Creative Piano Skills

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Gayle MacAulay Dunsmoor

Gayle was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she completed the piano requirements for the Associateship of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto (A.R.C.T.). Her musical education continued at le Conservatoire de Musique de Québec from which she received the diploma, Laureat de l’Académie de Musique de Québec.

Gayle’s love of music and desire to speak French fluently, led her to two further years of study in Paris, France. Her program included concerts and competitions. Returning to Canada and a career teaching piano, Gayle became aware of a ‘missing subject’ in the curriculum of formal piano education. Although many students could excel technically and interpret complex compositions with ease, they were often perplexed if asked to create their own accompaniment to a basic melody. Realizing that hearing and anticipating chord changes is another area of the brain, Gayle began writing melodies that progressed equally in difficulty with the sight-reading and technical skills. Students providing accompaniments for two or three new melodies (at least weekly) developed a feel for the harmonic changes, progressions, styles, rhythms and patterns. She soon noticed that, like most new skills, creating accompaniment for melodies requires hands-on, step-by-step training from the beginning.

Gayle lives in Nanaimo, BC, Canada with her husband, and is a member of the BC Registered Music Teachers’ Association.



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