32 Tips and Tricks for “Letting Go” of Your Creative Inhibitions

I’ve discovered a few things along the way that have helped me immensely in overcoming my fear of improvising to help me to “let go” and just play. These are either ideas for when you are improvising, soloing, or composing or just some really good things to know. They will work with your learners, too:

How to Create a Safe Place for Improvising and Composing

Here are some simple actions you can take or phrases you can say or think to foster a safe place to explore and experiment with music in your general music classroom, band, orchestra, or choir classes: Things to Do If a learner has a song to play that they created and are enthusiastic about showing … Continue reading How to Create a Safe Place for Improvising and Composing

9 Pieces of Advice for Pre-service Music Educators

Learn to play the guitar - It's one of those instruments that is incredibly versatile and can be carried around the room, unlike the piano which creates an actual physical barrier between you and learners. It is used in many different genres, too. Learn how to play by ear and jam - Let's face it, … Continue reading 9 Pieces of Advice for Pre-service Music Educators

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.