The Hidden Orchestra: A Day Tuned to the Frequency of Perfect Pitch

Picture this: An ordinary day, brimming with mundane activities, transformed into a symphonic masterpiece through the ears of someone blessed (or cursed) with perfect pitch. From dawn to dusk, let’s unravel the layers of melodies hidden within our daily routines and explore the fascinating world of the perfect pitch with a dash of wry humour.

8 am: A gentle chime caresses the air as the Apple Watch comes to life. Sleepy footsteps tread a rhythmic path down the hallway while a canine collar jingles merrily in sync—the back door chimes in, its E-flat squeak a testament to its well-worn hinges. The stage is set for a day brimming with life’s obscure tunes.

The morning unfolds a symphony of sounds accompanying every action. Breakfast crescendos with the clatter of spoons, the percolation of coffee, and the satisfying toast crunch. Work hums along to the steady clicks of a keyboard and the whirring of a computer’s cooling fan.

Lunchtime brings its own culinary interlude, with the sizzle of a frying pan and the bubbling of boiling water as an irresistible overture. An afternoon walk reveals nature’s own soundtrack, featuring rustling leaves and a chorus of bird calls.

Evening falls, and the kitchen becomes a bustling stage, alive with the chop of a knife and the simmering of sauces. Leisure activities add melodies, from the sitcom’s laugh track to the soothing whispers of a book’s pages turning. Finally, the day draws to a close, and the comforting hush of nighttime embraces the listener, lulling them into a peaceful slumber.

For those with perfect pitch, the symphony of everyday life is even more intricate. This rare ability to identify or recreate musical notes without reference allows them to experience the world in high-definition audio. Tuning instruments becomes a breeze, and transcribing music is as effortless as reading words on a page. Complex harmonies reveal themselves like secret messages, enriching the listener’s experience.

But there’s a flip side to this auditory superpower, one that brings with it a certain sense of irony. Imagine being plagued by a constant influx of information as every sound becomes a cacophony of notes, chords, and key changes. The simple pleasure of enjoying music becomes a minefield of analysis, and dissonance grates on the senses like nails on a chalkboard.

Those blessed with perfect pitch may also be at odds with non-standard tunings or microtonal music. Their finely tuned ears perceive these variations as “incorrect,” Adapting can prove challenging. It’s akin to seeing the world in a different colour spectrum, where others might find beauty in unexpected hues.

So, is perfect pitch a gift or a curse? It’s all a matter of perspective. While this extraordinary ability brings its share of challenges, it also offers unparalleled insight into the harmonious world surrounding us. As we embrace the symphony of everyday life, let’s celebrate the hidden melodies that connect us all and remember that the beauty of music is not just in the notes themselves but in the joy they bring to our hearts.

The Timeless Allure of Early Music: A Journey of Discovery 

Fast forward a few years, and a high school music teacher helps nurture this growing passion. Understanding the student’s unique needs, this dedicated teacher shares various musical styles and provides immersive experiences, from jazz vibrations felt through the floor to Bach’s harpsichord suites played at extraordinary volumes. It’s a testament to the lasting impact a teacher can have on a young life.

During this time, the student begins learning the flute, and a new teacher introduces them to the world of early music on period instruments. From the authentic sound of Bach’s Orchestral Suites to the Baroque flute’s distinct tone, the student’s love for early music flourishes. Their curiosity is further ignited by an interview with Reinhard Goebel, leading to an extensive collection of early music CDs.

Late-night research sessions reveal more fascinating insights into the world of Baroque music and its authentic performance practices. Discovering opens the door to a treasure trove of knowledge and rekindles their passion for early music from the 1200s to the 1800s.

The allure of early music is potent, and its influence is profound. If you’re willing to explore, delve into the vast repertoire available, and let yourself be swept away by the beauty of early music, you might just discover a love you never knew existed.

Feeling the Music: The Differences Between Braille Music and Print Music 

As a music teacher, working with visually impaired students can be a unique and rewarding experience. To better understand and support these students, it’s essential to recognize the differences between braille and printed music scores. By delving into the nuances of braille music notation, teachers can develop more effective teaching strategies for their visually impaired students.

Braille Music Reading Limitations
The most significant difference between braille and printed music is that braille readers can only process small sections at a time, unlike sighted musicians who can easily scan an entire score. This constraint can make finding specific parts of a piece more time-consuming. However, braille music includes bar numbers to facilitate referencing sections, as well as repeat signs and da capo markings, just like printed scores.

