Before playing, the third graders at Provost Elementary sit quietly with their hands in the correct position and excellent posture. Once their etiquette is on key, the students are free to work on that day’s lesson: improvisation.
Inside Provost’s Piano Lab, students have the amazing opportunity to take part in performances and learn piano theory and composition. Part of the curriculum also requires learning about the piano and improvisation. To practice improvisation, the third graders need to make up their own part to a song they already know called, “Listen for Bells”.
After playing the memorized section, the students can choose which direction they want to take the song next. Using the skills learned in the Hoffman Method book, each student practices putting notes together for 24 counts of music until they like what they hear. Once the students have chosen their melody for the freestyle part, they can add this section to the rest of the song. Smiles spread across their faces as the third graders play the song with their improvisation as one complete piece.
As the students come back to Piano Lab four days a week, they will continue to engage in new skills and increase their love for music.