I have given a lot of thought to the purpose of teaching the piano and the questions that most frequently pop up are: what do my students need most, how can I best help them, how can I better prepare them for a life in music, and how does all this square with the long-standing traditions and expectations in studio music teaching? I have long-felt that something was missing in the traditional music lesson: comprehensive universal skill training. Well-learned universal skills are vital and necessary to the traditional music lesson because they can significantly benefit every aspect of music and life – they become effective tools for any application. My book, The Transposed Musician, is a guide on how to systematically teach universal skills in the music lesson – something I have been refining for the past two decades.
Music teachers know their students don’t just learn to play music; they are also exposed to universal life skills along the way. But that’s just part of the story. Currently, most students are largely left to learn these universal skills – like problem-solving, patience, focus, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication – on their own and often not very effectively.
The Transposed Musician is a practical guide to teaching these universal skills within the context of a traditional music lesson. The results not only empower students to better confront the challenges of the twenty-first century, they significantly improve musicianship – a double benefit.
Author Dylan Savage spent two decades refining his approach to teaching universal skills through music, and he shares them in this book. Each of the eight chapters of The Transposed Musician focuses on a specific universal skill (problem-solving, focus, patience, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, improvisation, and creativity) and shows how students can apply that skill to music. He then shows how teachers can guide those students to “transpose” that skill to life and back again to music with far deeper understanding and musicianship.
With practical examples and clear writing, this book is for music educators wishing to help their students become both better musicians and also better-equipped citizens of the world. Students truly become “transposed musicians” for life and for music.