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Improv vs. Comp in Tune Toolkit

When you teach projects from Tune Toolkit, are you assigning them as improv projects or composition projects? Do you have the students come back and play something or report on what they did? How do you keep accountability that they are trying the projects? In each volume of Tune Toolkit, only projects #11 and #22 are explicit composition projects, all other projects being explicitly for improvisation. At the same time,…

Resistance Writing Lyrics

One of my farthest-along students is pushing back on writing lyrics because she doesn't want to sing. I assigned composition two weeks in a row--make up a song. Then I assigned to make up words for the song. Mom texted me today (their lesson is in about 3 hours) that she didn't make up lyrics because she was uncomfortable with it. She doesn't want to sing. This child is painfully shy and won't even sing for…

MAC Soundtracks

I would love to start a conversation about how we might use the MAC soundtracks with our students. Some of the tracks might need some more background or learning to understand their use, but I think others could be used by most of our students with little or no instruction, and I think could really enrich their experience. I've just started exploring this myself, but I'll make a few suggestions below and would love to hear…

MAC Soundtracks

I can't wait to use the MAC soundtracks in my own studio. Has anyone already tried this? What ages of children are able to hear the beat within the soundtrack, and match their own playing? What tips do you have in coaching children to be successful with this? Are there any specific MAC soundtracks that you've found especially give students an immediate feeling of success & satisfaction? I've used some tracks…

Starting Tune Toolkit with Advanced Student

Mark S. Meritt, any suggestions for starting Tune Toolkit with a student in level 7? Is there a way to accelerate through each project without impeding the layering process? I've been through the program a few times with other students but this particular student is a transfer and already improvises beautifully. He just doesn't remember structure at all. Thanks in advance! In the TTM Audio, after the numbered projects themselves,…

3-Note Improv

Is the idea with the 3-note comp/improv exercise that the students are to play three consecutive white notes in the RH or can they be any three notes, black or white? I get them to pick any 3 white notes without telling them about the project. I write the notes they have chosen on the whiteboard, then I tell them about the project. I also demonstrate an improv with those notes,…

Assignments for Month-Long Break

Would it work, when there is a month-long break from teaching, to suggest that dedicated students (at the appropriate level) work through Tune Toolkit and The Chord Drill on their own? I have the vaguest recollection from the training on those that "students can work through this on their own", but don't have time to chase it down in the training materials. Suggestions, please? (Mark S. Meritt, Elizabeth Gaikwad) Any other suggestions for filling the…

Blues Scale Fingering

I am doing the Blues Improvisation ‘Blues Scales’ and have a question about fingering patterns. In the C scale we use F1 on White notes and F3 on Black notes but what about in other keys? I don’t know if I’ve missed it somewhere... but that combination doesn’t seem to work with all keys. The Scale Journey approach is relevant with regard to a visual map. I've always involved my students…

Teaching Capitals & Periods Early

Successful new idea I hit upon with a new group. These are kids on the young side, 6-7. I ended up teaching them just the Capitals & Periods from the Pause Button (Tune Toolkit Project 2) prior to teaching them the rest of that project, and prior to completing Dreams. I didn't even have them review any SHM. I just said pick a finger in each hand in your mind, and then play them together.…

Blues Scale Fingering

Is there anywhere in the program that explains how to count and play triplets? (of quarter, eighth or 16th notes)? When doing the blues improv in some keys, like Eb, the blues scale notes don't seem to fit with I, IV, V. In other keys they do. Is there a reason for that or is it just our (my student and my) bad ears? When doing the Eb blues scale, does anyone have any suggestions on…

Showing articles 1-10 of 71