The computer learning options included in my studio are games to enhance concepts, timed note flash cards games, and the Sibelius program, which has many options for composition, editing, notation and listening, beginning through advanced capabilities.
Not every student wants to explore improvisaton but for those who do, there is ample material included in my curriculum to learn the basics of chord progressions, 12 bar blues patterns, and individual compositional techiniques. Building skills through a step by step process learning of rhythm, theory, harmony and melody enables students to create original compositions. Using the Sibelius computer program, the compositions are able to be transferred to the computer and printed in a professional sheetmusic format.
Individual lessons are 30 minutes for young children, 45 minutes for older children and adults. Hour lessons are also available. During each lesson, the following catagories will be covered. Arpeggios, scales, review of assigned pieces, introduction of new material, a theory lesson, and tips for improving and polishing performance pieces. Aspects of music history are included when helpful with reference to current material. The amount of information in each catagory varies with the skill level.
Music Expressions classes include a complimentary variation in musical experience. Each class is 90 minutes long, with students grouped into the following catagories: ages 5-6, ages 7-8. and ages 9-10. Each class has a piano/keyboard learning experience, a story told of a composer or music history example, a related listening example, an art activity to compliment the story and listening example, and an improvisational exercise. The degree of difficulty varies with the age appropriate group of students. Each student will finish a notebook of material completed during the 5 or 10 sessions.
The next series of classes will be held during the morning hours and will form as the demand increases. The age levels and lesson curriculum will remain very much the same. Home schoolers and kindergarteners are encouraged to add this activity to their learning experience. I will be posting curriculum synopsis soon.
Music is found in every known culture, past and present, varying wildly between times and places. Scientists now believe that modern humans emerged from Africa 160,000 years ago. Around 50,000 years ago these humans began to disperse from Africa reaching all the habitable continents. Since all people of the world, including the most isolated tribal groups, have a form of music, scientists conclude that music must have been present in the ancestral population prior to the dispersal of humans around the world. Consequently music must have been in existence for at least 50,000 years and the first music must have been invented in Africa and then evolved to become a fundamental constituent of human life.
A culture’s music is influenced by all other aspects of that culture, including social and economic organization and experience, climate, and access to technology. The emotions and ideas that music expresses, the situations in which music is played and listened to, and the attitudes toward music players and composers all vary between regions and periods. “Music history” is the distinct subfield of musicology and history which studies music (particularly western art music) from a chronological perspective.
Music Literature has continually evolved throughout history, with particular changes making themselves evident through the division of music periods. Following the Rennaissance, the musical periods are as follows: Baroque 1600 – 1750, Classical 1750 – 1825, Romantic 1825 – 1900, and Contemporary 1900 – present. Each of these periods are covered in the piano literature I present to my students, with explanations of the stylistic trends and relationship to other art forms from the same time frame.
I use the Faber method primarily for beginning students. The Piano Adventures is successful with very young children, ages 4 to 6. It comes with a CD which helpful for home practice. Having attended a workshop with Randall Faber has enabled me to better utilize the materials presented by this talented and creative resource.
Supplimentary materials are widely varied, such as Bastien’s “Piano Literature” series, Gillock’s series of solos, Mier’s supplimentary books, FJH Celebration series, FJH “In Recital: Jazz, Blues, & Rags,” and many more. I also use several online sites to print free sheet music or buy music online. Especially teenage students have special requests that are often able to be satisfied with online sites.
Not every student wants to explore improvisation but for those who do, there is ample material included in my curriculum to learn the basics of chord progressions, 12 bar blues patterns, and individual compositional techniques. Building skills through a step by step process learning of rhythm, theory, harmony and melody, students are able to create original compositions and tranfer them to the computer for a polished printed copy.
Some of the materials used in this area of study are 5 finger pattern drills, primary chord recognition, melodic patterns of repetition, variation and inversion. Ear training exercises are helpful in interval recognition, major/minor modes, and understanding of rhythmic patterns.