An Introduction To Melodic Improvisation

The ability to improvise is not something that people are just born with.

Creative music making is not something that is just for the ultra-talented or those with a "gift".

Improvisation is not only important in jazz!

Improvisation is something we can all learn, just as we have learned to walk, talk or do anything else, and it has been a key ingredient in music making for hundreds of years. However, unlike other musical skills, the ability to improvise has been traditionally developed through a huge amount of independent trial and error leading to the myth that it simply cannot be taught. My ambition is to show that this is nonsense!

My six stage course An Introduction to Melodic Improvisation does exactly that.

For most people, what stands out here is the word "improvisation" as that is, after all, what the course is about. However for me, the key word is "melodic". Anybody can improvise. Its easy - you just waggle your fingers around (or whatever action your instrument requires!) and make a lot of noise. However, improvising an actual melody - something with shape, structure, a beginning and an end, a meaning and a purpose ... that's entirely different. And that's what I can teach you how to do.

An Introduction To Melodic Improvisation is delivered over six sessions which are best spaced at least two weeks apart, ideally with one session per month or per half term when applied to a school timetable. The course is progressive with each session building directly upon the last, and partipants leave each session with a written record of what they've learned and access to further online resources, as well as lots of ideas to explore. Sessions themselves are practical, fun and interactive, and students will certainly need their instruments!

Group size can be anywhere between six and twenty. There is no minimum standard required to take part, however students should ideally be able to play a complete octave (all the letters from A to G) as well as the notes F sharp and B flat. Advanced players will benefit from the course equally - the unique beauty of improvisation is that similar methods can challenge players at nearly any level! Improvisation is not only for jazz and contemporary musicians and the course places an emphasis on the use and importance of improvisation in a variety of styles. Whilst musicians of any age can learn to improvise, this particular course is aimed at age 12 to adult. Please get in touch if your child is a tad too young but still keen!

My follow-on course "Developing Melodic Improvisation" is also available.

 

 

 

 

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Last week I blogged about a few approaches to developing ideas in an improvisation and I featured a sax solo by Bob Reynolds, promising to break it down further ... so here goes!  If you've not r ... (read more)

 

 

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