Why “Melody Adventures” & “Keyboard Accompaniment” Were Written by Gayle Dunsmoor, author.
It was during piano teaching years I became aware that there was a subject missing from most piano training systems. Although the books encouraged interpretation, sight-reading, technical & performance skills, students were often left uncomfortable if asked to create accompaniment for a melody, at the keyboard.
Many teachers expressed the opinion that, with the existing tools, students would pick up creativity on their own later. Although that is true for some students, there has not been such evidence for the majority. It does appear that ‘creative skills’ require routine practice, additional tools & guidance!
I began the books 25 years ago. It was to be a single book for my students! Now, twelve books later, I am totally convinced that learning to create accompaniment for melodies should be an integral part of music lessons and progress equally with all other music skills – from beginning lessons to diploma level.
The first books written were “Keyboard Accompaniment” (KA), at an intermediate level. I was sure there would be beginner books available to lead into KA. I was wrong! If KA was to fly, beginner books with full notation were needed to allow students to hear, see, understand & enjoy applying chords & chord variations in a variety of styles & rhythms. They also needed time to be familiar with symbols & abbreviations – some unique to KA. The 7-book “Melody Adventures” (MA) series is complete and students are learning to be comfortable progressing to KA and creating accompaniment for melodies.
It is my wish that all piano students be given guidance with the development of their creative skills.