Today’s post is a guest post by Kristin from Ear Training and Improv. She has been teaching piano for over 10 years. Kristin’s innovative approach to teaching piano involves lots of fun and improvisation.
It’s no secret that people who are confident are more successful. Creating helps kids build confidence because they see the fruit of their effort and learn that they can accomplish something worthwhile. Music is an especially effective medium for creation because, by its very nature, music is emotionally expressive. When a child infuses part of her soul into a song and the result is stunningly impressive, confidence absolutely skyrockets.
Foster Creativity and Build Confidence with Music Composition
Start your kids with this fun piano improv activity. No musical experience is needed and it takes less than 10 minutes to compose a striking tune with a jazzy feel that kids love. Refer to the diagrams as you learn each step.
Step 1: Explore with your right hand. Find the highlighted keys and play them one at a time, going up and then coming back down. Then try experimenting with different sequences. You can play any key in any order, and it’s fun to try to play in a jazzy rhythm. Find a few short sequences that you like.
Step 2: Play the first chord with your left hand. Use your thumb and pinky to press down the highlighted keys at the same time.
Step 3: Now leave your pinky where it is and move your thumb up one key. Play these two keys together. Practice going back and forth between the two chords.
Step 4: Put it all together. Press and hold down the first chord with the left hand while the right hand plays one of the short sequences you invented earlier. Next, press and hold down the second left hand chord while the right hand plays another short phrase. Switch back to the first chord and repeat the process. End your improvised song by pressing and holding the first chord.
Here’s the most important part of the whole process: give your child a HUGE, excited hug. With a big smile, tell your child that you are super impressed with their composition. Your child will be grinning from ear to ear.
Click play to see an example.
Homeschool moms recognize that true education enriches the whole person and that opportunities for creating and personal expression are essential elements of a true education. Music composition is a beautiful creative domain, and kids love making their own music. Traditional piano lessons typically don’t offer many opportunities for children to create, but mothers can provide these invaluable experiences. When you know the formulas, it’s easy.
If you like this lesson, you can get another free, printable improv lesson at Ear Training and Improv. And for even more fun improv activities like this, look for Kristin’s ebook.