EP01: Ludwig Treviranus – Using Comedy and Music to teach kids confidence

The Podcast

Show notes

Ludwig’s website: www.ludwigtreviranus.com

Ludwig’s Teaching Philosophy: I teach kids to listen, be confident, and express freely through music.

At Ease with Music workshop:

Standout quotes by Ludwig from the podcast:

“I feel that my aim as a teacher is to try and get them out of that shell. And create a safe haven where there’s no such thing as a wrong answer on the musical stage.”

“If the student can leave knowing that they have the confidence to speak up when they don’t agree with something that’s happening in the music or something that I’ve said and they come up with solutions that they can openly discuss – that there gives them so much more confidence.”

“Confidence is a gift that can be developed. It can be strengthened. And it’s a skill that’s got to be practiced.”

“Once these students create and build this ability to tell stories through their music, or create their own language, or express freely, that there is a win for me.”

“In order for me to retain the information, I try and find ways to simplify it. Or I try to find ways that entertain me…the information that we tend to remember is the information that makes us feel good or makes us laugh.”

“Laughter is a medicine”

“Comedy is camaraderie. Comedy connects…and you’ll find that the kids retain the information.”

[On an exercise he uses to develop comedic talent in kids]

“One of the things you can do is come up with some kind of expression or some kind of scene for them to vary the music. And from there what’s going to happen is that they start developing and build their own material that they can improvise on and it eventually starts to turn into comedy because they’re having a good time. But the instigator needs to be the teacher.”

[On a language and musical exercise he uses to develop expression]

“Play it like a Robot. Then ask them to play it like a human…and see what happens”

Books that Ludwig recommends

Piano Repertoire Books:

Sunrise: Music from New Zealand for Young Pianists


Living Echoes: The First 150 Years of Piano Music from New Zealand 


Take Flight: Music from New Zealand for Intermediate Pianists 


Method Books:

Faber and Faber – Piano Adventures “What I love about them is they’ve got littles areas where the student can be creative or improvise.”


Improvisation and Sight Reading:

Christopher Norton – American Popular Piano Series