CKQC012: Simple and effective piano improvisation for beginners

As an experiment during our overlapping piano buddy time, I’ve been simplifying some of the improvisation accompaniments from Create First by Forrest Kinney.

This has worked out really, really well and it’s quite easy to adapt for any student level.

In this video, you’ll see the bare bones arrangement of ‘For the Joy’ that I’ve been using with my brand new beginner students. They’re literally only using finger 2 from both hands to create this simple accompaniment.

CKQC012- Simple and effective piano improvisation for beginners Pinterest 2

What they create won’t always be all that musical, but you might be surprised how many gems can come out of this improvisation time – even when the student has no experience at all.

If you do try this kind of activity in your studio always make time for the students to swap. It’s so valuable for them to try being the soloist, and the accompanist. In fact, I think they learn the most from doing these simple secondo parts. 🙂

What are quick clips?

Colourful Keys Quick Clips are all about giving you a taste of what my lessons are actually like – in action.

I certainly don’t claim to be an expert, and I don’t have all the answers. I just know how much seeing real teaching with real students has helped me to grow and improve as a teacher.

Let me know what you think!

I hope you had fun watching this Colourful Keys Quick Clip. If you have any thoughts or questions, be sure to ask them in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers group on Facebook or in the comments here, and do make sure to subscribe to my emails and YouTube channel to get notified when a new quick clip is published.

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1 thought on “CKQC012: Simple and effective piano improvisation for beginners”

  1. Thanks for sharing the tips.I’m currently working on the f# minor nocturne! they’re beautiful pieces.Don’t get me wrong, you have to be strong and confident to be successful in just about anything you do – but with music, there’s a deeper emotional component to your failures and successes. If you fail a chemistry test, it’s because you either didn’t study enough, or just aren’t that good at chemistry (the latter of which is totally understandable). But if you fail at music, it can say something about your character. It could be because you didn’t practice enough – but, more terrifyingly, it could be because you aren’t resilient enough. Mastering chemistry requires diligence and smarts, but mastering a piano piece requires diligence and smarts, plus creativity, plus the immense capacity to both overcome emotional hurdles, and, simultaneously, to use that emotional component to bring the music alive.
    Before I started taking piano, I had always imagined the Conservatory students to have it so good – I mean, for their homework, they get to play guitar, or jam on their saxophone, or sing songs! What fun! Compared to sitting in lab for four hours studying the optical properties of minerals, or discussing Lucretian theories of democracy and politics, I would play piano any day.

    But after almost three years of piano at Orpheus Academy, I understand just how naïve this is. Playing music for credit is not “easy” or “fun” or “magical” or “lucky.” Mostly, it’s really freakin’ hard. It requires you to pick apart your piece, play every little segment over and over, dissect it, tinker with it, cry over it, feel completely lame about it, then get over yourself and start practicing again. You have to be precise and diligent, creative and robotic. And then – after all of this – you have to re-discover the emotional beauty in the piece, and use it in your performance.


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