Welcome!

  • What rules about jazz are you looking for permission to break?
  • What rules must we keep for it to still be considered jazz?
  • What is your biggest fear about teaching jazz?
  • What is your biggest fear about playing jazz yourself?

I don't claim to have all the answers, but I can share some of my story and some ideas that have helped me navigate those rules and overcome some of the fears.

What does "No Rules, No Fear Jazz" Really Mean? Pt. 1. Powerful Words

The words we think to ourselves, say out loud, and act on in the real world create our reality. Use this power of words to get what you really want.

New Article on Creativity; "Cultivate" just published

Hi,

 

I just posted a new article on the Creative Process, called "Cultivate." Read it here!

NJMEA 2019 Conference Handout

If you missed the handout from my "Play Freedom: Jazz Improvisation for Everyone" clinic at the 2/21/19 NJMEA Conference, click here to download a pdf.

Read All About It!

My book, "Rhythm First!" got a mention in the new books section in the latest issue of the International Musician.  Check it out here!

New Articles Posted!

My article Teaching Beginning Jazz Improvisation: “All In Good Time”  is now available to read here or download and take with you to the beach, mountains, or backyard hammock!

Additionally, there's a mini-article with my attempts to define  swing rhythm here.
Let the passionate  arguments begin!

Zeswitz Symposium!

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the 4th Annual Zeswitz Symposium a great opportunity for music educators!

I gave my "No Rules, No Fear Jazz" talk to an appreciative and cooperative group of teachers...Here's what they came up with when we talked about our four big questions:

The Number One Fear about teaching Improvisation? Improvisation!

Lots of folks say that improvisation is the hardest thing to teach in a jazz band. Many times we’re led to believe in these old ideas, which just become stale excuses.

Your Rules, Your Fears

I was invited to give my talk on "No Rules, No Fear Jazz" in February 2018 at the NJMEA Annual Conference. I asked the folks attending to give me a quick answer to my four key questions:

  • What rules about jazz are you looking for permission to break?
  • What rules must we keep for it to still be considered jazz?
  • What is your biggest fear about teaching jazz?
  • What is your biggest fear about playing jazz yourself?...

When I look through their answers, it seems like the number one thing people are thinking about when teaching jazz improvisation is: IMPROVISATION!

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