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taught by harry

taught by harry


"Virtuoso jazz pianist and master improviser 'Harry the Piano' paid an inspirational visit to College last Thursday.  In two afternoon workshops he gave girls an informative and entertaining introduction to jazz piano improvisation. Harry soon had girls improvising right-hand melody lines over his own 12-bar accompaniments and learning to convey different moods and characters even with the simplest melodic material.  Many of these piano students had rarely attempted improvisation before but Harry’s expert guidance made things much easier and confidence increased with every chorus! 

Harry’s evening cabaret-style concert was attended by a large and enthusiastic audience who were treated to his distinctive blend of charm, wit and astonishing piano-playing.  Harry played his own arrangements which included classic medleys of Gershwin and Duke Ellington as well as comedy “mash-ups” such as Scooby-Doo in the style of a Mozart sonata and an operatic tribute to ringtones entitled “La Donna e Mobile”. The second half, however, contained the real highlights.  Firstly, CLC girls Lily Jones, Ekaterina Nikolaeva, Stephanie Fong and Elaine Wong showed great courage and talent in extemporising jazz solos in a public concert after only one hour’s tuition.  Harry ended by taking requests from the audience – “any tune in any style” and weaving these together into a completely improvised (and entirely unique) grand finale."

www.cheltladiescollege.org

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taught by harry

DEAN CLOSE SCHOOL


taught by harry taught by harry taught by harry


"Pupils at Dean Close Prep School have had a taste of professional life as a musician. BBC pianist Harry Harris, aka Harry the Piano, visited the school to host improvisation workshops, directing a series of 75 minute sessions with groups of pupils experimenting with improvisation and developing pieces together.

Rachel Hellier, Year 8 said, "Wow, what an experience. Harry has given me the confidence to try styles of music I never thought I would enjoy playing, I am really grateful for such a wonderful opportunity." The pieces put together were showcased at an evening concert in the Centenary Hall, followed by a performance from Harry who astonished with his cabaret style party pieces. Harry said: "I love teaching children improvisation - watching them grow in confidence as they experiment with different styles and techniques is so rewarding. It can give them a fresh perspective to their music and is a skill they can enjoy for years to come."

Tim McVittie, Head of Music said, "It has been a real privilege to welcome Harry to Dean Close. He is an absolute inspiration and our pupils have enjoyed the opportunity to perform and develop their skills and laughed a great deal as well."

Gloucestershire Echo

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taught by harry


taught by harry

MILLFIELD MUSICIANS PERFORM WITH LEADING PIANIST


World-renowned improviser, Harry The Piano, gave a keyboard improvisation masterclass to a selection of piano pupils, ahead of his evening concert. During the afternoon workshop, several of our piano pupils from nearly every age-group were given the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of Harry’s immense skill in sophisticated improvisation in every musical style imaginable – and were offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform alongside Harry in the evening’s concert!

Harry shared his depth of knowledge on the skill of improvising. He opened the masterclass by asking the pupils what elements of playing they find most daunting when they are called upon to improvise in a specific style, and used queries around manipulation of harmonies to guide pupils with demonstrations of subtle nuances of style, such as classical music. Harry also showed pupils how to improvise melody lines over a pre-decided chord progression, focusing on the 12-bar blues and accompanied pupils as they each had a turn.

After the masterclass, Harry the Piano performed a concert as part of Millfield’s International Concert Series. The concert began with a medley of well-known tunes, described by Harry as ‘…whatever comes into my head…’ Everything from Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor– as made immortally famous by Morecambe & Wise, to America from Leonard Bernstein’s West-Side Story. The climax of the first half left us with an inspiring improvisation on one of Harry’s all-time favourites, Somewhere over the Rainbow, performed in a beautifully sensitive manner.

The second half commenced with Millfield Musicians Robert Mulchrone, Yukha Machino, Theo Hirt-Madden, Harvey Morland and Lily Della Valle performing various, excellently crafted blues-style solos over the top of Harry’s striding bassline and crunchy chords, that they each learnt in the earlier afternoon workshop.

After this inspiring collaboration, Harry provided insight into how his mind works when improvising, explaining to the audience several of the techniques he employed to disguise the tunes and create new and exciting takes on existing works. Harry brought the performance to a close by improvising tunes randomly suggested by audience members in as many different styles as the audience could imagine – it truly was another dimension of creative thought; he even played a Mozart Sonata backwards!

www.millfieldschool.com

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taught by harry

HUTCHESONS GRAMMAR SCHOOL, GLASGOW

taught by harry

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