I’m a few weeks into the Fall Lesson Book Bash incentive program and I am absolutely thrilled with what my students are doing*. Yes, they are making great progress in their lesson books, but more importantly they are coming up with all kinds of little “creative flairs” for their pieces. What’s thrilling to me is that several students who have never thought of themselves as creative are coming back with interesting ideas. At first, they were a little shy about their creations saying, “I’m not sure if this is what you had in mind…” or “I don’t know if this is good or not…” but after assuring them that any effort would be appreciated, they shared some extraordinary things. Some were simple applications of new concepts that I had just introduced, but isn’t that thrilling? They are actually creating with the concepts they are learning instead of just being lectured about them and observing them in their music (yawn).
It’s another application of the “Composition for Kids” workshop I give (here’s the entire lecture in video segments) and the “Tapping into Creativity” article I wrote for the American Music Teacher in the August/September 2011 issue. Here’s a video of just a segment of the Composition for Kids lecture, but it’s the one that gives you some more ideas about how to encourage creativity in your studio.
*I would suggest one small alteration…since there are 20 leaves/possible punches on the card and since students can get up to 2 punches per pieces, I’d suggest awarding them with a piece of sheet music when they get 20 pieces rather than 10 (like the mini Certificates of Artistry.)