Memorization and Rote Teaching
Given the limited scope of braille music reading, visually impaired pianists must memorize their pieces. This challenging task demands learning every note, fingering, and articulation. While time-saving techniques can be employed, it is often more efficient for teachers to focus on what students have already learned or teach additional sections by rote. This method takes advantage of the students’ exceptional auditory skills, making learning a more enjoyable experience.

Octave Markings in Braille Music
In braille music, there are no clef symbols like the treble or bass clefs found in printed scores. Instead, octave markings are used to indicate pitch. Familiarity with these markings is crucial for teachers to effectively communicate with their visually impaired students.

Hand-crossings and Complex Compositions
When transcribing piano music into braille, it is common to assume that notes below middle C are played with the left hand, while those above middle C are played with the right hand. This assumption can make hand-crossings difficult for blind musicians to interpret. Teachers may need to assist students in determining which hand plays specific notes, especially in complex late Romantic and 20th-century compositions.

Key Signatures in Braille Music
Another notable distinction is that braille music lacks the order of sharps and flats displayed at the beginning of a printed score. Braille music only indicates the number of sharps or flats in a key, so visually impaired musicians must learn the circle of fifths early on out of necessity. Teachers should be prepared to reinforce this knowledge throughout their lessons.

By understanding the key differences between braille and printed music, teachers can develop more effective strategies for instructing visually impaired students. This knowledge enables educators to create a supportive and engaging learning environment, empowering students to explore their musical talents and achieve their full potential.

Enhancing Music Education Accessibility: The Benefits of Online Learning 

The advantages of online lessons are numerous, and one of the most obvious is the ability to connect with students regardless of their location. No longer do students have to worry about travel time or transport, and they can take lessons in the comfort of their own home, in their own environment, and on their own piano. This can be especially beneficial for disabled students who may have difficulty accessing traditional lessons, as they can learn in a comfortable and supportive setting.

Of course, teaching piano online does require some adjustments. For instance, teachers cannot play duets or accompany students in real-time, as this would cause audio feedback and disruptions. This actually turns out to be a positive, however, as it forces teachers to listen more attentively and provide more specific feedback to their students. Likewise, students must also be active listeners and follow instructions carefully. Providing detailed and clear guidance is key, and teachers often use bar numbers, specific instructions, and notes to ensure that students understand what is expected of them. Additionally, technology such as Dropbox can be used to exchange notes and recordings, allowing students to practice more effectively between lessons.

Overall, teaching piano online offers numerous benefits for both students and teachers. The flexibility and accessibility of online lessons mean that anyone with a love for music can access high-quality instruction and achieve their musical goals. As technology continues to evolve and improve, it is likely that online music education will become an even more popular option for musicians around the world.
Teaching online has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it offers numerous benefits over traditional face-to-face lessons. One major advantage is the flexibility it offers to both students and teachers. With online lessons, students can learn anywhere and at any time that suits them. This is particularly beneficial for those with busy schedules, as they can fit in lstudies around work, school, or other commitments. Additionally, students who live in remote areas or have mobility issues can still access high-quality tuition without the need to travel.

As the demand for online tuition has grown, technology has also improved, making it easier to deliver high-quality lessons remotely. Platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime allow for real-time video and audio communication, as well as screen sharing, which is essential for music tuition. Teachers can also use specialised software to share the sheet music and other learning materials, making it easy for students to access everything they need from their homes.

Teaching online does come with some unique challenges, however. For example, teachers must be skilled at delivering instruction through a digital medium, which can be very different from teaching face-to-face. Teachers must also be able to adapt their teaching style to suit each student, as they may have different learning styles or preferences. Additionally, it can be more challenging to establish a rapport with students when teaching remotely, as there may be less opportunity for small talk or casual conversation.

Despite these challenges, many music teachers have found that teaching online can be extremely rewarding. By offering online lessons, they can reach a wider audience of students and share their knowledge and passion for music with people worldwide. Additionally, online teaching can be a great way to supplement a teacher’s income, allowing them to take on more students without needing a physical studio space. Overall, it seems that online teaching is here to stay and will continue to grow and evolve as technology advances.

How to Avoid the Top 5 Common Mistakes in Music Practice and Have a Blast

Are you tired of practicing your instrument without seeing results? Do you feel like you’re going nowhere fast, like you’re practicing in circles? Fear not, my friend! I’ve got the five biggest mistakes that you might be making while practicing. Avoiding these mistakes will make your practice time shorter, more effective, and most importantly, funnier. Yes, that’s right, funny. Who said practicing had to be a tedious, boring chore?

