award winners, and has taught music for over 20 years to everyone from his next-door neighbor to finalists on NBC's America's Got Talent. Through Pianist Academy, he now brings that wealth of knowledge to you: the beginner, the intermediate, the professional, or the fellow music teacher. Music for his own projects and those collaborating with other musicians has been streamed tens of millions of times via YouTube, Spotify, and other major platforms. He was a precollege student of Dr. Daniel Paul Horn, and an undergraduate and graduate student of Professor Robert Hamilton,and he also studied with such notables as Vladimir Feltsman, Alexander Korsantia, Susan Starr, Phillip Kawin, and Paul Ostrovski.


Most piano teachers charge anywhere from $30-$100+ per lesson. So, if you have one lesson a week, you would spend anywhere from $1,560-$5,200 on piano lessons each year. Next Level Piano: Christmas Edition, will give you lifetime access to a private membership site, over 9 hours of lessons, and great performances to study. This package is valued at $1,610… But you’re not paying full price today…you’re only paying $247! This means you pay less than $3 per lesson! What’s possibly holding you back?