Having fun with your music

Hey Improvisers,

One of my Zoom piano students, who is taking a jazz ensemble class, recently listened to Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five recordings for the first time. These are groundbreaking recordings from the 1920s and a wonderful example of joyous New Orleans jazz.

When I asked her what she thought of the performances, she replied, “Wow! It sounds like they were having so much fun!” She then told me that she wished the musicians in her jazz class would have more fun, instead of being so worried about playing wrong notes.

With this in mind, I then asked another of my students, who is taking a rock/pop ensemble class, if the musicians had fun during their rehearsals. He said, “Oh yeah – we have so much that we’re smiling all the time as we groove together.”

I found it interesting that the rock musicians were having so much more fun than the jazz musicians, at least in there two situations.

This reminded me of a reply I made a few months ago to someone’s comment on a YouTube video of mine.

I wrote:
“If you’re having fun, you’ll continue… And if you continue, you’ll improve.”

By shifting things around a bit like this, our perspective changes and the “improving” part is almost a by-product of having fun.

Remember: Music-making is fun… if we let it be.

Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!”


PS – If you’re in the New York City area tomorrow, February 14 (Tuesday), I’ll be playing piano in the bar at Tavern on the Green in Central Park from 6-9 pm. The vocalist Juliet Ewing and I will be performing a mix of jazz standards and Broadway show tunes with a little pop included as well. I hope to see you there!


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