Convergent VS Divergent Thinking


It’s been a while since we last connected and a lot has transpired in the world of string playing AND at Savage Fiddler! One of the biggest developments is that I have a band that performs both in it’s own right AND as accompaniment for the method! That means anywhere I go as a teacher, I bring an exciting back-up band for your students (AND YOU!) to play right along with. Why? Because we all know that music is experiential and that well…talking about music is kind of like dancing about architecture as Steve Martin once said. You can check us out AND see what we are up to HERE!

So let’s get down to business…a wise person told me recently that improvisation is 90% recovery. Meaning…its not about what you MEANT to play but what you do NEXT when your best laid plans go differently than what you hoped they would. All professional level musicians know this and you AND your students should too. It’s a very different skill than executing the notation that you have studied diligently as closely as you can. And the tricky part is, how do we simulate this state? I have been experimenting with this and here are a few ways: For beginners, when jamming over simple chords, ask your students to continue to play and NOT stop when they make a mistake. For intermediate students, have them begin a break on a note that is not in the chord. For advanced students, give them many opportunities to take breaks over tunes or songs that they are totally unfamiliar with. Are you a school teacher? THESE are the ways that jamming is different than classical music education. It is the difference between divergent and convergent thinking and it is a skill that is critical in our society. Read more on that HERE!

And are you looking for a few online music tools to get started working on this skill? Check out the first 10 lessons of my method FOR FREE HERE!

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