The Teacher Creates …
The creative adventure begins with the teacher. An improvised duet is an easy way to model creativity.
- Add a spirit of play
- Provide a rhythmic "soundscape"
- Model artistic expression
- Demonstrate hand position and technique
By Playing Teacher Duets You
- Convey enthusiasm
- Demonstrate musicality
- Demonstrate technique
- Evoke expressive playing
"Fancy Up" the Written Duet
- Add octaves
- Break up the chords
- Take a fragment (one or two measures) and repeat these as a rhythmic "vamp" or use as an introduction
- Change the rhythms
- Change the tempo and/or mood
Get Further Ideas From
- The teaching videos
- The Explore & Create section of this text
- The title of the piece
- A story connected to the piece
- A short musical motive from the duet or the piece
- The illustration in the student lesson book
Recognize the power of non-verbal teaching. Students learn by watching and listening.
- Display excellent technique
- Play expressively and rhythmically
- Show enthusiasm and spontaneity
The Student Creates …
Students love to create their own sounds. The Piano Adventures® Teacher encourages students to express themselves.
The Typical Piano Student
- Plays only what is on the page
- Believes composing is magic, not craft
- Is told not to "play around" at the keyboard
- Feels piano study is serious business
The Piano Adventures® Student
- Improvises often
- Plays written music and creates unwritten music
- Is encouraged to create and is supported while doing so
- Has fun at the keyboard
Use "Seeds" (Ideas) from the Piece
- Limitations invite creativity. Freedom overwhelms.
- The "seed" should be short and simple.
- The "seed" could come from the piece.
- The "seed" could come from the title or illustration.
The "Seed" Might Be
- A theoretical concept—an interval, black-key "scale" …
- A rhythm—a rhythmic value, a new rhythm pattern …
- An ostinato—using a pattern from the piece …
- A "takeoff" from the piece—a meow, space message …
Don't be afraid to let students "loose". The process of exploring sound is more important than what is played.
- Let students use finger and rhythm patterns that they don't yet "know".
- Using rhythmic and melodic patterns creatively helps the student internalize them.