Thanks to ALL my students I have met in my 20+ years of teaching in European and Asian countries, I did have chance to realize the importance of some aspects often missing in our modern music classes. A serious attention to improvisation, counterpoint and composition alongside the study of repertoire. Hence the creation of Think In Music method.
Starting from historical evidence, we all are aware that the most important musicians we know (from Bach to Mozart, from Beethoven to Liszt, just to mention a few) were excellent improvisers and composers, not only performers. Nevertheless, presently majority of classical musicians rarely are able to improvise or even compose in classical style, unless they specifically enroll composition courses. To better understand what I mean, allow me to compare music to spoken language. Our language is based on structures (sentences) and in each sentence we find a subject, a verb, an object. In music we do have similar elements, they are called functions, and we do have organized sentences like in the spoken language.
Moreover, in language studies we usually learn reading, writing and conversation. Music studies should be based on these three elements too, but sadly today we mostly focus on “reading”, sometimes without a proper historical approach nor with a proper awareness and knowledge of the meaning of music. Through the study of improvisation – comparable to conversation in language studies - students are “forced” to think musical structures and functions. To still insist on the importance of improvisation as educational tool to think-and-play, you may notice that usually we learned our language speaking first, imitating our parents, and then learning how to read and write. Never the opposite. While, again, in music we often (and only) learn how to read first, and almost never how to play without reading, which means to improvise, as a result of a thinking process.
On these principles I based my Think In Music method.
I do insist on the importance of the study of improvisation, counterpoint and composition alongside the study of music repertoire as essential tools to complete music education and develop creativity and awareness. In all my courses, as well as in my regular teaching with all my students from private schools to universities, I apply the Think In Music method in order to create proper conditions for a correct understanding and awareness of music and its structures.
Students will enhance their musical skills with awareness and independence, learning how to Think in Music and avoiding any kind of useless mechanical repetition. Students will be taught individually, in regards of their own uniqueness and character. Preparation for exams (ABRSM, Trinity, Yamaha), audition and/or competition may be included in the class according to student’ requests. During classes, particular emphasis will be given to practice methodologies (how to learn a music piece in the fastest time and effectively) and an historical approach to different music styles (baroque, classic, romantic, modern). For this reason, practice on a real harpsichord will take place alongside the study of the piano.