To some extent, improvisation is a state of mind. A lot of people feel they could never do it because they have a model in mind that is unattainable. When piano teachers adopt a creative approach to tuition, though, the pupil feels free to explore the simple resources to which they are exposed in the early days of tuition and it is more likely that they will continue to experiment when left to their own devices.
The latest addition to improvisation-based resources on www.fullpitcher.co.uk is an article suggesting simple improvisatory activities for absolute beginners. The important word here is ‘simple’ because, in truth, great music is essentially simple and the same resources can be used by players at different levels of ability and experience, with very different results.
The article quotes the Dalcroze teacher, Laura Campbell, whose book “Sketching at the Keyboard” won the ‘Music Teacher’ Magazine Music Education Award in 1983. That publication and its follow-up, “Sketches for Improvisation” is full of examples of famous composers building their works from the same simple ideas suggested to the readers. These courses have been followed by ” child piano pupils, amateur adult piano pupils, professional music students and class teachers”. Highly recommended!
So, what I am saying is: don’t dismiss the ideas suggested at the following link because they are accessible to absolute beginners. There are things we can all learn by focusing on the basic building blocks of music from time to time. :>)
See: Improvisation for Beginner Pianists.
The uncommonly warm and sunny February weather in the UK has made the big outdoors the place to be and I’ve certainly not been tempted to spend extra time at the computer. Now, it seems, we are about to plunge back into winter again and exploring spring music and activities at the computer seems like a good idea.
The Spring Fun page on the Full Pitcher website has music playback, lyrics and activities for a selection of seasonal pieces to share with family and friends. There are lively activities for Cuckoo, a Tyrolean folk dance with a yodelling chorus, and Hot Cross Buns, while Morning Has Broken and Winter, Goodbye provide gentler moments. Spring is the theme from the Vivaldi concerto, with lyrics added and ideas for improvisation.
I have long wanted to improve two-way communication with visitors to my sites and have been frustrated by the lack of feedback and by the very small amount of real communication that seems to take place online. That’s one reason why I set up this blog and I have been delighted to create new connections through it. I also wanted to further The Full Pitcher’s mission of helping those whose musical interests are not well-served in the, mainly commercially-focussed, music scene to locate the information and resources they require and to share their ideas.
I have been nervous of setting up the forums I wanted The Full Pitcher to provide because of the technical, financial and labour implications. I’m pleased to say that, after much thought and research, I have now found a, modestly-priced, hosted solution that seems to provide the features I require. I have set up my bulletin-board with several forums, matching the special interests identified by my visitors.
The forums will, of course, enable members to provide mutual support but I intend them also to be bulletin-boards in the traditional sense of a place where members can publicise their events and courses, etc. and where The Full Pitcher can post links to the specialist resources it makes available online. At present, forums are set up so that anyone can read them but only registered members of the board can post. Posts will be rigorously moderated, on a daily basis.
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