Improvising by Dr Michael Spacie

It is a huge joy to pick out a tune and harmonise it using an array of keys and chord patterns and playing it in a range of styles and understanding how the music works from the inside out. Improvisations can include changes in register, changes of mode and key, unpredictable modulations, additions of accompaniment patterns, modifying a left hand passage and composing a new right hand, simple to complex variations, clusters, glissandi, chromaticism, cadential progression, unexpected swerves of harmony, rhythmic complexities, scale passages etc.. This leads to a vibrant discovery where the nuts and bolts of music construction becomes a reality without necessarily being preoccupied with exact movements of the fingers, although a general overall ‘map’ of construction is often helpful if not essential. Improvisation and harmony can be encouraged through eighteenth-century performance practice – the recognised fact that … read more »

Dr Michael Spacie’s Vocation of Teaching

Students are always welcome and encouraged to achieve their best in music. There can be few occupations more rewarding than the teaching of music privately. There is a distinct reward and gratification that comes from watching your students fulfil their potential. Very often playing the piano or singing with musicality and correct technique can overcome lack of belief in oneself and unlock a personality. It can help to give a person strength and joy that in turn helps to overcome any shyness they may have. I always encourage students to play or sing in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where they can have fun whilst learning. My lessons, however, are meaningful music sessions and not therapy per se. I am not a qualified counsellor or music therapist. I use my own musical skills to get the best out of the … read more »