jazz and children

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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Jazz and children

Post by l_walder » 17 Nov 2003, 11:38

Young children are very easy to introduce to jazz because they have no inhibitions about playing the "wrong" notes like us adults. Having learnt through the grade system when I was a child I am competely crippled when it comes to improvisation. For this reason I try very hard to expose my pupils to this from the first few lessons. The important thing is that whatever they play it is right - never criticise.
Start with composition of simple melodies using the notes they have learnt on the piano - anything goes. I don't think they would be able to write specific "jazz" riffs without direction such as giving them the pentatonic scale notes only to compose from.
Once they know about chords you could then give them a simple chord progression to improvise around, eg start off with I and V only eventually leading to the blues chord progression. Then you could introduce the blues scale for the melody which gives more exciting tune possibilities.

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