Understanding Whole Steps and Half Steps on the Piano Keyboard

When looking at a piano keyboard you will see both black and white keys.

What is a half step?

If you play any key on your piano, the very next key, up or down is called a half step.  There are no keys between the first key you play and the second key.

What is a whole step?

Two halves make a whole.  Once again, play a key on your piano, now move up or down by two keys.  The distance from the first key to the second is a whole step.  You should only have one key between your first and second key.

Why are half steps and whole steps important?

Music is made of patterns which are based off scales.  Scales are patterns that work together to create sounds.  Depending on what type of sound you want to create may be determined by which scale structure you choose.

Ready, set, go.

Now that you understand half steps and whole steps you are ready to learn about piano scales.  Check out our How to section.  There you will learn how to play various scales and chords. 

Calendar for 2019 – 2020

This is our schedule for the school year.  You will find all the information you will need for performance classes, rehearsals and recitals listed.


January 8, 2020                   

Rehearsal for Recital                  Steinway Piano Gallery
3:30 to 5:30 pm                                 113418 E. Nora Ave. Spokane Valley WA.  99216


January 11, 2020               

 Winter Recital                                Steinway Piano Gallery
 10:30 am                                               113418 E. Nora Ave. Spokane Valley WA.  99216


February 28, 2020             

Performance Classes                    Steinway Piano Gallery

Jr./Sr. High School at 3:15 to 4:00        113418 E. Nora Ave. Spokane Valley WA.  99216

Elementary at 4:15 – 5:00


March 9 – 13, 2020             

Music Artistry Program              Steinway Piano Gallery
Dates/Time TBA                                   113418 E . Nora Ave. Spokane Valley WA  99216


March 27, 2020                 

Performance Classes                      Steinway Piano Gallery

Jr./Sr. High School at 3:15 to 4:00        113418 E. Nora Ave. Spokane Valley WA.  99216

Elementary at 4:15 – 5:00


March 28 – 29, 2020         

Spokane Symphony                         Spokane Symphony Box Office
Joyce Yang – Pianist                                509-624-1200


April 6 – 10, 2020               Spring Break  


April 22, 2020                   

Rehearsal for Recital                       Steinway Piano Gallery
 3:30 to 5:30 pm                                       113418 E. Nora Ave. Spokane Valley WA.  99216


April 25, 2020                   

Spring Recital                                       Steinway Piano Gallery

10:30 am                                                     113418 E. Nora Ave. Spokane Valley WA.  99216


May 11 – 15, 2020             

Music Fest                                              Gongzaga University
10:30 am                                                       502 E Boone Ave. Spokane WA.  99258


June, 2020                         

Summer Schedule Begins                                       


What Customers Are Saying

“I started piano in the 4th grade.  The focus you have to have, the feelings of your fingers on the keys, reading sheet music, the sound, I fell instantly in love with all of it!  It became my little oasis!  The patience you have to have with yourself is the biggest thing I had to get used to while learning.  I would get frustrated, but Cheryl was always great at reminding me to take a deep breath, maybe stretch for a second, and get back to it.  If you can’t get it 5 times in a row perfectly you have to keep trying.  This has been the greatest thing to remember throughout my high school years, always keep trying.  It will come eventually, but don’t give up, no matter how frustrated you get.  Give yourself a breather and get back to it, because, that feeling of accomplishment, once you get there, is more than worth it.  Thank you Cheryl for always pushing me to do my best and to always keep trying.  I will take that with me throughout my whole life”.  Former Student ~ Grace Foeller


“Cheryl and The Academy of Piano have been a part of our lives for many years.  She is the absolute best of instructors.  The children’s skill with the instrument have steadily increased over time, but they have learned so much more.  They have a general understanding of music as a whole and through that she has helped me to instill in them work ethic, problem solving skills and emotional coping.  We delight to see her and the help that she gives us as our children grow”.  Parent ~ Caroline Warnick


Our Goals

Welcome to The Academy of Piano where you will learn to express yourself through the art of piano.

Our Focus

We are focused on providing high-quality teaching.  All ages and abilities are welcome.  We have two goals.

  • To provide students with knowledge and skills to create music.
  • To teach the student to communicate in an expressive and artistic manner.


Each student receives an individual lesson once a week.  Lessons are given on a weekly basis, with the exception of Thanksgiving week, Christmas week, and Spring Break week.  Students are encouraged not to take more than four weeks off during the summer to continue making progress.


We have two major recitals annually.  They are held at Steinway Piano Gallery located in Spokane Valley, Washington, allowing enough room to invite family and friends.  During the school year, we also have several performance classes, also held at the Steinway location, which allows students to practice performing for each other.


Each year we offer composition workshops during the summer.  Small groups of students are combined to learn the skills of writing music.  Students also participate in music artistry programs throughout the year as well as Royal Conservatory Exams.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and we will be more than happy to help you.

All the best,