Improv1One of my students is currently moving through Level 1 of Piano Adventures 2nd edition books and often in lessons, we come across one of the new improv pages.  Can I just tell you how much we enjoys these activities?! The titles of the improv sessions remind students of pieces they cover in the same unit in the lesson books. When improvising for this activity however, a short story or description is often included. Then my student loves to use her imagination and go for it as I follow along. Instructions are easy – students are assigned a 5 finger position while a simple teacher accompaniment is included to enhance the music.

Now not all of my students are currently enjoying these improv activities since they are all in different method books or repertoire books. Yet seeing the excitement on this student’s face I’ve decided I should start preparing more improv activities for all of my students, regardless of their books. So my new project of the year is to collect improv activities and create a bunch of my own. We’ll start easy with 5 finger position pieces and include fun teacher accompaniments.  Then I hope to try out a few other ideas and share them with you too. I’m printing mine all off and collecting them in an “Improv Binder” to thumb through whenever I need a spark of genius to add to a lesson plan.

Here’s my first attempt – a simple improv activity using any F position and a fun teacher accompaniment. Hope you will join me in this collection of improv materials and let me know of any ideas to add to it!

Download: Improv in F

Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at 4DPianoTeaching.com

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