The Art Of Transformation: Halloween Creativity

Mady talks about Spooky Waltz.jpg

Halloween provides a wonderful excuse to teach a student to transform a piece of music. There’s something about this holiday that brings out the most imaginative side of many children.

My student, Mady, was playing this sweet piece by William Gillock called A Graceful Waltz.  It’s in the collection called Miniatures– all late-elementary pieces with sophisticated sounds. Instead of saying, “Let’s transpose this to the parallel minor and add an extended coda,” I suggested that she might want to experiment with turning it into a Halloween piece. (I think I said, “Do you think we could make this piece sound spooooooooky?”

This is what she came up with:

Anyone who could use a little creative push in your studio this week? 

William Gillock's A Graceful Waltz transformed into the halloween classic A Spooky Waltz. 

William Gillock’s A Graceful Waltz transformed into the halloween classic A Spooky Waltz. 

Try any combination of these:

  • Change the piece from major to minor.
  • (You can always take a little C Major piece and play it up a step on D and it will become minor.)
  • Add LOTS of pedal. 
  • Improvise something spooky underneath it all. This could just be low, murky notes plays on the downbeats. It doesn’t have to be fancy. 

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