The Naked Piano, Creative Compositions, and Performance Party workshops are held annually, although not always at the same time every year. They are varied slightly each time so there is always a new learning experience for students who attend them on multiple occasions.
The Naked Piano: The piano is a fascinating instrument with more than 12,000 parts, yet even a lot of early advanced students – who can play beautifully – do not have a detailed understanding of how it works. In the Naked Piano workshop, students will get to more than just peek under the lid for a bit. They will get to do experiments to see how sounds change, learn about the instrument’s history, and learn about all the different parts of the piano. After this workshop, they will be more excited than ever to make beautiful music on the piano. This workshop is typically held after a studio concert or the Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts, when students have a polished, memorized piece to play without the need for a music stand.
Let's Listen: Students will improve their understanding of melody and rhythm with this workshop. It is typically held before a Creative Composition Workshop or before Summer Composition Workshops start.
Creative Compositions: Halloween Fright Night, Meet the Blues, and MORE!
Students learn different elements from scales, to chord structure, to tonality in order to produce specific genres of music. Then they work together using what they have learned to create a collaborative composition. Watch and listen to our group composition from the Halloween Fright Night workshop in October 2019.
Time Travelers: Dash Through the Past, Back to Bach, W.A.M. BAM, Beethoven Bash, Debussy Do, and MORE!
Students will explore different musical periods, get introduced to famous composers and their music from each period all while continuing to explore rhythm, melody, improvisation and ensemble playing.
Performance Party: Your child will build confidence, performance etiquette and many life skills every time they play in front of an audience. They will have a blast with other students as they master the never-perfect performance, learn how to engage the audience, establish stage presence, choreograph bowing, and so much more! This workshop is typically held before a studio concert or the Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts.
Included in each student's membership are 6 pre-recorded piano lessons for them to complete on their own over the course of the summer (July/August). The recordings are sent to students before the end of June allowing them to schedule the weekly assignments around their own summer events. These lessons are considered a workshop as they take a break from our regular routine and instead focus solely on developing creativity through PLAY. Summer workshops may be centered around pop-chord progressions and accompaniment patterns in lead sheet music, improvisation or composition.
Lead Sheets: Students focus on one song each summer. The melody is provided along with a pop-chord progression. Students learn the different chords for the song and then play them improvising their own accompaniment pattern. At the end of the summer, students perform their lead sheet piece with their favourite accompaniment pattern.
Composer Cultivation: Animal Menagerie, Spring Themes, Circus Collective, Fantastic Fiction, and MORE!
Students learn not only how to compose a piece, but also what goes into writing a great piece of music. We review concepts like melody, harmony and rhythm followed with an exploration of using them to create patterns, sequences, and repetition. Students will look at the four different starting points for a composition: melody, chord progressions, lyrics/rhythm and story. Finally, students compose a complete piece in a thoughtful and thorough way.
Take a listen to Mountain Range, a collaborative composition from a workshop in April 2019.