Gordon Harvey, Australia
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 other ideas.
BTW, in case you need to know, students will find them at the bottom of the Foundation Level 1 Page of My Library. They have to download the whole lot, and they will find some more useful than others. Here’s my early thoughts:
Eliza (#1): really simple improvisation on black keys (like Mark S. Meritt explores right at the beginning of Tune Toolkit). Great for students to explore improv in a pressure-free setting with musical support.
Dreams Come True:
Slow (#3 & 4) for beginning students to tighten their rhythm or for later level students to keep them engaged with the song, and especially to explore expression and variation (shifting the phrasing, adding notes or whatever). #3 is purely instrumental, #4 adds beautiful, inspiring vocals.
Fast (#5) for later level students to further explore expression in a different musical context.
Rochelle G., California
A thought occurred to me while I was listening to Neil demonstrate Eliza. As he was speaking of the cymbal giving a steady beat he was saying bum bum bum bum. I thought that a great exercise to do while Reading Rhythm, was to do MOR with the soundtrack. Perhaps not right away, and with the students for whom it would be conducive and not distracting, but to try it out. I did it with some students that were done with the reading process. We used our right hand in one position on the black notes and went up and down the 5SS reading 2.1 – 2.6. It was pretty cool.
Un Mani, Australia
I’m finding this just excellent for the hens teeth pulling brigade. The ones who won’t/don’t normally improv except with me or do it under sufferance. I have seen faces transform in wonderment hearing how effortlessly good they can sound. Also final exams time here for senior teenagers. So good to give them to keep piano alive when their poor brains are fried. Love it.
Kerry V., Australia
To keep the conversations going here, I wanted to share with you about my student Gemma. As some may know, she is 21 yo with Cerebral Palsy. Her left hand, or fingers, are pretty stiff and truly bent in weird positions. Her RH is ok, just learning to isolate fingers. I used the Eliza improv with her today. (8th lesson), on the black keys and she was able to do it quite well. I think being on the black keys helped by having her hand raised up and it still sounded really good, even though she doesn’t quite have beat yet. I can see this is great for her. She has been doing improv with HD but this helped take it to a different level of listening as well.
Original discussion started November 9, 2018