Organic Music Theory

Organic Music Theory provides a radical perspective on creative production. Given elements supplied by nature and history, creativity is simply a matter of choice; anyone who has ever made a choice is 'creative.' However, instead of relying on recipes created by individuals of the past, OMT facilitates each of us to compose languages of the future, making creative choices directly from naturally occurring--organic--and self-organized universal elements.

Based on theory that began in the modal period in jazz, Ben Schwendener clearly explains and then expands this perspective into a broad range of applications. This important work is intended not only for musicians, but for anyone sensing the existence of a larger realm of creative choice.

Children’s Music Volumes I, II, III

Our approach to teaching piano, as you might gather by now, is a bit different from more traditional paths. It is not style, method, or level specific, rather, it seeks immediately from the first lesson to begin addressing all elements of music creation, as well as, of course, proper physical technique on the keyboard. And, it focuses immediately on creating “product.”

Students young and old, at any level of ability, are encouraged to bring music they enjoy playing or would like to play. From there we expand into other repertoire, which they or the instructor may introduce, selecting that which interests them.

Students are also encouraged from the start of our sessions to compose, improvise, and develop ear training and analytic skills. The approach taken is to customize to the individual and accommodates their current ability.

Perhaps most importantly though, is that this philosophy is based on the premise that everyone does have talent and an inherent capability to creatively express their own unique individual voice. This is a key aim of artistic development in the lessons and classes taught, both privately and in institutions.

So, for lessons, each student brings anything they’re interested in, and a blank manuscript book (preferably a ten-stave, which offers much more space for notes). We then create a customized and fluid methodology together. In the past, unique and entertaining recitals have been held in Gravity Arts Studio 1, located in Jamaica Plain.