Paintin' the Blues

This past week my studio enjoyed celebrating the 12-bar blues. Most think of playing Beethoven's Fur Elise or Bach's Inventions as noble goals when signing up for piano lessons, and yes they are. However, it is important to round out piano skills by recognizing the colorful heritage of American music, not just the best of those European dead dudes (no disrespect intended). W.C . Handy is considered the father of the blues so the future improvisers listened to his classic "St Louis Blues" and learned the basic 12-bar blues chords and blues scale.

Most learned the chord framework of the blues (12-bar blues) easily and then explored the palette of "colors" or patterns with which to create within that framework.  To see instructions for this assignment click--Paint Blues. Basically pianists had one week to "paint" their own blues and then it was camera time.

Since the words "blues", "palette" and "paint" were a major part of this project, I thought it appropriate that everyone choose a specific color for their blues. Crayola is known for their ingenious color names and Wikipedia is a resource for ANY information available, so, pianists reviewed the vast array of color names and chose their own blues title.

Enjoy these 12-bar blues originals by Lindsey, Annie, Davis and Jack...pianists had two weeks to design and practice. Many students were beginners or had never played the blues before.

Below are some blues "painted" by Josie, Joe, Mikayla, Hannah and Jake...keep in mind no book is used by any pianist.

This video features James, Isaac, Sarah, Sean, Ben Shrushti, Jessica and Vanessa...I asked everyone to make sure their nails were groomed and perhaps polished with fresh paint...mmmm....

Here's Abi, Kathryn, Gabriela, Gianni, Drew, Joe and Josie...this was a great reminder for everyone that there is room to improve hand position.

And don't miss Rylan, Hannah D, Annika, Lilly, Melanie and Kenna...overall, fun was had by all!