About Forrest

1 Forrest at NCKP 2013

Forrest at a Conference, 2013

Forrest Kinney is an educator who has taught music for four decades. He is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) as recognized by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). His goal is to help others become creative, whole musicians capable of enjoying the Four Arts of Music: improvising, arranging, composing, and interpreting.

Forrest is the author of thirty books and collections of musical compositions. This includes the original Pattern Play series on musical improvisation, the newer Pattern Play series published by Frederick Harris Music, and the Chord Play series on the art of making spontaneous arrangements at the piano. His book Creativity—Beyond Compare explores common misconceptions about creativity and artistic practice. In January of 2017, a new Pattern Play-based series called Create First! made its appearance. 

Forrest is frequently a presenter at conferences and public events. He has given hundreds of presentations (speeches, workshops, master classes, concerts, teaching demonstrations, etc.) for music educators in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He has been the Conference Clinician, Conference Artist, or Guest Artist at sixteen state and national music teacher conferences. This includes six straight years (2012-2017) as a Guest Artist at the Music Teachers Association of California conference. In 2015, he gave five presentations at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, including a Teaching Demonstration of the Four Arts.  Though he usually speaks about the Four Arts, his topics have included performance anxiety, piano technique, songwriting, the history of music, and creative practicing.

Forrest is a pianist and performer. He has given many solo and collaborative concerts in the past few decades, many with vocalist Kevin Helppie, Ph. D., his collaborator on the World Songs project. At his engagements, he often begins by spontaneously composing pieces for audience members based on notes or themes given him. He also frequently improvises with audience members, some who have never played the piano before. Forrest played for the 25th time at the home of Bill and Melinda Gates in May, 2017. He also performed at many events hosted by the Seattle Symphony. 

Forrest at a Performance, 2011

Forrest at a Performance, 2011

Forrest is professional arranger. His arrangements for the piano and a variety of instruments are included in 40 publications by Frederick Harris Music.

He is a composer who has composed hundreds of piano pieces and songs. He is the co-composer with Dr. Kevin Helppie of World Songs, two collections of 35 original arts songs based on ancient poetry from around the world, and Drops of Silver, a song cycle.  

Forrest has written articles for such publications as American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion, and Music Matters. He was a columnist for American Music Teacher.

Forrest was awarded a U.S. Patent for inventing a new kind of computer key system that allows us to type all the letters of a word at once, just like playing chords on a piano.

Forrest lives amongst mossy trees in the mountains east of Seattle, generally preferring what he calls “a 19th-century lifestyle.” He is immensely grateful to be able to make his living by creating music and books, and by sharing his belief that creativity is a key to happiness.

To contact Forrest, visit the Contact Page.

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