Improvisation and the problem with an all classical music education

wpid-c360_2015-01-18-14-25-46-020.jpg Oh man I've been a busy bee this weekend. Saturday I started my day with a flute lesson (aka, one of the best ways to start the day) and I'm just about to head to a rehearsal now (Blogging 10 mins before I have to leave. #yolo) but the real highlight of this weekend has to be Veda St Sounds hosted by my magnificent friend Jessie Drane. (She's also a marvelous singer/ composer: )


Veda St sounds in a small music festival held at Jessie's house every year (I think sometimes it's more frequent, but I can't remember) Anyway, yesterdays version was split into two segments: The open mic and the bands. I had a jam with some awesome peeps in the Open Mic, and then ended up joining Bin Juice for the last few songs of their set.

wpid-c360_2015-01-18-14-20-35-146.jpgBeing able to play in a non classical setting is a skill I've picked up since I've been at Uni, and every time I find myself in a situation I have to improvise, I wish that it was encouraged earlier in my musical education. I was reading a great article on a website somewhere (It was a while ago, and I've since lost the link) about how its only recently that Improvisation has been discouraged in classical circles (and being classically trained, I've experienced this first hand) There's this sort of unspoken myth perpetuated by people in the classical world that 1) Improvisation is for Jazz musicians and 2) It's hella hard/ scary to do. I can attest that neither of these things are true. Being able and confident enough to improvise has also made my relationship with my instrument so much closer. I feel no separation between my flute and myself. When I was playing purely classically, I would only have this feeling when I was playing with sheet music. wpid-c360_2015-01-18-14-21-05-015.jpg I have two ensembles to thank for giving me a love of improvisation: The first is the Rhythm Hut's 5 Lands Band (5 Lands is thrown together once a month. It always has a different lineup, and they've never played the same concert twice.) . The first time I played with this ensemble the only contact with improvisation I'd ever had was in a shitty component in my course at uni. The experience was such a lot of fun, and I still play with them when I can. The second is my own band (specifically our first semester together working with Daryl, who encouraged us to do weird ugly shit with our instruments). Jamming/ improvisation is still a huge part of our writing process to this day! wpid-c360_2015-01-18-14-23-58-265.jpg Anyway, I should have left for my rehearsal 5 mins ago D: I'm going to stop rambling, and disappear.