The Tao of Improvisation is designed to simultaneously train the ear, mind, and body; and to increase the symbiotic relationship of the three.
- Train the ear to guide the player more efficiently and quickly.
- Train the mind to process musical stimuli/information at a faster rate.
- Train the body to react and execute the desired information coming from the ears and mind at maximum efficiency.
This method deals with training the musician on the performance of jazz as opposed to the study of jazz. All the studying in the world won’t help, unless you can apply the skills for the desired task.
“TOI” is based on a system that engages:
- Short term goal setting
- A series of incremental successes
- Always challenging, but not overwhelming for the practitioner.
- Practicing with a ‘groove’ not a metronome.
Video/computer games have become very popular. One of the reasons is that it allows the player to play by himself and often predetermine the difficulty level to make it challenging, and yet, enjoyable. As most musicians are aware, practicing is a lonely affair. You spend countless hours by yourself practicing your instrument. Yet, kids (and some adults) claim they often play computer games for hours and become totally unaware of the time passing. Why is that? One of the reasons you get addicted is the manner in which you work through a series of “levels.” You work systematically towards completing each level. Once you complete a level, what’s the next thought in your mind? To complete the next level, of course! This is just one of the elements the “Tao of Improvisation” utilizes. The rest are in the book…
“Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”