Eric Mayson is a multifaceted musician that utilizes unique methods to inspire his work. Learn about his improvisational style of composition and create your own improvised piece.
For more MN Original resources, click here.
Objectives: Eric Mayson is a multifaceted musician that utilizes unique methods to inspire his work. Learn about his improvisational style of composition and create your own improvised piece.
Tools/Resources: Pen and paper.
1) Watch the segment and discuss:
a. How does Eric Mayson use unconventional inspiration and methods to create his music?
i. What other instruments could be used in the multifaceted way Eric uses the piano?
b. Is it clear who is inspiring whom in this clip? Are the dancers movement’s informing the music or is it the other way around?
c. How does his style change in the second half of the segment?
i. Do you hear similarities between the improvisations he created for dancers?
ii. How does the feel of his music change when he’s accompanied by a full band?
2) Eric’s improvisations rely heavily on instinct and active listening to the rhythms being created by the dancers.
a. As a group create your own improvised percussion soundscape.
i. Start with one person tapping out a rhythm on their desk or table, keeping it consistent.
ii. Without speaking, one at a time, everyone will join by add your own, unique rhythm.
1. How did you know when you were ready to add your rhythm to the group?
2. How did you communicate without words?
3. What did the end result sound like? Were all of the rhythms working together?
4. Did it sound like a single cohesive rhythm?
© 2016 PBS & WGBH Educational Foundation.
All rights reserved.
You must be logged in to use this feature
Assign directly to your students using the code or link above, without having them log in. Simply tell your students to go to
www.pbsstudents.org and enter the Assignment Code, or click on the Assignment URL to share the assignment as a link.