Mistake number one: Mindless practice. Let me paint you a picture: you’re playing some Bach, and you make a mistake in one bar. You play the same bar over and over again, hoping it’ll get better, but instead, the more you play it, the worse it becomes. It’s like a train wreck that you just can’t look away from. It’s time to put the brakes on, my friend! First, ask yourself why you made the mistake in the first place. Was it a wrong note? Did you miss some detail in the music? Are you tensing up? Once you figure out the root cause, you can fix it. Slow down, play that bar slowly, and don’t move on to the next note until you’re sure of what it is. Or try some relaxation exercises to get rid of that tension. Playing the same section over and over again is not the way to go. It’s like trying to dig your way out of a hole with a spoon. It’s going to take forever, and you’re going to end up more frustrated than when you started.

Mistake number two: It’s not a race. This is a common mistake many of my students make. They play a passage too fast, missing vital details. Slow down, tiger! Your aim in practice should not be to play at tempo all the time. Take it easy, play slower, and make sure you have the rhythms and dynamics correct. Play as slow as possible once a day. This will help your brain remember all the information. By doing this, you’ll find yourself playing almost at speed during the lesson. Think of it as going from a snail’s pace to a cheetah’s. You’re going to get there, just don’t rush it.
Mistake number 3: You aren’t aware of the sound you’re making
What’s the point of playing music if it doesn’t sound good, right? But sometimes we get so caught up in playing the right notes that we forget about how they actually sound. Come on, people! Let’s make beautiful music together!

To fix this mistake, try doing some simple techniques like scales or breathing exercises. Not only will they help you focus on the sound you’re making, but they’ll also help you develop your technique. And let’s not forget about hearing the next bar in your head before you start playing. It’s like a mental warm-up, but for your ears.

Mistake Number 4: Practicing too long.

Listen, I get it. You want to be the next Mozart or Beethoven. But practicing for too long can actually do more harm than good. Your hands can cramp up and your brain can turn to mush. And let’s not even talk about the risk of getting lost in a practice-induced haze.

To avoid this mistake, take a break every 45 minutes or so. Get up, stretch, grab a drink, and maybe even go outside for some fresh air. And if you’re feeling really wild, do something unrelated to music. Your brain and your fingers will thank you. Plus, taking breaks can actually help you improve your playing. So go ahead and take that well-deserved nap, my friends.

Mistake Number 5: Practicing while under the weather.

Ah, yes. The age-old mistake of trying to practice through the sniffles. Let me tell you, folks, it’s never a good idea. Sure, you might think you’re being hardcore by pushing through the pain, but in reality, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

Instead of forcing yourself to practice while you’re sick, take a day or two off to rest and recuperate. Your brain needs time to process the music anyway, so why not let it do so without the added stress of being under the weather? And who knows, maybe that time off will help you play better in the long run. So go ahead and take that sick day, my friends. You deserve it.
And there you have it, folks. Five common mistakes to avoid while practicing. Remember, effective practice is all about quality over quantity. So take your time, focus on the music, and most importantly, have fun! Happy practicing!

do mindfulness and Music go hand in hand?

Each day is filled with the magic of music. From the moment I open my eyes, the music starts. My mind starts to relax as I think of the music I will practice today. My mind dances as I experience the relaxation and grounding that must provides. As I hear the kettle sing and my bird clock chime, I am filled with gratitude. That is what my magical, musical day looks like.

I’m going to share three pillars that help me stay relaxed and grounded every single day. And you can too!

Start your day with musical relaxation

My days always start the same: with a playlist or youtube of relaxing music. Usually, it is a mix of baroque music, nature sounds or classical music. This brings me into a state where I can ground myself, pray about my day and allow myself to relax deeply. Any stress and anxiety about my day is also dealt with during this time.

There are many sources of such music, including youtube and apple music.

Journalling at the end of each day

That’s right: create a journal throughout the day. I’m not talking about a “dear diary” type of journal. My journalling is always with porpose and intent. I create journals of many kinds throughout my day, including:

• My perfect day journal: This is created the night before. I usually decide how I would like my day to manifest and write accordingly. I script out my activities, my high-vibe feelings and the successes of my day.

