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Aaron Jay Kernis$
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Leta E. Miller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038532

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Learning the Craft

Learning the Craft

Early Years and Training (1960–1983)

(p.7) 2 Learning the Craft
Aaron Jay Kernis

Leta E. Miller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter studies Kernis's early years and training. During the seventh grade, Mary Jane Scholl, a freelance music teacher, started Kernis on the violin. She also introduced him to some basic concepts of music theory and elementary composition—writing simple counterpoints and four-part chorales—which eventually led him into free composition and his first instrumental pieces. Kernis then began to teach himself piano “by sight-reading all the music [he] could get [his] hands on.” During high school, he studied jazz keyboard harmony at Temple University. He also took private piano lessons there, but after acting as his own teacher for so many years, he had developed enough bad habits that both he and the teacher were frustrated. By the time Kernis left for college in the fall of 1977, he had already won awards in composition from the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC).

Keywords:   music theory, elementary composition, free composition, jazz keyboard harmony, Temple University, National Federation of Music Clubs

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