Creative Ability Development

Timeline and History

  • Early 1980s: The Creative Ability Development method is conceived by Alice Kay Kanack as an experiment to help a special needs child.

  • 1984: Dr. Shinichi Suzuki nicknames Ms. Kanack “Mozart’s Mother” in response to her developing work in creative ability pedagogy. In a public speech at a summer program in Matsumoto, Japan, Suzuki introduces Ms. Kanack to the audience, encouraging them to study her work so that someday all children might "create!"

  • 1985-1995: Ms. Kanack continues her work in New York City, finding a home for experimentation at the Third Street Music School Settlement. The first of several tour groups is formed to demonstrate the potential and power of this unique method. At the request of area teachers, Ms. Kanack publishes her first books and CDs. In demand as a lecturer, Ms. Kanack travels the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and finally returns to Japan.

  • 1995: Alfred takes over publishing the Creative Ability Development Series, renaming it “Fun Improvisation for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano.” Ms. Kanack founds the Kanack School of Music in Rochester, New York.

  • 1997: “Musical Improvisation for Children", a pre-instrumental book for use with keyboards for absolute beginners, is published by Alfred.

  • 2000s: After spending several summers teaching at the quartet program, “Music at Port Milford,” Ms. Kanack is inspired to write a new book, “Improvising String Quartets.” With the help of Dr. Sera Jane Smolen, this latest addition to the series is completed in 2012. It is published by the newly-formed Creative Ability Development Press and distributed by Alfred.

  • With the publication of the new book and several more on the way, Ms. Kanack creates a new Tour Group based out of Rochester, New York, and has resumed guest appearances and lectures around the country.