Bringing Back the Simplicity of Music Language to Master Piano Improvisation and Improve Emotional State

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Image of music therapist and music teacher Svetlana Emelyanova

Over time lots of complexity layers were added to music to limit people’s creativity. And a simple truth has been forgotten: everyone is musical by nature and everyone can speak a language of music.

Our educational system is too focused on developing the “left side of the brain”. In music institutions, children are mostly taught to memorize sequences of notes and develop mechanical techniques without true emotional connection and understanding of what they are playing. Let’s draw an analogy between the study of spoken language and musical language. We do not give a child a primer right away. He starts by repeating some words, and phrases, then combines all these constructions into sentences, and so on. And he is motivated to talk freely. What if instead he is forced to learn by heart the texts of others and is forbidden to express himself? Will he ever learn to express his thoughts? Unlikely. But in traditional music schools, such an approach is considered normal. People can study music for years, and never learn how to freely express their own musical thoughts. Those who never studied music have strong beliefs such as “I do not have hearing! I do not have talent! Music is very difficult and it will take years to master piano playing!“. But there is a way to help people change their attitude towards music and their abilities: intuitive instrument playing.

Intuitive piano playing is based on the simple music modes theory and explanation of the music language parts (melody, intervals, chords), rhythm, and form of the composition. And is highly dependent on the person’s mind and body freedom. As tension and muscle clamps create serious barriers to self-expression (in everyday life, not only while playing an instrument). You will learn simple but effective physical exercises to remove unnecessary tension in the shoulder girdle and wrist and improve finger mobility. And breathing techniques that allow to reduce stress levels and switch brain activity from logical to creative mode. All combined during a session with a client help to increase the level of awareness, notice false beliefs, turn off the “autopilot” and unleash creativity.

Learner Objectives

Provide individualized music therapy experiences to address client’s:
– ability to use music independently for self-care
– motor skills, self-awareness, and insight

To achieve therapeutic goals:
– apply a variety of modes, and the elements of music (e.g., melody, harmony, rhythm).
– improvise using instruments (piano)
– utilize breathwork, creativity, and flexibility in meeting client’s changing needs.

Presenter Biography

Svetlana Emelyanova, Master of Engineering and Technology, is a music therapist and music teacher who teaches piano improvisation, musical literacy, and vocals using methodologies supplemented by 15 years of musical experience and knowledge of physiology and psychology.