Halloween provides a wonderful excuse to teach a student to transform a piece of music. There's something about this holiday that brings out the most imaginative side of many children.
My student, Mady, was playing this sweet piece by William Gillock called A Graceful Waltz. It's in the collection called Miniatures - all late-elementary pieces with sophisticated sounds. Instead of saying, "Let's transpose this to the parallel minor and add an extended coda," I suggested that she might want to experiment with turning it into a Halloween piece. (I think I said, "Do you think we could make this piece sound spooooooooky?"
This is what she came up with:
Anyone who could use a little creative push in your studio this week?
Try any combination of these:
- Change the piece from major to minor.
- (You can always take a little C Major piece and play it up a step on D and it will become minor.)
- Add LOTS of pedal.
- Improvise something spooky underneath it all. This could just be low, murky notes plays on the downbeats. It doesn't have to be fancy.