Sometimes the most creative moments in our lives are unplanned. This was the case with a video that happened within minutes into a piano lesson with a ten year old student.
The camcorder had been in place from the night before when I had run through some Bach Inventions, but the idea of taping a lesson was not on my itinerary. (Permission was secured from the parents to proceed)
Albertina had been studying a very catchy piece, "Flamenco," composed by William Gillock who has an unusual flair for writing music with colorful titles and programs. His pieces are very appealing to students because the melodies, harmonies, and rhythms are captivating.
There was no script or instructions to the student as the lesson flowed.
From 30 minutes of footage, a little over 5 minutes of playing time was extracted, with editing at the beginning and ending.
What resulted was a spontaneous interplay between student and teacher that could never have been reproduced through any staging or rehearsal.
The music carried the day and it was a testimonial to its composer.
Seated at the second piano, I was able to observe the student, communicate musical ideas through modeling; nurture along the shape of phrases; encourage a more colorful tonal pallete and a wider dynamic range. She responded by improving her understanding of the character and structure of the composition.
From my experience, it is not often that a teacher will find an Intermediate level piece like this that will engage the student to practice tenaciously and with enthusiasm.
"Flamenco" is the perfect selection for this purpose. Shared back and forth it provided an intensively joyful exchange that will long live in our memory and happily, on video.