The study of Composition and Improvisation teaches us so much more than how to compose and improvise. Doing so will make you a expert reader-interpreter of written music and a competent listener-feeler when playing by ear.
If you study Composition and Improvisation the right way, you will…
- learn how to interpret written music and lead sheets like a pro, realizing that there are many musical dimensions (form, melody, rhythm, harmony, and so on) that go well beyond mere dots of a page.
- discover that composing or improvising music is a very learn-able process that is energized by three things:
- practical knowledge of musical patterns (form, scales, chords, chord progressions, rhythm, etc)
- insight into the connections between craft and emotional impact, and
- curiosity and willingness to experiment with sounds.
- learn that composition is like written language and improvisation is like spoken language.
- learn that music has a wordless vocabulary and grammar like no other language and no other art form.
- discover that an enormous amount of music can be made by using just a small number of very simple patterns.
- learn that the process of composition and improvisation spans all styles of music: classical, jazz, boogie woogie, blues, rock, country, gospel, whatever.
- develop an intuition about what makes melody and harmony really tick.
- see why the mastery of sound patterns (scales, chords, chord progressions) is essential to understanding how music works.
- appreciate the critical importance of form, the large-scale temporal organization of music that provides unifying structure.
- see the power of rhythm as a organizing force.
- appreciate harmonic tension and release as shapers and drivers of musical energy.
- discover that composing and improvising “one-note-at-a-time” is not the way that musicians compose and improvise.
- see that successful and joyful creation of music is more about committing to big ideas and patterns and less about fussing over every little detail.