by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
If you struggle with tapping into your creative flow, I have a few ideas I fall back on. These will help you connect with your true self and an open heart—both crucial for expressing yourself through music.
In today's Tuesday Piano Tips LIVE inside the New and Returning Piano Learners Facebook group, I go in-depth to share three things:
Life events, friendship, nature, love, and loss.
How do I compose music?
I approach composing by listening to let the melody lead me.
Alternatively, I let chord progression dictate where I'm going. But I allow my creative voice to lead me by listening for what I hear next versus making a sound first.
An example of my composing process is a piece I wrote for my dad, Ocean Waving. I wanted to bring the ocean to him, so I emulated ocean waves by overlapping improvisational melodic lines from guitar and piano over a looping repetitive chord progression.
For my friend, Kay, I composed Sun & Bloom and Finding Spring. I wanted the music to be a cheerful expression of gratitude for our friendship. I aimed to evoke a spring or early summer bright day with an enjoyable comrade.
For my late friend, Tina, I composed On The Wings of Faith, using piano and strings to build a climactic crescendo with an ascending range of notes to symbolize her beautiful life state and the eternity of life.
I used a familiar pop song form or lyrics as a template for composing some of my musical theatre songs. This provided a ready-made template or structure for me to follow as I composed a melody set to the lyrics or set up a chord progression based on the form.
I allowed the story to be my guide when I composed music for a film. The story and characters helped determine a tonal template, instrumentation, range, and/or a soundscape versus writing a melody or using a musical form.
Links mentioned in the video are below:
Let me know if these suggestions are helpful or if you have more tips for tapping creativity by leaving a comment below!
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In my PIANO blogs, you'll find ways to overcome boredom, get past musical and mental blocks, explore the creative process with piano, and improve musical progress through piano teacher recommended best practices and effective piano practice tips.