In June of 2015, Karen Greenhalgh and I received grant funds to start a composing project for students and teachers. The success of this program can only be expressed in what students have accomplished to date. Visit www.coloradocomposes.org and click on the 5 Star Composer Bar to see what can be accomplished by students in just nine short months.
With any new idea to help students feel more connected to the world they live in, you need plenty of time to learn the ropes. Working with Claudia Reinsch, owner and director of the Westside Music School in Beaverton, Oregon on our KEYBAND! USA YouTube Pilot Festival for 2015 we have discovered the joys and the logistical issues of putting together a successful Festival posted on line.
Learning how to actually use a video camera was the first part of the learning curve. Packing tape does not always secure the camera to the tripod! The second part was learning what is proper video etiquette when posting information on YouTube. Shaan Datar was assisting with the inner points of establishing a YouTube Channel and gave me a number of pointers on what is allowed and what is not. I think I violated the rules a couple of times.
What has been a real boon to my own studio are the number of comments coming from students regarding their participation. The general comment is their love of using the many features and voices to enhance their already lovely piano piece. Some were just thrilled to share their pieces with family who live far away, like in India or Indiana. Many students, by watching the video of themselves, have come to the conclusion that they need to change their technique, work with a style more often to learn to play with a pulse, have a more logical improvisation or just chose different voices for their piece.
As one person said, "It is in the process, not the product that we learn the most important lessons."