Teaching Piano

Easy Black Key Improvisation

Today, I’m at the Ohio Music Teachers Association conference (affiliated with MTNA) all day!  Yes, in case you are wondering, I will be posting notes from the sessions I attend later this week.  🙂

But for now, I wanted to share a quick video of a black key improvisation from a recent piano lesson with one of my new students.  This is only the third time we’ve tried an improvisation together, and each time I’ve noticed that Andelus instinctively creates a motif or theme that she uses throughout the improvisation, which is great because it creates a natural sense of unity for the composition!  (Great job, Andelus!)

For this improvisation, the only discussion beforehand was “You may play any of the black keys,” and “Let’s make a happy, upbeat improvisation!”  Enjoy!!


I have quite a few previous posts about improvisation….here’s a few to get you started if you are interested in reading more.

Don't miss a thing!

Sign up to get blog updates delivered to your email inbox.

Select ONE:

6 thoughts on “Easy Black Key Improvisation”

  1. aww, it was adorable. I sometimes wonder if it’s really fair that people like you and me get paid so well to do THIS kind of stuff every day. 🙂

    It was so simple yet pretty and I could tell she was really thinking hard about ways to ‘change up’ her little motif

    I need to do this more with my students – just got a duet piano bench last week so now I have a perfect excuse!

    Thanks for the post.

  2. I tried this today, but with an added twist. I had rhythm cards and I played the rhythm on the black keys in the bass clef and then the student followed with the same rhythm in the treble clef. I made sure to explain that it was like a conversation. I was asking the musical question and the student was giving the answer. Then we played the same rhythm together and improvised on the theme. I did it with 2 different students and both loved it. I liked that we were working on rhythms and improvisation at the same time.

  3. Thank you for the posts, Joy! and all the comments by other teachers. You guys are doing so well in teaching music. I’m so inspired and learning a lot from you all! Feeling kinda guilty too that I have not been doing a great job in making my students’ music learning as fun…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *