This class focuses on how to better integrate what you bring to any ensemble. From a duo to the classic ‘jam’ situation… to a situation overloaded with one particular instrument. Musicians are very often thrown into performing on (or off) a stage with various instrumentation, vocals, song types, tempos, levels of expertise, methods of band leadership. Learning how to connect with musicians in all kinds of situations (from basement jammin’ to the big stage) can not only make you sound your best, but also helps make you a better and better musician. In addition, it offers the opportunity to expand your musical enjoyment – along with those of your fellow musicians and audience members.

A few activities in this class include:

  • Listening to a choice of recordings I’ll select and having people comment on what did/didn’t work.
  • Hands-on. Musicians from the class play in various formations/instrumentations/levels/group sizes – depending on who is in the class. The rest of the class is the audience. Following that, the audience comments positively and also in supportive ways to suggest improvements. What worked. What didn’t. What could be a little better or just different ways to approach the same song. We rotate who is ‘performing’ and all musicians who want to volunteer and be part of the ‘performance’ aspect may do so, but nobody is forced to do so. My experience is that sometimes people prefer to simply observe. Usually, most people step up to enjoy this hands-on supportive and fun approach to learning more about integrating different musical situations. This class incorporates elements of jam etiquette, band leadership, integrating differing music styles, instrumentation and being sensitive to different environments and maximizing fun in ‘playing well with others.’