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Why all musicians should learn to how to improvise

Ana here with 🎶 unpopular opinion time 🎶

Ready for it?! Here ya go..

All classical musicians should learn how to improvise!

Let me explain 😉

Amanda and I are both classical musicians. And we personally know MANY, MANY other classical musicians that don’t know a thing about improv. 

It’s just…. not really taught anymore 🤷‍♀️

But fun fact…did you know that in the time of Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann… improvisation was normal?? Professional and amateur musicians alike improvised regularly in concerts. Usually improvisation was done to show off the musicians’ abilities (cough where the cadenza was born…) and was even done in between pieces so that there could be a transition from one key to another.

So, my unpopular opinion actually USED to be a very popular opinion. Lol. 😂 

Anyway, whether you want to show off your skills in a concert or not, improvisation is also great for other things.

Learning improvisation makes you a better musician, and it makes you able to interact better with others. It helps your ears develop so you have an easier time tuning or staying on-beat.

And, improvisation is not just limited to jazz players!! (cue in Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann here…)

Improvisation is also a way for us to express ourselves creatively, play some different tunes, and have a wider variety of options for what we play. In fact, we think jazz improvisation is so important that we developed an entire month on it at Virtual Woodwind Academy!

Some concepts we dive into at the academy include:

🎵 how to improvise over tunes you already know (yes, we did a whole masterclass on how to create your own solo on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” last year)

🎵 learning how to read jazz chords (what the heck is a C7 and how do I play over it??)

🎵 how to make practicing more creative using improvisation

🎵 learning some basic jazz tunes you can play over right away

And thanks to Jazz Improv, I've been able to compose and can literally perform my own music when I want to! (see my original jazz tune called “Wanderlust!). I developed the tune in one of my regular practice sessions and wrote it down! 

So, what’d ya think? Are you ready to start using jazz improv to make your musicianship and practicing more creative?

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