Doing the work in Jazz

    I have an interesting observation from my jazz teaching. That leap that happens when a student has done enough work for the "lightbulb" to go on is a great thing. That moment when the realization hits that jazz improvisation is not magic, but can be worked on.  I have seen it happen at jam sessions - young players sound noticeably better. When I ask what has happened, they say they are working on playing over chord changes and are feeling better. My students come to a lesson feeling good about the tune we are working on. Lightbulb lit!

    Then there are students that understand the process, and run away! : )  They  don't want to go down that path, and that's fine. I hope they learn enough to be a fan of the music, if not a player - that's great! Lightbulb in that room intentionally turned off to go into another room! Awesome! 

    I have run into some players (with great potential) who aren't doing the work, but are coming out to sessions and sitting in. I want to positively encourage them to get better at the music. I care! The lightbulb isn't turned on yet, and the player is feeling their way around in the dark.  This one is the tricky one, and diplomacy is crucial!

    Wish me luck!  




    Michelle says (Oct 5, 2019):

    I think your approach is great Dave. It is really nice that you have a positive approach and understanding to knowing students have the lightbulb turn on at different times - if at all - and that that is okay! Thanks for sharing this little blog post!

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