Maestro & Me Week 3

Maestro & Me Blog Week 3

From Artistic Director Gemma Turvey


“Blue Suede Shoes”


This week was about learning the 12-bar blues. I knew it was going to be a lot of fun, but my day became even better when I arrived to discover the Head of Music had located a D-sharp addition for the xylophone!


D sharp (D#) – more commonly known as E flat- is a specific note which in the key of C major is known as a ‘blue’ note. It’s one of the elements that makes ‘the blues’ sound the way it does.


We began each session by listening to Elvis singing Blue Suede Shoes, as an example of 12-bar blues. Lots of foot tapping, smiles and general wriggling!


I then showed the students how to divide their manuscript up evenly in to 12 bars, draw a double bar line, repeat sign, and for the older students some short hand harmony! The joy of the students working on manuscript paper was an utter delight to watch.


We then moved to instruments and each student had a turn at playing their own 12 bar blues, while others accompanied on tambourine and piano! The experience of improvising a melody was so empowering for the students. One student stared in awe at the xylophone at the end of his 12 bar improvisation, saying ‘Wow, I didn’t know I had that in me!’


Next session we embark on composing our own melodies. They are so excited and have so much to say, I can’t wait to hear what they create!


About Maestro & Me

Maestro & Me is an initiative of Buninyong Primary School and the NPCO, funded by Creative Victoria’s Artist in Schools Program.

Through Terms 2 and 3 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 will culminate in their Music on the Mount concert in September, showcasing many of their compositions performed by the New Palm Court Orchestra for the broader school community!