Brainarm: Composition Method For Non-musicians
October 14, 2015
In 2011 in Italy, at the Accademia Professionale di Musica, I experimented (and later on fully adopted) a method through which it is possible to compose high quality music even knowing nothing about music theory and instrumental technique!
I have discovered this opportunity of self-expression for non-musicians and developed it in about 10 years.
The person, regardless of whether he is a beginner musician or not, can express himself and start composing straight from the first lesson, without any need of being able to recognise notes and values, as well as having studied the instrument, because by taking advantage of the instrumental technique and the experience of the teacher we have immediate access to one's musicality and creativity.
The tutor is the passport to access to the immense creative heritage found in each one of us.
Public brainarm session (2012)
" 'Everyone is a composer' sounds too democratic as a motto.
But it's incredibly true! "
But how does Brainarm work in detail? The person becomes the creative mind (brain) and the teacher becomes the performing arm (arm), taking the role of a guide or musical conscience.
The teacher's part is to be able to single out the pupil's intentions and to know how to put them into practice, cancelling out any trace of personal influence.
It is not at all true that actualising good music is an objective attainable only after years of study and in depth knowledge of the instrument and musical culture!
We could say that even he who does not play or has been paying for a short while has some music within him!
Even before studying, our natural environment and the one of artificial media plunge us into a world of mostly structured sounds, putting some aesthetical decisions before us: some structures will be selected, absorbed and worked on by our unconscious side (according to a principle of analog resonance with our own personal experiences), some others on the other hand will be left out. In such way our musical preferences are formed, giving shape to our music!
Hence this Compositional Tutoring is useful to beginners and to those who although already possessing a discrete knowledge of the instrument, believe that they do not hold compositional ideas or struggle to some extent to express these.
It is then that leaning on the knowledge and experience of a teacher, that not only has played and composed for many years, but has also been trained specifically for compositional tutoring, it becomes possible to bring out the music within us, without being influenced by the tutor himself.
The so called iceberg effect is accomplished in the steps: the student draws a musical fragment from their unconscious through free improvisation, the tutor analyses it and perceives the potential, finally he stimulates the student to make the whole hidden subject his own, through a process of rendering carried out by them starting from the "emerging surface" of the very idea.
The innovative potential of compositional tutoring also lays in the fact that this is a privileged way of acquiring theory on the basis of a "harmless" method. And in this direct approach to the study of music - "from practice to theory" - the technical aspects of music become fun to discover and are no more a painful external enforcement!
Expressing yourself through the Brainarm method makes you feel a composer, without having to invest years and years of studying; this is why compositional tutoring is essential and necessary, to have immediate access to the superior aspects of musical art, without useless waits that cause only to become stiff and drawn away from artistic spontaneity, later having to reacquire it with effort.
During the past years due to the shortage of time that can be dedicated to music, many have decided to draw near to music through compositional tutoring and to work directly during the lessons, without having to give up even a minute outside of these.
Composing music through the Brainarm method is a change of perspective in the musical field, and not only this; it also means to acquire a greater knowledge of ourselves, since everything that emerges from our unconscious is not random, as it always represents our inner selves.
Looking at it in this light, the tutoring becomes a prospective far higher than just the pure artistic side, rising to a "psychological musical path", in which the fundamental steps of catharsis, growth in awareness and a consequent increase of self esteem become ever so recognisable.
A new instrument to aid our mental and emotive growth!
Photography: Alessandra Cicalini
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