Full Series – Making it up: Improvising, ornamenting, harmonizing, and playing what isn’t there



Think you have to be born with a special talent to play music that isn’t on the page? Think again! Just like learning to read between the lines or draw pictures of imaginary objects, anyone can learn to play notes that aren’t on the page.

“Improvisation” sounds like a huge, intimidating thing to attack head on if you don’t think of yourself as an improviser. So in this series, we’ll break it down systematically and focus each class on a specific aspect of making stuff up.

Of course, if you play Renaissance or Baroque music, the ability to ornament and embellish is an expected part of these styles. And there are lots of modern day settings where improvisational skill is useful.

These exercises are also great for improving your command of harmony and chords, great for your listening and ensemble skills, great for your recovery skills when you get thrown off in an ensemble, and also just really fun!

1. Ornamentation – March 28, 5PM-6:30PM EST

2. Harmonizing a melody – April 4, 5PM-6:30PM EST

3. Playing from a lead sheet – April 11, 5PM-6:30PM EST

4. Improvising to a ground bass or chord progression – April 18, 5PM-6:30PM EST

5. Putting it all together: Free improv, plus exercises and jams that combine the skills from sessions 1-4 – April 25, 5-6:30 PM EST



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