/, Creativity, Games and Activities, General Music, Good Deals, Music for Teaching, New Music, Piano Teaching, Reviews of teaching materials/Teach Piano Improvisation with Forrest Kinney – Get the Create First Duet Book FREE

Learn to Teach Piano Improvisation with Forrest Kinney – Get a free Create First book!

Teach piano improvisation with Forrest Kinney with the new Create First books. Get your free duet book on ComposeCreate.com #improvisation #pianobook #teaching piano #pianoI’m so excited to tell you about a brand new series of books by Forrest Kinney that is designed to teach improvisation to all ages of students, including beginners who have no pulse! I’ve been a fan of how Forrest teaches improvisation ever since I started seeing his workshops on his revolutionary Pattern Play* series. But THIS series is even better. It’s Forrest unfettered and even comes with videos showing how he teaches it and how to transition between duet improvisation and solo improv. Plus, it’s available in both book and digital form. He wanted it this way especially for you international teachers!

And because Forrest is a very generous person and a friend of mine who knows how amazing the ComposeCreate community is, he wants to give you:

You get all of this because Forrest and I are friends and because I’ve told him how wonderfully creative you are and how generous and kind you all are. He has told me many times that he wants to give something very unique and special to you all and this is such a generous gift! I know because I’ve seen it.

This is gold.

I’m sorry, but this resource is no longer available for free. Please visit Forrest Kinney’s site to purchase it!

So how do you teach piano improvisation to beginners?

How to teach piano improvisation to any student sometimes seems like an impossible task. But if you’ve seen Forrest Kinney talk about this, you know he can make it happen using his amazing duet-to-solo technique. But, the original Pattern Play* books can be a little harder than some beginners can handle, so Forrest has written Create First to teach piano improvisation to any student, even beginners!

How does this duet-to-solo technique work? Listen to Forrest as he shows us first and then tells us in this video how it’s done! Brilliant!

How does the Create First Improvisation Series Work?

Ideally, a student first plays each piece in the series as a duet with a teacher, then plays solo. So, for each piece, there is a duet version and a solo version. The Create First solo and duet book are separate books, and teachers who download the sample will get the the duet book for free along with a few samples of the solo book!

Each of the pieces has a score and also a video to demonstrate how to teach piano improvisation and specifically each piece with students.

Create First Duet Videos

The Duet Videos each show a teacher giving directions to a student and then the two of them playing together. Here is the video for “For the Joy,” the first piece that explores playing with a beat.

Create First Duet Books

Teach piano improvisation with the Create First improvisation for piano by Forrest KinneyThe score for each piece in the Duet book has a Top part and a Bottom part. The Top part shows the group of notes the student plays with and suggests some starting rhythms. Usually the teacher will read this and just tell the student what to do. The Bottom part shows the Pattern (P), a short accompaniment pattern, and a Vacation (V), a contrasting pattern. The Bottom person moves back and forth between the Pattern and Vacation many times, varying them on the repeats.

I’m sorry, but this resource is no longer available for free. Please visit Forrest Kinney’s site to purchase it!

What’s Next? What Do I Do After Teaching the Duet?

When the student is able to go solo (play hands together), the teacher shows student how to play the accompaniment in the Solo Book and then add improvised melodies. When at home, the student can be guided by the Solo Video, the Solo Book, or both.

Create First Solo Videos

Each Solo Video begins with a sample solo improvisation followed by a precise explanation of how to play both the Pattern and Vacation. In this way, a student who does not yet read music can still play a piece.

Here’s one of the solo videos that demonstrates how a student can improvise a solo even though they can’t read music. NOTE: Forrest shows how to explain it to students halfway through the video. The first part is him improvising using the technique.

Create First Solo Books

Teach piano improvisation with the Create First improvisation for piano by Forrest KinneyThe Solo Books are designed for students who can read music at an elementary level (Prep A or B in the RCM system). Each piece has a Pattern, a Vacation, and a section labeled C (Create) that is filled with suggestions and ways to explore. You can see the solo page for “For the Joy” on the right and download it and others here.

Want More?

