What is musicmatters?
musicmatters is a piano improvisation method in the form of a game book (table of contents) and 16 game cards (table of contents).The game book contains easier games (suitable beginning with the second year of instruction), while those on the cards are more difficult (suitable beginning with the third year).

What's new about musicmatters? What makes musicmatters different than other methods?
An important insight we have gained in our teaching is: pupils (children as well as adults) don’t want to have to learn how to do something; they want to just be able to do it!!! This means we must break down individual steps in the learning process into elements small enough that the pupil can readily master each step. Our experience has also shown that learning is most effective when it involves more than one (and ideally as many as possible) of our senses. The conception of our pieces reflects this idea: when, for example, the pupil dampens the piano strings with his fingers and it tickles (a sensory experience of sound), or when he plays a piece blindfolded (intensifies the experience of hearing and touch). Simple and concise directions (meaning less text to read) and a clearly arranged layout make it possible for the pupil to start playing immediately and allow plenty of room for his own creativity.

For whom is musicmatters suitable?
for pupils

  • individual instruction
  • group instruction (28 players)
for teachers
  • who are classically trained, but a bit apprehensive about improvising
  • who play and perhaps even improvise well themselves, but are unsure how to teach improvisation to their pupils in a methodical and comprehensible manner
  • who are already incorporating improvisation into their teaching, but looking for new ideas
  • who are looking for teaching material for group instruction
for anyone wishing to learn on a self-study basis

How could one describe this method?
One could call our method “the method of small steps”. This means we break down individual steps in the learning process into elements small enough that each step can be readily mastered. In this way, the pupil experiences success from the very beginning.

What does one learn, and how?
Areas of learning:
  • ear training
  • training of memory and imagination
  • fun rhythm exercises
  • training of sensory functions
  • training of motor skills
musicmatters contains carefully prepared didactic concepts that are reflected in pieces that sound good and are fun to play. The pieces can be used in a variety of ways and adapted as desired. One can play them on their own or use them as preliminary exercises to prepare for difficult passages in the standard instructional literature (rhythmic or technical difficulties, problems with the independence of the hands, etc). In this way, the particular problem is placed in the context of a game and emotionally separated from the piece. The problematic passage can thus be practised and mastered in this new context, and the pupil’s new skills can be applied to the piece itself.

Why the title musicmatters?
The original German title klangquadrat (literally sound square) was chosen because it suggests a relationship between sound and form and between music and space.
Our English title musicmatters is a play on words, implying both matters of music and music is important.

Why does musicmatters come in a box?
  • because we wanted to emphasise the innovative and unique nature of our method with its external form
  • because the box format is reminiscent of a game
  • because it allowed us to combine game cards and a game book
  • chose game cards so that the order of play is completely free
  • we were also able to differentiate in terms of skill levels: game book beginning with the second year of instruction; game cards starting with the third year

Our experience
musicmatters evolved out of our teaching experience and has been thoroughly tested. Since the pupil is involved in the creative process, attentiveness is enhanced. The feeling of having created and achieved something helps build self-confidence. The difficulty level is always appropriate, since each player can adapt the game instructions to suit his present abilities. musicmatters offers a great deal of freedom, which helps keep the lessons lively. It is very exciting to see how different pupils create very different things from the same game.

Who publishes musicmatters? Where is it available? How can I order it?

It is published by Musikverlag Doblinger Wien (www.doblinger-musikverlag.at) and is available directly there or at music and book shops.
  • ISBN: 978-3-900-695-91-0
  • ISMN: M-012-19773-7
  • Doblinger order number: 01 428
  • Format 23 x 23 cm
  • Two-language edition: German/English
  • Price: EUR 24.90

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