Now the story moves to my husband, the piano tuner. He meets the most interesting and diverse people. Sometimes if the discussion, during and after tuning, is especially invigorating my husband will invite them for dinner. So, last night I had some guests coming to dinner who I had never met. As we made our introductions, Forrest handed me a book he had written, as a gift. It was entitled, "Pattern Play, Create Your Own Music". WAIT!
"Are you the Forrest Kinney who wrote these books I have on my piano?" He was and we were both surprised at this serendipitous meeting. He was shocked to see so many of his books and I was shocked to see the very person I needed to talk to.
Dinner was so fun and after, we made music. My husband even joined us in a trio. I had a master class right in my own home for the price of pasta and salad. Can't beat that!
Here is a fun tip which I used this morning in lessons. Tell your student that you are going on an exotic trip and for added fun you are going to adjust your piano.
Put a thin piano book, Pattern Play No. 1 is just the right thickness, inside the piano, on the strings, close to the dampers. Add a pencil off to the right and another one on the other side of the brace. The effect will be a percussion twang on some keys which will make the improvisation "Persia" so much more middle eastern.
Your young student doesn't have to know anything about the D Harmonic Minor Scale, just give her 4 keys to explore.
You, as the teacher, can play an accompaniment using D minor fifths, going up to the E flat for variation and just exploring what your intuition sends our way.
This was just the thing to start me thinking about exploring theory through improv. I am so grateful for open, gracious people, who take a chance to meet others.
Thank you Gail and thank-you Forrest.