Here’s another Create First Duet: Cool

You get the score for both the duet and the sample as a free download. Watch how Forrest gets the students started very quickly and easily and then adds notes only after noticing that the student is comfortable. This piece is in Level One and is called called “Cool.” This piece introduces the A blues scale.

Now the follow-up Create First solo: Cool

Here’s how to make into a solo.

I’m sorry, but this resource is no longer available for free. Please visit Forrest Kinney’s site to purchase it!

Last Call!

Don’t you feel excited about teaching piano improvisation now?

What are your thoughts? Have you ever taught improvisation before? Have you ever taught with Forrest Kinney’s Pattern Play* books?

Read More:

*Pattern Play is a registered trademark of the The Frederick Harris Music Co., Limited

About the Author:

Come find me on Google+ or Facebook or Twitter


  1. Iris Westcott February 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    So excited about this. Thank you!

  2. May Lauren Brinkman February 14, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I teach improvisation & arranging to my students and love Forrest Kinney’s Chord Play books! I’ve always found the Pattern Play books to be too difficult for my beginners, so I’m excited to try out these new books. Thanks for letting us know these are available!

  3. Sally Licocci February 14, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I am so excited about this! I have been trying out a couple approaches but I think this will give me the support I need to be successful. I’ll give it a try! I have a couple kids that I know are going to like this.

  4. Jennifer Foxx February 14, 2017 at 11:07 am

    LOVE Forrest! Super excited about this! 🙂

  5. Beth Marquardt February 14, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    WOW! I use the Pattern Play books and the kids love them! Looking forward to trying out these new books. Thank-you so much for this generous offer!

  6. Melinda February 14, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    This is amazing! When I played jazz piano in middle/high school, I had NO clue what I was doing when it came to improv. I loved the idea of it, but felt like I didn’t know enough to do it right. I’d gotten a chord book for myself and taught myself how to read them by memorization. I didn’t study privately from 6-8th grade (I’d outgrown my first teacher and was looking for the right fit). My next teacher taught me theory to an extent (I didn’t get any from my first teacher), but still no ear training. My last teacher Jr/Sr year was phenomenal, but I still didn’t do any ear training, although she taught me all I needed to know to be ready for Music Theory 1 in college. I always used my knowledge of theory to make my best educated guess for much of aural skills. I wish this was around when I was a kid! But you know what? I’ve found some of the most awesome resources for teaching kids nearly everything (have you learned about Dr. Feierabend’s Conversational Solfege?? It’s insanely amazing and I’ve been incorporating it into my private lessons even though it was developed for use in the elementary school music classroom. My 5 year old can do elementary rhythmic and melodic dictation! And a class of 1st-4th graders are starting to be able to do it too with no outside private music training!) and I am learning SO much for myself. Through using resources like this, I am becoming a more well rounded musician myself and I find it absolutely thrilling! Thank you for sharing!!

  7. Lyndel Kennedy February 15, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Forrest has a heart for making the art of music – the art of sound – accessible to us all. I’m excited about his newest release.

  8. Shauna Vartanian February 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you dear Wendy Stevens and Forrest Kinney! I have been wanting to improvise and to teach improvise and this will help me go forward.

  9. Esther Marks February 17, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you Wendy and Forrest! Forrest is a wonderful, artistic, creative and accessible musician. I enjoyed his philosophical and pedagogical approach to teaching music at NCKP.

  10. Anne February 19, 2017 at 7:59 am

    thanks so much Wendy and Forrest. I can’t wait to bring this to my students, They are going to love it!

  11. Jan February 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Wendy, as I looked over purchasing the videos, it said you can view them 15 times for 4 months.
    Can they be saved to use later on or are they only available for the 4 months?

  12. Wendy Stevens February 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Jan,

    I’m not sure where you read the 15 times. You can actually view them as many times as you want for 4 months. But we pay for monthly access to host the high quality videos so that’s why they are only available for a limited amount of time…it helps us keep the costs down for everyone. You can’t save them to use for later as that would violate the terms and conditions.

    Thanks for your interest! Let me know if you have any other questions!

Leave A Comment

By using this Site you agree to the Privacy, Terms & Conditions, which explain how we use information you submit.