LIVE in THE SPOTLIGHT
- How to practice: exploring strategies and tactics in an aging body through book reviews, interviews, personal anecdotes, with the goal of staying happy, healthy and focused.
- Attitude: what it is a good attitude, how does helps us to learn and persevere, which daily tactics help us to acquire or keep a good one, what to do if yours needs a tune up?
- Metacognition: what it is, what it can teach us about learning, resources for study, conferences, and in practice.
- Intrinsic motivation: what it is, how it helps us to learn and persevere as we age, how to help those we mentor with theirs.
Ten adults and one teen of different skill levels recently participated in their first "jam" in Toronto. We went to a real jazz club, locked the doors and drew the curtains. We hired a professional bassist and drummer.
They were excited, nervous, and pumped. They'll all be back in the fall for round 2. They learned a lot, starting with "real Jazz" is intense and loud. And, really really fun.
Good examples for us all on stepping out of our comfort zones.
What keeps us going for 40 plus years? Good question. The money? Partly. The attention? Partly. The social community? Partly The challenge of staying sharp, staying in the game? For sure. The shear joy of making music with our friends and colleagues. Yes, yes, yes.
Great quotes from the Guardian today: Full interivew here
After 15 years of retirement and a divorce she re-launched at 65. Her advice?
1. Stay fit early in life.
2. Get a facelift, "“They bought me an extra 10 years.”
3. Dating. “I love men, I’m not done with men, but I’m done with marriage and dating.”
4. Stay young by taking a leap of faith into new projects. "You don’t always land in the right place, but you sure do learn things. It’s good for the heart.”
An inspiring interview about aging well, staying in the game, and to hell with what people think.
I think the greatest challenge of modern adult life is keeping life simple enough to stay sane and healthy. Without simplicity it is impossible to maintain a practice regime, health regime, and build relationships when we are bogged down in distraction and unnecessary crap.
Student/Us/Me need reminding of the following order of priorities:
As a teacher of adult music students the following complaints come my way on a regular basis. Notice that family responsibilities are not on this list.
Forty one years ago I was getting ready to attend Berklee College of Music. I was pumped with adrenaline, piano fingers ready to play, my scores in a bag. The next few years were a blur of rehearsals, classes, and adventure.
One professor who stood out among the giants was a young Andy Jaffe. Our paths have crossed numerous times since then, most recently in New Orleans at a Jazz Education Network event. He is still at it, I'm still at it. More evidence on the power of associations to inspire and prod us into a lifetime of musical action.
Thank you Andy.
The power of association
I was reflecting today on the power of association on learning outcomes. Over the past 8 years of my drumming journey I’ve had the good fortune to work with some of the most inspiring musicians imaginable. In lessons and workshops, these drummers had the expectation that you would master the material and get a world class sound. They helped you believe, that with enough effort, this was in reach. They all stressed fundamentals, no fancy shit or tricks, just working on your time, tone, and your knowledge of repertoire through listening and jamming. They all inspired me to push through personal limits and self-limiting beliefs. While at the same time, kicking your butt if my head got too big. They created an interesting brew of humility and ambition in me.
· Terry Clarke
· Gregory Hutchinson
· Paul DeLong
· Ed Soph
· Bassist Rufus Reid
· Trumpeter Bobby Shew
New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp: How to prepare?
How exciting! Nine weeks to go until NOLA. How to prepare is the question. I’ve never really played this type of music. Though, I do love it. I have jammed, in the distant past, on piano with local musicians, including Jeff Healey.
Traditional Jazz is the music of joy. Nothing too heavy here: party, party. Terry Clarke is helping me exploring the modern New Orleans music of Johnny Vidacovich.
The instructor at the camp is Gerald French. His work online is solid and colourful. It will be exciting to hang in “Nola” with the locals and fellow enthusiasts jamming, learning, and taking in the place.
A lot of talk about keeping it fresh by seeking out opportunities to play with younger musicians. But, sometimes it is good to play with your own cohort. Jamming tonight with guys in my age group is like wearing your favourite set of clothes: it fits, it's relaxing, it's undemanding, it's fun. Jamming with your peers is naturally musical 'cause they know the tunes. You can shoot the shit without offending, they will listen to your old war stories and they laugh at the jokes.
Chick does it
Hiring younger musicians to keep it real. I'm not hiring anymore, but getting out there and jamming with younger musicians is fun. A couple of tips, some of which I've learned the hard way:
Victor Wooten Metronome Exercises: Let's get our timing together with these hair raising exercises. Good luck.
To quote Nike: Just do it. But, staying enthusiastic takes some work. Sometimes the vegetative state, induced by Netflix binging, is seductive. Some tips:
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 4th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.