Wow, it’s been a busy time lately, as I have had commissions to write for several other blogs, so what with teaching, coaching and a trip to Australia to meet our new nephew, I haven’t had time to post here.
However, I’d love to point you to a couple of posts I wrote for the Music Teachers blog: one on how to develop effective communication with your students, and one on how to manage your energy in relation to your students. I’m enjoying focusing on the psychological side of teaching and communicating in posts for this particular blog, as I feel it’s a way to contribute what I know, both from study and from experience.
I’m pleased to announce that the article I wrote for American Music Teacher magazine, originally published in the winter of 2007, is now available on line here . It’s specifically targeted at music teachers who would like to venture into the world of creative improvisation and don’t know where to begin, but would also be useful for anyone who is feeling the urge to create their own music and knows a bit of basic theory.
For me, the key to learning how to improvise was allowing myself to approach the piano playfully, as a small child would, and not to weigh myself down with admonitions or expectations. In other words, to be free to create!
I am delighted to announce that my latest article on intuitive improvisation has been published in the December/January issue of American Music Teacher, along with a number of other great articles on improvisation. I chose to focus on games and exercises for teachers who may not have ever improvised themselves. I give practical approaches that will enable them to not only encourage their students to improvise, but to also enjoy the process alongside them. I based it on successful experiments with many of my own students over the years. It was a fun article to write.
I apologize for not having blogged in a while — I am in charge of a pilot program in Kodály musicianship for Kindergarden through second grade students, and conducting two middle-school choirs — teaching three hundred children per week. It has been extremely absorbing and energy-consuming. The program is going well, and we hope, with the help of the Ojai Music Festival Education Committee, to expand the Kodály program to all schools in the local district.
Young children are wonderfully responsive and enthusiastic. It has been amazing to see how rapidly they are progressing. I am excited at the prospect of so many young children receiving a solid foundation in musicianship and enjoying music making so much. My intention in the coming semester is to regain more balance in my life, so that I can once again have time to blog, make music, write articles, and actually have a social life as well!