• Gratitude journal: this type of journal is probably my most important. Being grateful for my life manifests many great things in my life. I always find at least ten things to thank god for and more if I can. This includes any musical accomplishments, even if small.

• Practice Journal: I practice my musical craft every day. Each day I write what I practised, how I did it and how I need to improve upon it. This helps me create my craft and be constantly moving forwards.

• Script journal: This type of journal is all about praying about things I’m working on. For example, my musical goals, income goals and any personal goals. First, I write my feelings on the present to release them and then a prayer.

Exercise each day.

Taking some form of exercise is extremely important for health. I also find it important as a musician; it removes physical tension from the body, releases anything that needs releasing and makes me feel good.

Before the current covid-19 process, I was swimming a few times a week, walking daily and playing table tennis weekly. Now with restrictions in place, I can only walk daily. I take this time to engage my sense of smell and touch as much as I can and enjoy the sounds of nature.

Using the above principles have changed my life, both personally and musically. I have gone from a very negative person and a perfectionist to a more positive person with a goal and vision. I have also found having a routine for my day helps me focus on the good things in life and achieve my goals.

What do you do musically to help you through each day?

Concert Review – a requiem for our time

 Has been a challenging year for all due to the covid-19 pandemic; with musicians and artists unable to perform or engage in their craft. During March 2020, concerts came to a screeching halt, and music-making ceased. 

 But in a world that seemed to be devoid of hope, not all is lost. The arts sector has learnt to become much more innovative in their music-making approach, keeping the art alive for audiences. Concerts are probably reaching a far greater audience than the local concert hall, introducing even more people to the world of classical music. 

 One such innovator is the Acadamy of St Martin-in-the-fields, a London-based orchestra and voices. This year is the 60th anniversary since the ensemble was founded, and despite the pandemic, this has not stopped them from performing. 

Recently, the ensemble performed the first in their five-part “reconnect” series, depicting different aspects of the pandemic and its impact. This first concert was designed to pay homage to lives lost during the covid-19 crisis, including one of their own orchestral musicians. Unlike a standard concert, the ensemble performed adhering to social distancing rules and also streamed their concert online. 

 The programme was an extremely well-thought-out mix of the old and new, featuring Pärt’s  

Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, Gurney Elizabethian song, Sleep and Faure’s requiem.  All of these works are connected with the theme of death; Pärt’s  

Cantus in Memoriam was written after the death of the English composer  Benjamin Britten in 1976 as a homage to the great composer, while Gurney’s song is about living and thinking about life’s dreams despite circumstances. And no tribute for the death would be complete without a “requiem”  a mass for the dead. 

 A lot of thought has gone into creating a unique programme and concert experience.  Each item captured aspects not only of death in general but it is highly applicable for our current times. 

The Cantus In Memorium begins the concert, paying tribute to someone the composer considered dinar to him. During these times, when loved ones are falling victim to the pandemic, we too should pay hostage to them, and this music enables us to take a quiet moment to do so. 

Performed by the St Martin-in-the-fields ensemble, with the addition of bells, this quiet, meditative work sets the stage for what is to come. Calm and almost trance-like, I felt a sense of stillness, symbolic of the current lockdowns occurring all around us, like the pause button has been pressed on the world. The ensemble did a great job at performing this work despite social distancing; I did feel the bells were a little loud for my taste and interrupt the meditative quality established. 

 Following this was the song “sleep” sung by a baritone soloist. His rich voice was accompanied well by the ensemble despite social distancing. This song is a reminder to have dreams no matter the circumstances, and I felt the emotion of the song was conveyed well. I did notice some slight intonation problems in the second half. However, it wasn’t enough to detract from the piece.  


 The Faure requiem is one of the most-loved and well-known works of all time. This performance was exceptional, considering that the vocalists and ensemble were social distanced, creating many challenges  from a conducting and intonation point of view. The untrained ear would not have noticed this impact, which is a credit to all performers involved. However, I did notice some delay at times, esspecially with the vocalists,  with some passages ever so slightly out of sync. While this could apear annoying for the trained musician, I found it added to the performance. It is a credit to all the performers and the conductor considering the challenges of  mental and psyical concentration involved from the musicians, the inability to perhaps see the conductor readily and the struggles in a large space. Knowing these challenges added to my feeling of awe and gratitude that in spite of circumstances, we are still able to bring music to audiences, bringing them comfort. 

