The Colourful Keys 2016 piano studio album is out! I’m so excited to be giving these out to students this week!
Over the last few months my students have been working on the Spring Themes Composition Project. After they finalised their pieces, we started the recording process.
Recording the piano studio album has been a big challenge for some of my students. Recordings can really show off even the littlest mistakes. For little kids with little patience doing several recordings in a row can be frustrating.
It’s totally worth it for the pride they feel when they succeed though!
I’ve just given out the first few of these albums, and it’s been great watching their faces gleam to see their names and those of their piano friends. I like to have at least two studio-wide projects like this a year, as it helps students see that they’re not alone in their piano journey.
When piano students get to experience other kids going through the same things they are, they’re more likely to keep going themselves. When they can see what’s ahead of them in more experienced students, and where they’ve come from in the newer students; they’re more likely to stay on track.
Another reason I like the idea of the piano studio album, is that it gives introverted students and nervous performers a chance to shine.
Concerts are fantastic (I have two every year) but for some students they’re just not a good fit. Getting to work on and refine a composition, and then record it as many times as they like until they’re happy can be just the ticket for shy students.
Building community is just one of the many benefits of teaching composing to your piano students. Read more about why you should teach composing here.
The best part about this is how easy it is to do these days! You really don’t need a full suite of equipment to make good enough recordings for a piano studio album.
I recorded some of the tracks with just the iPad alone using the Garageband app, and with some I plugged in the Yeti mic by Blue to get a slightly better sound. The usb mic really only marginally improved the audio quality, it’s definitely not needed.
Feel free to listen to the finished tracks below! Yes I know the audio isn’t always perfect, I hope to improve and refine my set-up for next year’s album. 😉
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What alternative opportunities do you provide for reluctant performers?
Have you ever tried a studio album? Do you have other favourite whole studio projects?
I’d love to hear you’re ideas for getting all your students involved and connected with other students.
Psst…if you’re looking for other ways to get young piano students composing check out ‘Fishy Fables’. In this book students are taken through the steps to compose five pieces about creatures from the sea, and they learn some fun facts along the way!