I had a conversation with a parent a few weeks ago; she was telling me that when her son plays around on the piano and makes up his own stuff, she tells him to stop it and get back to his ‘proper practicing’. My answer? “But that ‘mucking about’ is creativity!” That ‘playing around’, that ‘wasting time’ was this young student discovering sound colours, learning his way about the keyboard, developing confidence in his improvisatory skills, making fledgling compositions, and generally connecting with the piano. And it’s absolutely vital that young musicians are given the space to do this.
My daughter, who is helping me out with The Repertoire Project by learning the second parts to some of the Introductory level duet repertoire, started ‘mucking about’ today whilst we were practising together. She developed a melody after hearing a short snippet of a duet that I suggested (which we never got around to practising, but who cares, the tangent was even better). I joined in with an accompaniment, and after ten minutes of a mixture of improvisation and composition, we came up with this…
Creative, enjoyable, musical, collaborative, experimental, and like so much music, beautifully fleeting. But worthless? Absolutely not.
For more details about my teaching practice, including prices, vacancies, and information on distance theory marking, or learning piano as a beginner, intermediate, or a post-grade 8 student, please go to lynnephillipspiano.moonfruit.com