Last December (only a month ago) I had the opportunity to meet living breathing composer Christopher Norton ( I say that because many of my students can’t believe that there are composers who are alive today!). If that name sounds familiar, that’s because you can find his works in the Royal Conservatory syllabus for piano and his Microjazz series is immensely popular. Mr. Norton is an active composer who continues to find time in his busy schedule of adjudicating, masterclasses and teaching around the world to composer music!
His specialty is jazz and improv, and at a class hosted by the BCRMTA, he showed music teachers how to incorporate jazz and improv in our private lessons. He showed us how easy it is to begin to learn how to improv by adding gradually adding various notes and rhythms to a simple pattern.
Mr. Norton was a delightfully entertaining speaker with funny anecdotes and jokes, and showed us videos of students around the world playing his pieces.
Although I would have loved for him to delve more into HIS creative process, it was fun and interesting to learn different ways to incorporate more creativity in our lessons.
To follow him on Facebook, click here. He often posts videos of people playing his pieces, and this can be helpful when learning them for yourself. Furthermore, he does check his Facebook often and if you ask him a question or post a video of YOURSELF playing his piece, he can give you his comments directly! How easy it is to communicate with the composer himself in modern times!