Improvising at the Piano

Two blog entries in one night? I may be sniffly and sneezy with the cold/flu, but my brain is still coming up with stuff to write... Another interesting project I’ve had my students work on for the past couple of weeks is to play around with the following chord progression:

|: DA | Bminf#min | GD| GA:|D ||

They get about halfway through before exclaiming, “Hey! I know this! Isn’t this Pachelbel’s Canon?”

I’ve asked some my students to play through the chord progression as solid chords, then as broken chords. Then, I give them free rein to experiment with it (otherwise known as improvising). They’ve now all heard about the wedding I played at in which the bride wasn’t at the altar by the time I reached the last page of the Canon. I wound up improvising on the repetitive chord pattern until she reached the front of the church.

Some students have taken to this project like Maestro has taken to stickers

(my dog is obsessed with stickers), while some require encouragement on every single note. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them wind up improvising on this at a party or family reunion. After all, it’s a recognizable tune, the chords repeat (translation: easy to memorize) and everyone who hears them improvise will be impressed that they’re simply winging it.

All right. I'm out of blog ideas for the night. Time for me to practice chiburi. Iaido, is like piano, full of technical details that need to be just so to flow smoothly.

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