One of my favorite things about working with children is listening to their imagination! Give them an idea to start from and sit back to hear the creative stories they can tell you! For my solo piece Sailing, my students often tell me about their dreams of gliding along the ocean in a sailboat with crisp, white sails… Mmm… Don’t you want to be there now?!
As we begin the piece, I love to start students with an introduction the week before so when they see the actual music they are even more prepared! Thus today’s improvisation activity. I’ve taken the left hand from Sailing and given a few steps I walk my student through when I assign them this improvisation activity. Many times I encourage students to take the piece further and see where their imagination will take them before they see the piece I wrote the next week! Also, don’t worry about the pedal at first. Students can use finger legato until they’re comfortable enough to focus on pedaling.
When they come back the next week, they’ll have a beautiful melody of their own that reminds them of floating on the waves of the sea. They’ll be so excited and ready to try the full version of Sailing!