‘Improvisation brings joy, creativity, and surprises into the lesson. For so many musicians, creating music spontaneously is the most joyous musical act’. Forrest Kinney

“The best ideas emerge when different perspectives meet” – Frans Johansson


This is just one of the pearls of wisdom that we are going to be sharing with you all over the next eight weeks. We invited all the best piano educators we could think of across the world to contribute to our Curious Improvisation Symposium. We are delighted that 11 of them sent us their contributions along with Trinity College, London.

Today, we’ll briefly introduce them to you. If you want to find out more, click on each of the links provided.


Andrew is an good friend and colleague of The Curious PIano Teachers. In his day job he is Director of Sales and Marketing at Alfred Publishing Co (UK) Ltd. He is author of ‘So you want to be able to improvise’ published by Alfred. CLICK HERE


Sally first met Bradley back in March 2017 when she travelled to the MTNA conference in Baltimore. He is very well known in the US as one of the leading improvisation teachers through his live online group keyboard creativity lessons. He has written two series on improvisation: That’s Jazz and Creative Chords. CLICK HERE


We’re sure that the name Carol Matz will be familiar one to many of you across the world. Carol is a very established composer and has written many excellent teaching pieces. Recently she has created Carol Matz’s Interactive Piano Method which combines the more traditional lesson book with online support and activities. CLICK HERE


When Sally was a young teacher (many moons ago!) she remembers getting really excited about the publication of Christopher Norton’s Microjazz. It was such a pioneering publication and it opened the gateway to a whole new world of popular styles and improvisation. Since then Chrisopher has continued to be both prolific and valuable in his output. CLICK HERE


It was back at the very first Music Education Expo that we first bumped into Elena on her stand with her self-published book Higgledy-Piggledy Jazz. Since that time Elena has founded a publishing company EVC Music Ltd and has become a well established presence on the internet. Helping pianists to improvise continues to be one of her central themes. CLICK HERE


If you’re lucky enough to have spent two days working on improvisation with Forrest (as Sally has) then you’ll know that what he brings really is something very special! His series of Pattern Play books are so inspirational and practical. Forrest Kinney isn’t yet a name you know and love then you are in for a real treat over the next few weeks. CLICK HERE


We first came across Joy via her great blog ‘Colour in my piano’. It was so exciting to meet her in person at MTNA 2017 and realise that we all share the same enthusiasm and passion for helping piano teachers across the world to develop their skills. CLICK HERE


Julie is one half of the successful partnership (the other half being Katherine Fisher) that created the PianoSafari method books. Since we first ‘meeting’ the Safari duo online we have become firm friends with both of them, loving the creative, research-based approach that underpins all their publications and work. CLICK HERE


Lucinda and Sally have worked together closely now for the past 10 years as Director and tutor on the renowned Piano Teachers’ Course UK. Lucinda is on a mission to get all pianists to be able to play something ‘Now!’ and to be able to play by ear and improvise. Her book Piano by Ear is helping her to achieve this. CLICK HERE


Olly was first introduced to us by Pam Wedgwood, who happens to be his mum. He has been playing the piano, singing, composing and performing since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. Olly did his degree in Engineering – however, he admits to spending more time on the gig circuit than in the engineering lab. After a short time as a teacher he decided to follow his deep passion for music fulltime. CLICK HERE


We decided to ask Trinity College, London to contribute to our blog symposium as they have included improvisation in the syllabus for a number of years now. We were delighted that they were able to contribute and would like to thank Peter Wild, Chief Examiner and Govind Kharbanda for their joint contribution. CLICK HERE


Wendy is well known across the world as a composer and innovator via her website ComposeCreate. Her Rhythm Cup games are great favourites within the Curious Community – Sally can testify that parents and pupils alike find them such fun. Once again it was great to meet Wendy in person at the MTNA 2017 conference earlier this year. CLICK HERE

So there you have it – 12 fabulous contributors to our improvisation symposium. Do join us next week when everyone gives their thoughts on ‘what is improvisation?’


This blog post was written by Dr Sally Cathcart, Director and co-founder of The Curious Piano Teachers.


  1. Lucinda

    Another wonderful initiative, Sally and Sharon! I can’t wait to read what everyone has to say, and am already imagining the results collated, with inviting musical examples, into “The Complete Guide to Piano Improvising” !

  2. Leon Maciocia

    Thrilled to see an improv symposium just after I join the CPT! I teach jazz improv via the ABRSM jazz piano syllabus and I am just about to start my 3rd year as a member of Jazz School UK. However, I have to admit that I struggle in non-jazz styles, especially the free-improv-in-response-to-an-image or student drawing type of activity. Any help or advice gratefully received!


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