For a few credits each semester in college, I decided to focus on computer science classes to experience a different world than the one inhabited by music majors.
This gets pretty heavy into the circle of fifths. I imagine you can work on bits and pieces of this over quite a long time if this is new to you:
There is an old adage that musicians and teachers have said for a long time – “If you can’t sing it, you can’t play it.”
Beginning Improvisation Lesson: Adding Chords Part 1 Tips on adding extra chords to a standard melody
This lesson works through how to add chords to a melody using the circle of fifths or V-of concepts. This is useful for improvising. But it’s also great for performing classical, popular and jazz styles.
There is a lot of info here so take your time and allow it to find it’s place:
When I started teaching in Seattle, most of my first students came from friends who were piano teachers. They sent a lot of kids and adults my way who were ready to quit lessons and/or music. The main reason that these students were at their endpoint had to do with creativity (or lack thereof).
Phrasing often gets overlooked when we learn to improvise. This video covers the basics of phrasing on Twinkle, Twinkle and the opening passage of a Mozart Sonata. There are a few splices in the video as the camera kept shutting off – I’m still learning to use the new gear! I hope you enjoy it.
I’m pretty sure I know zero people who didn’t want to quit playing music at some point. Even professionals or hobbyists who are full of joy when we see them play went through their rough patches.
Cadences and Improvisation This video walks you through ways to improvise and learn cadences in the same process
Learning cadences and voice leading are important aspects of playing music. We can also improvise to learn or reinforce these concepts. This video works through a process on how to do this.
In the beginning, my whole teaching studio at Creative Music Adventures was built on this phone call from teacher friends around the community:
“I have a student who has some potential but they are driving me crazy. They are supremely talented but won’t do anything I ask. Can I send them to you to see if there is any hope?”