Attending the Improvisation Rhythm Performance Technique Training Workshop

by Elena Konstantinidi | July 20

Edison R. Carolino developed the Improvisation Rhythm Performance (IRP) technique for young children who struggle with the mainstream method of learning a musical instrument. Beginning from simple pictures, the technique allows the students to have an easy transition into recognising notes and sounds, therefore learning how to play the musical instrument of their choice. The training is provided by Edison and it includes two workshops.

In preparation for my upcoming trip to India, I had the privilege to attend the first training workshop. There were two more participants attending and after introducing ourselves, we began the workshop with various activities on the drums to wake our five senses.

In order to practice this technique, the teacher needs an IRP box which contains all the materials needed for its application. The box includes cards and boards which are to be used at different time frames. The initial group of cards displays animals, people or items and are introduced one at a time. The student is asked to improvise in the theme of the card presented. Edison emphasised the importance of the use of different sounds for each card. When the student becomes comfortable with the cards, the teacher adds counting numbers while playing the sounds to the original cards. This supports the student to learn counting rhythmically. The following step is the addition of emotion pictures which are represented by a sad, happy or angry face. Emotions represent musical dynamics. Combining all three steps, the student learns to play the sound of the first card in connection with rhythm and dynamics. In the final step, the teacher replaces the first picture with a musical note, introducing pitch to the student. After this stage is completed, the student is ready to start using mainstream books in order to continue learning the musical instrument.

During this introduction, Edison demonstrated examples of different sounds on the piano and shared video material from his sessions. We finished the workshop with discussion and I received the IRP Box with all the materials needed to practice the technique. It was a very informative morning and I look forward to applying the IRP technique when I arrive in India.