Quick Tips

How to Improvise on the Piano

By Hoffman Academy Team
Why Learn to Improvise

Why learn to improvise? Hoffman Academy instructor Stephanie will tell you! 

Learning to play other people’s music is great, but it’s only half the fun!

Music Is a Language

When you learn another language, do you only recite phrases from other books or media? That would be pretty silly! Instead, you use the vocabulary and rules you learn in order to have conversations and tell your own stories. To be fluent in the language of music, students need to feel comfortable and confident creating their OWN music. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems! Like any skill, it can be learned, and just takes a little practice and some assurance. When you’re improvising there are NO right or wrong notes. Just like a conversation, you play whatever you want to express!

Explore and Discover through Improvisation

Improvising is a great way to explore and discover what you’re good at and what you like. As you improvise, you should be listening and evaluating what you hear. Through improvisation you can intentionally or unintentionally create sounds and harmonies that you’ve never heard before! It doesn’t have to sound good or bad, and the more you do it, you’ll start to learn how to make the sounds you want to make. Improvising is also a great way to experiment with new music theory or technical concepts. For example, if you’re learning about intervals, a great idea is to improvise using only certain intervals. You’ll not only better learn what each interval sounds like, but you’ll also get really good at playing them as well. Or, if your teacher has taught you about wrist rotation, then what better way to integrate that into your technique than by improvising with it!

Ready to Get Started?

Check out Hoffman Academy Lesson 2 for a great introduction to improvisation for beginners. Premium Membership gives you access to our Practice Album, too – an excellent resource for improvising with the songs you’ve learned! 

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