So… I will be graduating in three weeks! This means that I am faced with the question: what do I do with myself?
Don’t get me wrong; I’ll have plenty to keep me busy with a new full-time summer job (teaching reading classes; can’t wait!), working on building a flute studio, and auditioning for regional orchestras. I also hope to find other professional musicians in my area who might be interested in creating a chamber music ensemble, as well as someone I can continue my studies with. I also hope to combine my love of writing/reading and teaching by continuing to tutor English.
That being said, this will literally be the first time since kindergarten that I will not have school waiting for me in the fall. I love learning and am so grateful for my education, but am genuinely looking forward to this new chapter in my life. My education has provided me with a good foundation, and now I want to USE it! So I’m faced with the question of: how?
I am starting to brainstorm ideas to put my love of creativity into practice. Ideas I have include teaching improvisation classes once again, finding colleagues who might be interested in improvisation, and lots of writing about musical creativity (including improv ideas and inspiration from composers/improvisers). I also want to create a video series with improvisation tips, how to incorporate it in pedagogy, and specific areas of musicality and technique that can be improved through the use of improvisation.
So what can you, my readers, expect? First of all, I will chronicle my creative journey, sharing my ideas and how they are put into practice. This is an exciting time in my life; I am full of ideas, and greatly hopeful that I will find success in at least some of them! You can be part of my experiences through this blog.
Secondly, this blog is meant to share ideas about how improvisation can help musicians and students to improve different aspects of technique and ensemble performance.
That being said, I think non-musicians can benefit from improvisation ideas as well. Much of improvisation involves an approach to thinking about and living out life. One thing that improvisation has taught me is a greater awareness of my surroundings and appreciation for the beauty that I find. Improvisation is all about connection; connection to ideas, connection to the choices that other people make, connection to your inner voice. I know this sounds vague; what I mean is, improvisation teaches people to be leaders in making decisions, to be great listeners and supportive of the musical choices that other people make, and to be strong in their own decision-making. These skills are very useful in every aspect of life, both in and outside of the musical realm.
If you haven’t tried improvisation, I hope that this blog might offer some encouragement and helpful advice for how to test it out. I think you’ll find that, besides being a lot of fun, it is very fulfilling because you have the opportunity to create something new that has your own personal stamp on it. Unlike composition, improvisation is ephemeral; that is, it only exists in the moment. There is something exciting about this; you have the opportunity to create something that was never made before, nor will be made again. If you are improvising with others, than you collectively create something that one of you would not have been able to construct on your own. You engage in a dialogue in which your voice is an important component.
If you have ideas for things you want addressed in this blog, let me know! I am looking forward to actively creating music, learning from other creative people (both in and out of music), and sharing my discoveries and experiences!