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Creative Exploration

Composition and improvisation used to be part of classical music studies centuries ago, yet it has largely been ignored since the early 20th century. Creative work is an important part of training in Chris Chalfant’s studio, as she believes the act of engaging the student in their own creative process gives the student a well-rounded musical education, and it builds confidence and independence in learning. Students improvise and write compositions, sometimes following traditional structures, and often coming up with unique forms. Chris Chalfant draws on her experiences in art, classical music and non-traditional music to guide students in their creative process.

Often even the youngest of students intuitively create pieces with very sophisticated and unique rhythmic and phrase structures. Instead of deferring to a simpler notation that may compromise the intention of the young composer, Chris Chalfant helps the student capture their original impulse through singing, playing, recording and finely detailed transcription. Attention is given to building skills in precise notation and layout as the student develops. They learn to write by hand and with music software if available.

Composing and improvising gives an invaluable perspective from a different vantage point in the student’s studies of classical repertoire. They learn to study music questioning the original intent of the composer. While they learn to respect the traditions that have been passed down through the conservatory system, they question what the composer’s creative process may have been. They consider whether a score is just one version of the composer’s idea or an approximation of it, whether the copyist made errors, or whether the editor made artistic choices that compromised the composer’s intent or aesthetic.

Many students who have studied a combination of improvisation/composition and piano as young children with Chris Chalfant have gone on to top music schools, have won national composers’ competitions and have become successful artists in their own right.

Click here for CV
For interview and scheduling contact:
info[at]chrischalfant.com; 718-748-0484
Space is limited

 
 
 

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