Improvisation is More Than an Activity It's one of the most fundamental abilities needed in music and life

I sensed that something was amiss after a wave of students, teachers and players came to me over the course of a few years wanting to learn to improvise. Many of them had taken jazz improvisation classes or gone to clinics/camps only to come away uninspired or confused. Several of them had worked out of books that presented certain patterns or pieces to improvise over or with. While others had tried to learn transcriptions and extract applicable concepts.

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Why I No Longer Teach Pop Music as Repertoire And How It's Helped Students Play with More Enthusiasm

The first few years I taught piano lessons, I remember nearly every student learned popular songs from sheet music. I grudgingly went along because I saw that the music meant a lot to them. If I was asking them to do traditional music most of the time, I thought it was a fair trade off to let them do a song of their choice from the radio, movies or television.

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Helping Students Grow from “Failure” Focus Towards Growth and Students Take Off

When I began teaching, I was caught off guard by how unreasonably frustrated (or even angry) some students would become when they couldn’t do something they were being asked to do. A couple of times a young student banged his forehead on the keyboard after being asked to do something for the first time – because he anticipated that he couldn’t do it. Other students would come back after a week of practice and not have something “perfect” and decide the assignment was too hard and give up.

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