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© 2015-2019 Patricia Melcher Bissell & Brereton Wadsworth Bissell

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Improvising Attitudes

I always enjoyed improvising on the piano as I was growing up in a small town near a farming community in western New York State.

 

However, when I took piano lessons, this creativity was discouraged. According to my teachers, there was only one right way to play the piano: from the written notes. “Good” music meant only notated music.

Appropriate Arrangements

Today, we are flooded with musical arrangements of all kinds, such as a portion of J.S. Bach’s “Toccata in D Minor” electronically reproduced as an accompaniment to a video game, or “Love Me Tender” in a very quick tempo as the soundtrack to a dog commercial.

Group Keyboard and the Adult Market

My piano and organ studio, “Keynote Workshop,” is unusual in that I teach only adults, primarily in groups. The objective of Keynote Workshop is “to enable adult students to gain an understanding of the basic elements of music, and to play the keyboard creatively within a limited period of time.”

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