Composers Corner: "A Spell for Slowing Down" by Stacy Fahrion

A meditative ambient solo and improvisation exercise for early intermediates by Stacy Fahrion that will set a relaxed and creative tone before, during, or after lessons.

Composers Corner: "A Spell for Slowing Down" by Stacy Fahrion

🧐 About “A Spell for Slowing Down”

Piano teachers understand the importance of slow practice, but sometimes it’s difficult to convey this to students. Do you have students who have trouble slowing down, and maybe believe that faster is always better? Or would you like a calming, improvisatory piece to play yourself before or after teaching as a kind of sound meditation ritual?

A Spell for Slowing Down is a meditative piece for early intermediates and up that helps set a relaxed and creative tone for a lesson. The piece is a musical meditation on an F minor pentatonic scale that will help both you and your students feel calmer, and perhaps even embrace the joy of playing slowly! 


🍎 Teaching the Improv sections:

  1. In bars 22-29, students choose their own notes for the right hand from an F minor pentatonic scale, playing the notes F, A-flat, B-flat, C, and E-flat. At first, I recommend setting a timer for two minutes and playing bars 22-25 over the F drone in the left hand.

  2. Then continue using the same notes in the right hand over the A-flat drone in bars 26 through 29 for another two minutes, and listen to how the different bass note changes the mood.

  3. If you have the time, feel free to improvise for longer than two minutes in each section. 

  4. Pianists can play single notes, or dyads, combinations of two notes, in these improvised sections, and can play in any octave.

  5. Pianists can play single notes, or dyads, combinations of two notes, in these improvised sections, and can play in any octave.


🎹 An upcoming Book of Spells!

This piece is from an upcoming book of musical “spells” with lots of structured improvisation opportunities involving pentatonic scales and modes.

👋 Would you like more spells for slowing down? If you have ideas for other spells you would like to cast as a piano teacher, please write them in the comments, and they might make it into the book!


If you enjoyed this piece we would also recommend:


Stacy Fahrion
Written by Stacy Fahrion
Stacy Fahrion writes in a style she calls “Whimsically Macabre.” Many of her compositions have been concocted from the remains of nursery rhymes. Her music has been described as “offbeat quirky seriously beautifully funny mischievously madly serious.” Stacy holds a Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa, and teaches piano lessons in Denver. She enjoys performing at house concerts, and when she’s not conjuring up new pieces, she can usually be found hiking in the mountains.

Comments

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Caren's avatar

Brilliant addition to what we teachers need in this insane world. Can’t wait for it to come out!!!!!!!!

BravoReply4 months ago
Jennifer Eklund's avatar

I totally agree - non-scary improv activities are always a great thing!

BravoReply3 months ago

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