I’ve been reading a lot about improvisation (non-jazz, particularly) and creativity in the piano lesson lately, as I’ve been working on a paper for my Into to Music Research class for college. It’s interesting to me how today there seems to be a trend for exact, literal performances of composers’ works. It was not always this way; in the Romantic Era, pianists would freely change composer’s works when they performed them in concert. They would often be completely unrecognizable from the original! But that was what the audience members came to hear: that pianist’s version of Beethoven, Bach, or whatever.
Improvisation was a standard skill for pianists during that time, as well is in the Baroque Era. What has happened since then? Today, becoming a pianist is all about performing literal translations of the score, instead of creating individual interpretations of a composer’s work. Have we lost all creativity in the piano lesson? Very few teachers feel comfortable incorporating improvisation or composition in the piano lesson anymore. What can we do to bring it back? Should we bring it back?
These are the musings that are currently floating around in my head, lol. Hopefully, my paper that I’m working on will arrive at some reasonable ideas for incorporating creative activities in the piano lesson. I’ll keep you posted!
Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:
Incorporating Improvisation into the Piano Lesson
- Creativity in the Piano Lesson – Introductory Musings (now viewing)
- NEXT: Top 3 Obstacles when Teaching Improvisation
- A Brief History of Improvisation (coming soon!)
- The Value of Improvisation (coming soon!)
- Incorporating Improvisation (coming soon!)
- 3 Benefits of Incorporating Improvisation (coming soon!)