My Topic: Improvising on the Piano

Music is a deeply immersive and personal experience. It seems to reflect our inner emotions, thus almost all of us embrace it in one way or another. Most people simply listen to it; others go a step further by playing it. Some people, including me, want to take yet another step in using music to express themselves. What they strive to do is to improvise brand new music on the fly.

That is what I want my topic to be. Specifically, I want my projects to revolve around improvisation on my favorite instrument, the piano. Since I was very young, playing piano has been a huge hobby of mine. It was not until a couple years ago, though, that I started figuring out exactly how fun and creative this hobby could be. I could play from a limitless library of songs if I trained myself to create them from scratch. After discovering this, I have been passionate about learning and practicing new techniques for translating whatever crazy stuff was going on in my head into music.

I think piano improv is a perfect topic for me. I am already knowledgeable enough that I have plenty of ideas for upcoming projects, but I still have enough room for improvement that doing the projects will teach me new things about my topic. I will definitely be committed to this course’s work, since choosing this topic will finally let me demonstrate the skills that one needs for improvising songs and the value that comes from musical creativity.

In order to demonstrate these things, I luckily have lots of material to use. For instance, to show some scales and chords someone learning improv can begin with, I can photograph my fingers in certain positions on my keyboard. To show what the proper use of these scales and chords looks and sounds like, I can record my fingers as I play examples of improvised songs. In the case of audio materials, I can record interviews with a few of my past piano instructors wherein I ask for their opinions on how to improvise well.

My idea for the Graphic Design Project is a poster teaching how to get started on piano improv. It will mainly consist of the photos of my fingers that I mentioned. Meanwhile, my idea for the Logo Project is a logo for an imaginary business where I teach improv to students. I will design it in a way that symbolizes emotional expression and “thinking outside the box.”

Here, I have a few links from my inspiration file… A video of someone else showing some basic improvisation techniques A video example of how mellow yet engaging a piano solo can be An article about designing a logo that would be successful in the professional world


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