Music Theory & The Expression of Emotion: Piano

Learn the essentials of playing the piano through the fundamental lens of music theory. This course will help you understand how to build and play any major & minor scale, every major, minor & diminished triad, and understand the relationship between chords in the key of a song. Taking this course will give you the foundation you need to truly become a musician and love playing the piano. It’s easier than you think!



Introduction and How to Optimize Your Learning

Welcome to Music Theory and the Expression of Emotion! In this warm-up lesson, your new instructor Sami Ghawi introduces himself and outlines what you can expect from the course. He also explains how you can optimize your learning so you get the most out of the lessons.


How Sound Works

Now that you’ve met your instructor and have an idea of what you’ll be learning, it’s time to dive into the foundation of music: sound. In this lesson, Sami explains how music is a combination of individual sounds and pitches. You’ll learn how string tension, length, and thickness shape the sounds in instruments like guitars and pianos In addition, you’ll discover how altering these factors affects pitch and vibration.


Understanding the Piano

With the knowledge of how sound contains certain pitches, you’re now ready to hop on the piano–the best instrument for illustrating music theory! Here, you’ll gain an understanding of the keyboard and learn some of the basic mechanics of how the piano works. You’ll also learn about notes and their relationships to each other.


The Emotions of Music

Have you ever wondered how music has the ability to make you feel a certain way? In this lesson, Sami breaks down the emotions of music. You will learn the difference between major and minor keys and how they bring feeling and emotion to music.


The Major Lesson

So you know the notes, and you know what major and minor chords sound like, but how do we build them? In this segment, you’ll be making the piano sing melodically by learning your first scale and your first chords. The major scale and major chords are essential in your musical journey and Sami will discuss how they relate to emotion, making them easier to remember.


The Minor Lesson

Now that you know your scales, learning chords is easy. Using your knowledge from the previous lesson, you’ll now learn how you can build your minor chords and scale. Sami will also explain how these chords and scales differ from the major scale.


Diminished Chords

Did you know that there’s more to music than just major and minor? This lesson will introduce you to the world of diminished chords. You’ll learn what they are, what function they serve in terms of the emotion they convey, and how to build them using the knowledge you already know about major and minor chords.


How to Find Any Chord

Now that you have an understanding of how to build scales and chords, we’re going to show you an easy way to find these chords anywhere on the keyboard. This lesson will help you to develop muscle memory when playing chords around the piano! By the end, you’ll be able to find ANY major and minor chord on the keyboard.


Telling a Story with Diatonic Chords

In this lesson, Sami will be taking everything that we’ve learned so far and applying it to make chord progressions. You’ll learn about diatonic chords and the emotions behind them, as well as how you can put these chords together in different ways to make beautiful music. At the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to start playing actual songs!


Wrap-Up and Where to Go Next

You’ve made it! We’ve covered a lot in this course, and now you have the fundamentals of music theory and how it relates to the expression of emotion. In this last lesson, we recap everything you’ve learned in this lesson, and provide some guidance on what you can do next for further learning. Thanks for joining us!

What’s in OUR COURSes

Our courses are designed to give you the fundamentals you need to accelerate your muscial journey and start playing right away. To do that, we have multiple assignments, quizzes and exercises throughout the courses, PDFs that you can download for offline review, and a number of Jam To This tracks that you can practice your chords and scales to! We WANT you to learn, so we’ve made it easy for you to do that! 

8-10 educational videos

Learn and Review at your own pace

Over 10 hours of additional videos

Access the ever growing catalogue of mini music lessons and Jam To This practice tracks


Practice & Reinforce your knowledge

STEP by STEP learning

Build fundamentals that you'll never forget

100% Online

Worldwide access for all


Whenever you want to review what you've learned



Sami Ghawi

A seasoned musician, educator, and community builder, Sami brings a dynamic fusion of passion and expertise to the world of music education. With a commitment to breaking down barriers, Sami empowers students to explore the emotional depths of music through innovative teaching methods. His leadership extends beyond the classroom, driving community engagement and youth development initiatives. Sami's dedication to the transformative power of music is evident in every chord played and every young mind inspired. As the founder of FUSIONpresents, he embodies the spirit of harmonizing education, creativity, and community impact.


We highly recommend Sami and FUSIONpresents to anyone who is interested in developing their child's or own musical potential.
Dr. Carlos Tesler-Mabe & Dr. Karin Kemeny
We have found Sami to be a very compassionate and understanding coach. His love of music and teaching is evident in the manner he approaches his students.
Sujatha Menon
Taking music lessons with Sami has opened up my experience of music and life in a new and in-depth way. I’m just one of many, lucky enough to experience Sami’s special gift of teaching.
Brenda Sieg
Under Sami's guidance, I quickly went from remembering only three-chord rock and roll to playing various styles from standards to latin to jazz. I learned to keep the rhythm as well as lead lines.
Rick Allen
Sami Ghawi possesses a rarely seen magnetic charm from the moment you meet him that is genuine and everlasting. [His] love for music shines through in so many different ways and will be pivotal in the future for countless up and coming artists to learn these special musical talents.
Cory Furlonger
GM, The Raven Pub
I have known Sami Ghawi for several years in the music business. Sami is a wonderful musician and educator. His FUSIONpresents program is very well thought out and there certainly is a great need for his program. I have sent some of my own students to him and I am very pleased with their success. 
Margaret Taylor
Music Educator