Piano Summer Intensive

I’m beginning to realize that I love teaching. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to present an introduction to Film Scoring to about twenty kids at the Piano Summer Intensive camp in Pasadena. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

group shot

I put together a presentation designed to engage them as much as possible. After a couple of scenes illustrated musical techniques in relation to drama, we had a theme game where the kids were challenged to identify a movie theme as quickly as possible. Then we walked through things like spotting and temp tracks, and many of them either picked up on this very quickly or were already intuitive about it! I must admit that I had underestimated these amazing kids! There was nothing more gratifying than to see them excitedly and critically answering my complex, subtle questions about drama and music theory.

We ended the whole thing with another challenge: two volunteers came up to the piano and scored a scene! I told them not to worry so much about the notes (it’s a horror scene after all; dissonance is encouraged), but instead to worry about where they were stopping and starting the music (spotting) and when to get louder and softer. I demonstrated before I had two come up, and all three of us had different interpretations, none less valid than the other. What better way to demonstrate the beauty of film scoring.


I can’t wait to find another opportunity to share this passion with more eager young minds. This was an incredible experience that filled me with hope for our future!

Copyright © 2020 Brian LaGuardia | Rock Band by Catch Themes