Friday, June 11, 2010

TWIST 2010

A bit late to blog on this, since it is almost a week ago now, but I went to TWIST Brisbane last Saturday. For those who don't know, it's a music ministry conference.

There was some great singing and I came home with some new music and CDs for both the older and younger members of our family. Aidan's favourite song of the moment is "Nothing Else Matters" . If you haven't heard it before, have a listen, it's really good!

I went to the piano workshop in the afternoon session. The context of my piano playing at church is that I am the "second" pianist, the other one being a music teacher who is very very good. I am a pianist who likes to be given a piece of music already written out for me, that is, improvising is not my thing at all. Since I never did much music theory when I was learning to play, chords (other than the very basic ones) were also beyond me until fairly recently. So a workshop where the main message was "chords and improvisation" was a bit of a challenge. But I am working on it. I think there is always more to learn from those who are more experienced than me.

When I went to church the next day full of excitement and told our music team co-ordinator how good it was and that we should all go next year, the response was "We all went to that already as a team a few years ago." A little discouraging and I didn't have a good comeback...but I enjoyed it anyway and thanks to those who made it happen in Brisbane. Sydney has just been a bit too far for me to go in the past. And I now have some cool new songs to play.


Simone R. said...

So glad you enjoyed it. Nothing else matters is about my favorite song that we've written. I hardly ever hear it played, so it's always a buzz. We're thinking about re-releasing it on an adult cd sometime.

I've always wanted to go to a philip piano workshop. Still aim to one day. Did he talk about how to improvise or just that you should improvise?

Wendy said...

I wish I knew more about improvising - and I did heaps of theory, but all the classical stuff, not much that is useful without a piece of written music. So frustrating.

Karen said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Simone, looking back at the notes I took I think he did give us some useful tips on how to improvise, but also I do remember he said there were no hard and fast rules (I guess if there were, it wouldn't be improvisation, would it!?). I got a bit stressed when he started calling for volunteers to come up and have a go at improvising some of the songs...but there were some brave people (not me) who had a go.

Wendy, I don't think classical piano training via the AMEB method lends itself well to improvising, although I do like that it's given me such an appreciation of beautiful piano classical music. I gave up on theory after Grade 2, I was doing the theory exams when I was at Uni and I felt a little silly doing the written tests with all the seven and eight year olds...

Wendy said...

I did right up to 6th grade musicianship and I can't say it's helped me with improvisation. The main thing that has helped me is stopping classical lessons when I left school and playing at church. I'm a lot less rigid than when I was at school. I am glad that I can sight read, though. The number of times I've been given a piece and just had to play it (or someone got the number wrong...)!