The “Continuum of Creativity”

I began thinking about the concept of a “Continuum of Creativity” after watching Adam Neely’s video “Why No Rap Covers?” In the video, Adam Neely, and Ethan Hein examine the idea of why rap covers are so rare. It comes down to an unwritten rule throughout hip-hop culture that dictates, lyrically and sonically speaking, that covering (biting) other rappers is disrespectful and should not be done. Of course “covering” is common in jazz and in rock music culture, as well as a number of other Western musical traditions. As Adam points out in the video, there is a book of songs that every jazz musician needs to know how to play. In rock music, there are tribute bands devoted to copying entire recordings note-for-note.

9 Ways to Use Google’s Blob Opera

So, you've learned about Google's new Blob Opera. It's fun, right? This online machine-learning app is more than just a fun time filler. It has the potential to enable creativity, and can give learners the opportunity to play with the concepts of not only composition, but also arranging, blend and vowel formation, ear training, voice types and ranges, computer programming, and even theory! Here are some ideas for including Blob Opera into your lesson plans.

Tech Ideas for Creative Musicking

Technology can sometimes complicate things but it can also make things much easier for everyone. I know that getting your learners to be creative and being creative yourself can be a challenge. As classically trained musicians, we tend to over-think improvising and composition but these are not as complex as we make them seem. Here … Continue reading Tech Ideas for Creative Musicking

How to Include and Engage Horn Players in Your School Rock/Popular Ensemble

So you have a small class with mostly horns but a couple of kids play guitar and drums, or a group with lots of rhythm players and a couple of horns. You think "It would be really cool to get a rock group going or some type of horn band or at least try to … Continue reading How to Include and Engage Horn Players in Your School Rock/Popular Ensemble

The Pathways to Lifelong Music Making: Classical vs. Popular Styles

Ask a former concert band learner if they still play their instrument after high school. Chances are 80–90% of them will tell you that they don't play anymore. Of that 10–20% that do, half of them are likely studying music in university and the other half have found a community group to play with. Ask … Continue reading The Pathways to Lifelong Music Making: Classical vs. Popular Styles