“Composer-Performer”. Lost in freedom

While traveling and visiting different schools in Europe, I noticed, that these days classical guitar teachers let students to improvise and compose their own piece more than before. That’s a very good tendency! I do it regularly with my students already for several years.

Recently I gave a lecture, during which I spoke to teachers and students also about that issue and what could be improved in that area.

Often teacher right from the start gives a student freedom to compose pieces and improvise . But this freedom is a bad thing at the beginning, since it doesn’t provide student with necessary support that is needed in the beginning. S/He is let free to do whatever s/he and often doesn’t know what to do. As a result, s/he dumps a lot of stuff together in a heap. Sometimes, such a piece can appear nice, but often it is vague and maybe you wouldn’t like to hear it for a second time, because often there is no clear beginning, no sense of development, no clear ending. And the following pieces that student makes also have lack of sense of direction. Student gets lost in that freedom. Thus, I explain to my students the importance of a form and shape of a piece. I give them some limitations, rules and “tools”. They need few moments to memorize those rules and after that they have a lot of fun playing within them and create interesting pieces, that have and artistic value. Students learn basic principles of composition while having fun.

In couple of years I plan to finish the detailed program of “Composer-Performer” for the beginners of all ages and visit several countries to introduce it to people.