This concert is the first in a series of five, all focussing on different aspects of the current crisis including isolation, justice and restoration. The concerts can be viewed online for up to a month after the performance. Tickets can be purchassed from the st-martin-in-the-fields website. A highly-recomended series of concerts by a well-respected ensomble, experience the thrill of music in todays social distancing context. It is indeed possible to keep the music alive in spite of turbulent times.  



The importance of Beethoven’s Synphony number Nine

During the year 1798, when the composer Beethoven was 28 years old, a horrible fate befell him.   

Beethoven noticed that he was struggling to hear.  It affected his ability to converse with others, and even worse, the ability to listen to his beloved music. 

As he wandered in nature and spent many hours alone, Beethoven pondered how he was going to cope with his worst nightmare. Would his musical career as he knew it, as performer, conductor and composer by finished forever? Could he.  Ever compose again without hearing the music? How could he conduct if he could not hear the musicians; and what about playing the piano, where notes are lost to his ear. 

As he pondered these things, his despair became tremendous, and he decided there was only one option left. Since he could no longer pursue the one romance of his life – that being music, he would end his sorrow and suffering for good.  

So began the writing of his last will, where Beethoven poured out his heart and soul;  The grief, the sorrow, and anger and the agony of losing the dearest thing in his life. The fears of how he was going to cope with this dreaded deafness. As he wrote, he wept bitterly and realised his life would never be the same again.

But as he wrote, he realised that the music was deep within. It meant so much to him; he couldn’t leave this world having not spoken the utterances of his musical imagination. That, and the fact that he had his nephew to look out for, and he knew he had to somehow stay the course no matter what. So began the search to deal with his new friend, deafness. 

Beethoven sought medical attention; many doctors later and no cure was found. They tried many things from ear drops to other medications, but nothing worked. 

Since Beethoven could not find a medical cure, he turned to make his life easier, despite his deteriorating condition. He made sound trumpets, which would enable him to hear a little of what people said; he also started carrying around conversation booklets where people would write their replies and comments, thereby enabling Beethoven to continue to consume his coffee and network with others. 

His piano was also modified, adding extra strings and a heavier frame to make the sound louder. Often his ear would be near the piano as he hammered away at his latest compositions.

Throughout the years, Beethoven adapted to his deafness.  Musically, the most crucial way for Beethoven to realise his musical genius was to spend hours alone, sketching and re-working his compositions. Hundreds of books were filled with themes, notations and sketches as Beethoven tried to express himself. 

Despite his deafness, the music flowed through his head, and he could hear them in his imagination as he worked.  

During the decades after his deafness, Beethoven wrote many works – piano sonatas, chamber music and symphonies. Then in 1722,  he penned the  Symphony number nine – a large scale synphonic work scored for full symphonic orchestra, chorus and soloists.  

The  Symphonic work was created when Beethoven was almost completely deaf and is probably his most profound work ever written. This symphony sums up all the emotional and physical resources he had developed over the last decades. 

The work is scored for a full symphony orchestra, with chorus and soloists added in the fourth movement. This was almost unheard of further the classical era. Many composers followed Beethoven ideas after his death, including Mahler, who also write his choral synphony for orchestra, chorus and soloists.  

Along with the unusual scoring of the work,   Each movement expresses every emotion known to man – from deep sorrow and grief, thought-provoking ponderings and ending with ecstatic joy. The piece starts off with the whispers of his thoughts and gradually building his emotional pallet during each movement, until the final fourth movement, where he brings together not only the orchestra itself but chorus and soloists; a signal that all humanity was to partake in this great joy and freedom.  

The ninth Symphony signifies renewed hope and freedom to all; that no matter what happens in your life, there is hope. Emotions are to be expressed and dealt with, and once you have dealt with your life situation – much like Beethoven’s deafness, you can find joy in it. 

Are you in a similar situation to the great Beethoven? Do you face obstacles in your life? As you listen to this symphony, performed by the London Symphony orchestra,  think of how that 28-year-old Beethoven would feel.      

The pros and cons of Online Study

July 2020 was the month from hell, where I questioned life and my place in it. The coronavirus pandemic was taking its toll on my mental well-being and added to this was my Father’s death, who I was unable to say my last goodbyes too or attend his funeral. 

As my family went through his house, things were found that I’d buried along with my dreams of long-ago. Old music scores and essays and transcripts and subjects for a bachelor of music started twenty years earlier.  On a wing and a prayer and some quick preparation, I decided to fly from the nest of fear and start my degree. So began my journey.  

