Mella Fausto, Italy

Melody is a bird which flies,
Harmony is the air, the sky,
the wind, the light around it.

 

Nigel James, The University of Sheffield Warrington, England:

Ideally every student should learn to improvise melodies and harmonies. Perhaps the first step lies in developing aural skills which are needed for any true music making?

Gayle:

Yes, most definitely, aural skills as a first step are a bonus! However, you may find that, even though the main objective of the QuenMar books is to train students to create their ‘own’ accompaniment for melodies, the trial & error process finding the desired accompaniment can have a side benefit of considerable aural training!

 

Jane Kristensen Seattle, Washington:

I’m sure I have no creative ability and it would be of no use to try to create accompaniment for melodies at the piano.

Gayle:

I have to disagree. With focus, most everyone can acquire ‘Creative Keyboard Accompaniment (KA) Skills’. However, like any skill, the degree of proficiency can vary. An example could be general math which is most often a compulsory subject on school curriculums. Not all students are math enthusiasts but with practice and focus they acquire some degree of proficiency. My view is that if music math is a compulsory subject (at the keyboard) all students can acquire a degree of proficiency creating accompaniment for melodies. The major benefit of music math is that the aural and emotional reward can be moving and inspirational. It can inspire creativity to a degree that we never knew was there!

 

Dr. June Fileti, UK, University of West London & The International School of Musicians:

I simply love what you are doing. I was completely sidetracked today by your work. Amazing.

Your books are fabulous. What a great way to inspire children.

Gayle:

Thank you. You have made my day!

 

Elizabeth Baird, Toronto, Canada: Music Director, Conductor Composer, Mentor, Teacher.

I think what you do is fantastic and so important.

Gayle:

Thank you. I do feel it is important. Hopefully, more music institutions will include ‘Creative KA Skills’ (at the keyboard) as part of the curriculum, at all levels – the same as for sight-reading and technical skills. It’s important that piano students feel they are well-rounded musicians.

 

E-mail to June Fileti, UK, Dec 31, 2018

Gayle wrote the following in 2018: June, thanks for connecting. Hope you’re doing well. We have been lobbying for examining institutions to recognize ‘Creative Keyboard Accompaniment’ (Creative KA) skills, at the keyboard, as a viable subject and worthy of marks at ALL grade level examinations. The new RCM curriculum is 2022 and we are hopeful to have this adjustment…

All the best in 2019. Happy Examining.

 

Nick Burke, IT Engineering Manager in Manchester, England wrote:

Yes – I was brought up on classical music and completed all 8 ‘Grades’ but would maybe have enjoyed that journey more learning about accompaniment and integrating with bands/group etc. rather than just focusing on individual excellence…thankfully I’ve picked up the right combination now to do both.

 

Maryse S. MYP & DP Music in Mumbai District, India wrote:

Ditto! (Same as Nick, above).

Gayle wrote:

Yes, students should expect keyboard accompaniment skills to be part of their initial training.  Those years are usually the best for the hearing, learning and confidence. Thank you for sharing your views.

 

Ruth Lenher, Merchantville. New Jersey, US – Composer

Thank you so much for all you have done and keep doing all you can to get others to see how beneficial your books are for others, including teachers. You help the teacher go along in the lessons! Actually, you help guide them better than most books I have read! In going over your books, I have to say that you nailed just what all teachers need to keep their students interested in learning piano… I think teachers hold their students interest longer when the student can create something on their own… Teachers may even get more students by word of mouth and/or by students showing others the books… Schools/music institutions should have your books and see how well the students like them. Thank you so much for writing these instruction books!

Gayle

I very much appreciate your recognizing an important element of the books! From my teaching years trying to fit everything into the lessons, I recognized the need for the books to be a self study! Although young students generally need guidance, it was important that the older students be able to create their ‘own’ accompaniment for melodies on their own time! Teachers can assign pages and enjoy what the students produce!

All the best with your composing, and a ‘special thanks to you’ for the encouragement and understanding of the need for the QuenMar books.

 

Cheryl Tsui – Piano Teacher in Sydney, Australia

Thank you so much! I took a look at the book you wrote – Melody Adventures, Basics B.

I really like how you’ve incorporated keyboard harmony into it. I can’t wait to use this resource for teaching!

Also, what age group and level did you design this book for?

Gayle’s response:

That is a very good question.

With the music fully notated, levels can vary from one country to another (or one music system to another). The Melody Adventures (MA) series really depends on which books suit the student’s technical ability and the student’s level of understanding. Following the completion of MA PRIMER A & B, it is open to teachers/students – MA BOOKS 1 & 2; BASICS A & B or a blend of these books. Whichever order, it is hoped that the MA series allows a smooth transition to ‘Keyboard Accompaniment (KA)’ with students creating their ‘own’ accompaniment for melodies.

As for the level of a student’s creative KA ability, this is for music institutions to incorporate/establish.

 

Gayle – a Clarification

The difference between KEYBOARD HARMONY & KEYBOARD ACCOMPANIMENT

KEYBOARD HARMONY: a choral style – soprano, alto, tenor, bass (or a variation).

KEYBOARD ACCOMPANIMENT: encompasses all styles. Choral is one of the styles.

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