music

Need curriculum for teaching the creative stuff?      

Have favorite resources to share?

 

  • Over the next few months, I’d love your help in compiling a list of  resources for teaching music creativity. My own experience has been that it is difficult to find adequate materials in the areas of  improvisation and composition curricula, and I would love to know about  resources you use to inspire your students in their music creativity!  I will share some of my favorites. As you can see, many of them are my own, developed for use in my own teaching and then published for others. They have been successful!  But, I would really value your suggestions as well! Please add your favorites by comment, and I will amend the list as we go!

Here’s just a start…as I am on vacation as I write this, so I may be able to add more upon returning to my studio after the New Year!

Resources for Music Creativity –

Places to Start, and Were to Find Them


Imagery and Stories

Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (all levels) – Amazon

Crazy Staves by C. Schumann (beg/int) – Piacere Music Press

Flip for Improvisation “Jr” and “Original” (beg/int) by C. Schumann – Piacere Music Press
 [···]

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Here are some fun ideas to use as ice breakers or to brush up on rhythm skills in group lessons and workshops. I’ve even used them to kick off my teacher workshops, and they inspired very enthusiastic participation from all!

The Rhythm Ring

1)  Prior to class, set out a group of rhythm instruments in the middle of a circle of chairs or rug area where the students will be sitting. As they enter, explain that you will be passing the instruments out to those who are waiting patiently when class begins. (This will help with chaos control!)

2)  Ask the students to think of a rhythmic pattern in 4/4 time, and to be prepared to play it repeatedly, once they have been asked to join in the rhythm ring.  [···]

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(Improvisation Journals, Budding Ideas, Blossoms and Bouquets)

Last month I talked about students making improvisation journals to jot down their musical ideas. Paralleling the creative process to stages in development of flowers and bouquets, ideas were offered in these areas (see Blossoming Improvisation – Part One dated 9/25/09) :

  • Preparing the Soil for Creativity
  • Planting Seeds (motifs).

Today I want to talk about the remaining three stages in my flowery discussion of creativity:

  • Budding Ideas (phrases)
  • Blossoms (sections)
  • The Bouquet (the composition)

Budding Ideas (Phrases)

In this section, short motifs from the “Planting Seeds” section (see Part One of this series) will be expanded in to phrases. The motifs may be used as “take-off” points, or combined to create an interesting theme.

Since a phrase is a musical sentence, it needs to have a beginning, and build through the middle to a period or question mark at the end. The picture of a rainbow shape is a helpful analogy of a phrase shape. Though all phrases do not follow the same melodic and dynamic shape, the rainbow shape will ensure nicely rounded, successful phrases for introductory purposes. Once this is achieved, turn up at the ends of the phrases to create question phrases.  [···]

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