Maestro & Me Week 2

Maestro & Me Week 2: Diving In!

from Artistic Director Gemma Turvey


This week was all about improvisation – or making our own melodies on the spot.


We started by listening to some 12 bar blues, and writing down the ‘map’ for the song in our manuscript books which included drawing bar lines, chord symbols and treble clefs! We then took this over to the piano to play our own 12 bar blues…


The blues is a wonderful starting point for improvising. Students find it fun to listen to and quite easy to emulate. But also because it is almost impossible to play a wrong note! Of course some notes will sound better than others, and I give them a head start on what notes will sound best. But the rest is up to them!


Watching the students improvising this week reminded me of children jumping into a swimming pool; some will wait at the edge for a long time, some will get in gradually and slowly, while others will just plunge in! And regardless of how they start, once they’re in, they don’t want to get out!


It is so important to encourage our young music students to improvise and discover music by improvising. Next week we’ll start the process of composing our own melodies. I can’t wait!



Maestro & Me is an initiative of Buninyong Primary School and the NPCO.

Through Term 2 selected students at Buninyong Primary School Years 3-6 will work with NPCO Artistic Director, pianist/composer Gemma Turvey learning how to improvise and create their own, original compositions! The program culminates in their Music on the Mount concert in June, showcasing many of their compositions premiered by the New Palm Court Orchestra for the broader school community!