The April issue of General Music Today has a focus on creativity and composition. For my column, I present a simple improvisation for a duo at the piano, which I relate to games as John Dewey spoke of them, and what Stephen Nachmanovitch calls “the power of limits.” In other words, I present a simple game but relate it to some of the ideas I have found key in cultivating a disposition to play, improvise, create, and have students develop their own musical ideas.
The power of limits and the pleasure of games: An easy and fun piano duo improvisation awaits you (behind a pay wall, but free for NAfME members and through most higher education libraries). I also provided a podcast where I demonstrate the game and some of the variations.
I am a piano player, performer, and teacher and I have been doing it for over 30 years. I am finding that creative approaches and multi-methodology are keeping my students excited and involved in learning, playing, performing, and improvising on the piano. I love it when music mentores think outside the box. Kudos!