Greetings readers. I’ve been rolling around the net checking out all the Grammy happenings online from the official Grammy site to Facebook to Twitter and see that, as usual, there’s a lot of buzz. About a half hour ago, I finished a recording session with a talented keyboardist and friend. As I listened to him play the piano tracks, I thought about his love for the instrument he plays and the level of training he has, he delivers his playing, oftentimes, via jazz progressions. I began to think about how musical education in the schools greatly lessened in importance of over the years. There are many dynamics that keep a young musicians desire alive other than formal school training, but the facts are clear that the importance itself has diminished. Jazz has been no stranger to this dissipation. One could say that the advancements in music composing technology has added to the lack of importance AND possibly the desire to learn an instrument when many composing tools (digital audio workstations) come complete with samples and loops designed to compose entire songs with at least mouse clicks on a workspace. As a guitarist for 30 years AND an electronic musician, I can embrace both methods of composing music, and frankly, they marry well. It’s the experience and memory of taking guitar lessons, playing in the high school jazz ensembles and having the opportunity to take part in school music programs that I found to be most enriching as a musician.
I came across an interesting article by Wynton Marsalis: Jazz Is Life Music. If you are fan of jazz and especially a musician, give it a read. Here’s an excerpt:
“”How to make students want to learn…hmmm…. My father used to say, Ê»You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him thirsty.’ The best way I’ve found to combat the haze of uninspired participation that engulfs some of our young is for the director to be aggressively Inspired. Yeah, that’s what we need to do out here: stay inspired no matter what.
” You can read the entire article, originally appearing in the Oct 2009 Downbeat Magazine, here.
::: oceans of rhythm :::