 But first, I had to decide which school to study with and without delay, as I wanted to start immediately! A prompt start, an established institution with experts in the field, flexible learning style, student interaction and a mostly online approach was what I was looking for. To my surprise, my audition was accepted, and I began my studies.   

The online world can be an extremely powerful way to reach others – I taught some piano students online who could not enjoy lessons in person due to physical issues, making them house-bound. I’ve had students weep as they played their mother’s favourite song and another student gain confidence in playing after not having lessons for years due to their remote location. 

That wasn’t my only online experience; I also studied tafe online. The experience was fantastic – I could work at my own pace, and all materials were already provided, keeping the costs down. 

But the experience for my degree was quite different – Lectures are mostly self-paced with a weekly voice lesson and a little online attendance here and there. Self-paced learning is excellent for me, as I can learn in a way that suits me. For example, in musicianship, I can take my time to write the exercises

In braille music notation and not struggle to keep up with everyone else or try to write quickly using standard notation software which is not quick with a screen reader. And in history, I can work through a large chunk of material and write in bed, or when on the go, when I am feeling relaxed. Materials are mostly provided online, making it easy to convert most of them to formats I can read. 

However, I had noticed some quirks of studying online that I did not think about before I started my degree.  When I began my studies, I was shocked when I considered a low-key approach to lectures attendance. I attended lectures only to find no one turned up; this got to me as I am a meticulously organised person and expected others to be the same. The online study environment creates a situation where people of many backgrounds attend; people working full-time in or out of the music field can study, which I found refreshing in one sense and dismayed in another. I am one of those musicians who are obsessed with performing, speaking and writing about the craft and was disappointed that others don’t appear to have the same passion. 

 I found a similar situation in my performance lectures. I submit videos, but due to lack of students in my intake, could not receive feedback from many others, and I also could not interact with others. Due to the covid-19 crisis and Victoria’s lockshjn policies, I could not perform in person. As a result, I became obsessed with creating the perfect video, which became quite anxiety-inducing.  

I realise that I am a person who needs constant mental stimulation to receive ideas but also to discuss ideas and approaches to music-making. It isn’t so much about interacting with people, as I am a very introverted person in real life – except when expressing my deepest feelings through music and writing. I do like to be exposed to ideas about music, both musicology and performance and do want to share my own views on as well.  

 Going forward, I realise it is up to me to create my own ideal learning environment. Unlike a traditional university, online space gives me the flexibility to develop and be responsible for my own learning. This is a blessing as it will teach me how to think on my feet and be creative in the real world once I complete my degree. In this day of re-vamping of the music industry, these skills will become more vital. 

 I have already started this process by changing my lectures to reflect times when I will be with other students; this allows me to receive and share ideas with others and to develop my critical thinking skills. Once the covid-19 pandemic is over, I will do my voice lesson in person some of the time and my performance workshops in person. This enables me to develop performance skills and receive hands-on teaching from my voice instructor while maintaining the flexible self-paced learning I love. 

 Online study can be extremely beneficial, providing access to music education that could otherwise not be available to many. It’s self-paced, flexible and all materials are provided. It is up to the person to create the desired learning environment to suit their needs; for me, that means interacting with students to share and exchange ideas, and working at my own pace.      


a different type of piano

It’s been a while. First off, I passed my grade 8 with a b plus!
But the real reason I am bogging is because I’m studying jazz piano, Modern chords and improvisation. This is worlds apart from classical, and it’s a real shock to the system for me, a classical player for so many years. Unlike Beethoven, who expresses what to play via the sheet music, jazz just leaves you with an outline to follow, and then you need to fill it in. It just tells you the chords to play, maybe a little melody, and then the rest is yours. Reminds me a little of the baroque where people played figured bass, a system of shorthand that told the player what chords to play but the player decided how to play them. Jazz piano is total freedom to do anything you want within the structure of the music. Unlike most classical music, where the composer wants me the musician to express what the composer was thinking. For me as a classical musician, it’s about expressing the intent of the composer as much as possible. In jazz, I guess it’s more about self-expresssion.
This is actually quite hard to do. It’s hard to let go and let my hair down for the world to see, I’m a private person and somehow in a strange way, it’s quite confronting having to improvise. I know that sounds strange, but for me, it’s true, and I think that’s why I just find it hard to do. I can play blues because it’s structured so I’m still working to a plan. But if I could just do straight out improvisation, it would really stretch me I think.