Thursday, December 30, 2010

Play Piano Today – creative problem solving

Play Piano Today – creative problem solving
"As usual, I am reading through the various articles of interest. And there is one that stuck to my mind more than others: It described how children in America, nowadays were notably less creative in early childhood than other children. I’ll post the link to the study, shortly.
As a piano teacher, I have been diligently working on developing each piano student’s ability to make independent decisions. Most of my students are K12 and adult. Being able to evaluate on an ongoing basis what works and what does not work, in my opinion, is a great ability to develop and bring out more. It takes creativity to look at a situation from various angles and find solutions. This is one perspective that I am taking my students through. I want my students to have tools to evaluate, tools to understand how to improve and how to schedule and target to get from here to there..."
Please, follow the link to read the rest of my story... Happy New Year. Eva

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The importance of teaching and learning piano in these times

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season:

Just came across this link and article about the decreasing creativity in American young children. Besides everything mentioned, I am certain that lack of nutrition and lack of purity of water have a tremendous contributing impact as well.

As a piano teacher I have felt an urgency to work extra hard to help students accomplish their goals. From very young and very early on, do I ask for creative ideas, creative ways of looking at music and decision making. Even in little ones, do I ask what they would like to play for me. I leave as much choices to my piano students, as possible.. However, once a program is decided, we work towards it and complete it. Piano playing, since it trains both sides of the brain equally it is a very important area in every student's life to continue to play piano despite so many distractions and school activities, especially nowadays.

I am also always looking for self expression. Music making is a fantastic way to accomplish that. In order to season a piece, the player's personality and feeling need to shine through. I always expect a student to practice humming or singing the tune of the piece during practice, so the individual emotions can shine through.

I am sure my Play Piano in All Keys finger charts books and work books are helping to bring out more personality by providing solid education in Major and Minor scales, chords/ cadences and arpeggios; important patterns that need to be rehearsed very well since most of classical music build on these patterns. These basic patterns are also a foundation for all creative people wanting to create music. If you can pay in all keys, you will be able to improvise and move easier from one key to another.

Here is the newspaper article that I quoted:

Britannica: What are some possible explanations for the recent decrease in creativity in American children?
Kim: The results of my study indicate that children in the U.S., especially kindergarten through third grade, are becoming less creative as measured by the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), the most respected, tested, and applied creativity test in the world. This is a new finding, so there is no research yet as to the causes for the effect. Still, we can speculate.
Creativity is decreasing for children and adults. For younger children, the decrease probably arises more significantly from their homes than from their schools, because research indicates personality development is most influenced by home environments. Research also indicates that more children are spending the majority of their time in front of televisions, computers, and video games, and less time engaging in what I would consider creative activities.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fantastic to keep the arts alive

Jazz salons keep the beat going -
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link to this amazing story

Vietnam's classical music tradition: Pianist Madame Thai Thi Lien's gift -
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What a story and what comittment

The 92-year-old pianist worked with Ho Chi Minh and other musicians to bring classic Western music to the country and keep its conservatory going through war and beyond. The Vietnam National Academy of Music also teaches traditional Vietnamese music.
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