This Saturday (July 23, 2016) Leslie’s Music Studio held it’s first Piano Improvisation Workshop for students in grades 6-12. Eric Newlin led the workshop and taught the basics of improvising at the piano.
Students learned the music theory structure to use when creating their own music or playing from a lead sheet, from simple melodic devices to more complex polyphony and chords. Instead of reading from sheet music, these young musicians worked on valuable ear training skills in order to play piano in a new way. I look forward to hearing about how my students are using their improvisation skills at home with family, at church during worship, and with their other musical friends.
In the three-hour workshop, we took a quick break to eat some yummy snacks and get to know each other better. One of my favorite aspects of teaching is building community for children and families, so I was happy that these piano students with common interests were able to meet. Group lessons and workshops provide a place where students can form a piano family to support one another as well as an opportunity to perform for peers in a small, friendly environment.