My name is Tiina Kukkula and I am from Finland. I have a masters degree in music pedagogy from Oulu’s university of applied science and I have been a piano teacher almost 3 decades.A few years ago I, among other instrument teachers in Finland, was facing a new problem. We had a brand new, amazing curriculum of music studies in which says, that every student studying extensive curriculum must improvise and compose too and in basic curriculum these are highly recommended. I’m not a composing teacher, at that time I didn’t even let myself to compose. How was I supposed to help my students to do that?

Composing with my students gives a new wow-factor to their studies but to my work also!

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Composing is a great way to release musicians creativity. It is easy to think that a piano student’s playing skills need to be at a very high level before he or she can try composing. How wrong that idea is! Composing and improvising are skills that should be practiced from the early stages of studies, but it’s not too late to start composing in later studies also. A child who does not yet have much experience in managing an instrument often has really creative musical ideas, which are important to get heard in. Picasso also says, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist as we grow up.”  Composing provides the necessary counterbalance to the practice of existing material and helps the student to enter the flow state while playing, no matter how high the students playing skills are.

Let’s start this composing journey together!

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Making music and inventing your own songs has been a part of humanity through the ages. Man has created art and passed it on to future generations thousands of years. In earlier centuries, composing was a natural part of music studies. At a time when old music was not valued in the current way, students played a lot of material composed by their own teacher. In recent decades, composing has been mystified as a greater than life privilege for the few and the chosen ones. Now is the time to shed those outdated ideas that no longer correspond to 21st century learning concepts! Everyone that studies music has personal ideas and every music student is able to compose music they like and what gives them joy and what they can feel deeply!

Composing frees student’s creativity and gives them a huge sense of empowerment. Also many students suffer from a wrong kind of perfectionism and self-criticism and composing is a great way to release those pressures. It is their own music. No one else can define, how it should sound or how the music should continue. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad, there’s only their free creation, which sounds good and of which they can be really proud of. Composing gives students motivation to all of their piano studies. I have watched children, which have had a little lack of motivation, find their passion to music again through composing and after completing their composition their piano studies have gotten wings and they have evolved in their piano studies faster than they have ever before.

There’s a lot of things a piano teacher must teach and the lessons are never long enough. I suppose many of you are wondering, how on earth can you find time composing during lessons, when you have to teach music from different eras of art, teach scales, music theory and also teach students, how to play with chords so that they can accompany others and play for example pop music. Like I said, the lessons are never long enough! I can tell you, that I have found a solution to that and I will help you to manage with time also.

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In this course I will guide you to the world of composing with your students and maybe you will find your own voice and start composing also if you haven’t done that before. I will teach you my composing tasks with which it’s really easy to help students to start composing. I have tasks to beginners but also to advanced students and many of my tasks can be modified to the right skill level for the student. I teach you, as I told before, to manage with time and how to support and help your student’s composing without interfering too much. It’s not our job to make our students to compose that kind of music we ourselves would compose. They have to find their own voice.

It is not the piano teachers job to be a composing teachers, but our job is to introduce our students the world of composing, help them to free their creativity and find a lifetime passion to music. Join my course and I will show you how. During your journey with me you can always ask if you have any questions. You can share your students compositions in our closed Facebook group and get ideas from other teachers, how to help your student to continue. You can ask questions inside the teaching pages and if you want to ask something more privately, you can always email me.