Let’s talk about cooking up a piece of music.
When we see classical music written out, we usually see a bunch of notes on a page – and it can be daunting.
Who am I kidding? It’s ALWAYS daunting – at least it is to me.
Now think about scrambled eggs – a recipe for scrambled eggs. But wait – you don’t even need a recipe for scrambled eggs because they’re so easy to make.
What if improvising music could be like that?
With scrambled eggs, you know that all you need is to get some eggs and a pan, turn the pan on, break the eggs, put them in and scramble them up. You know you can add other things: chives, mushrooms, onions, cheese, whatever you want. And if you don’t scramble it, it becomes an omelet. If you cook it slower, it’s a frittata. It’s can be many different things. But it’s really just scrambling eggs in different ways. And basic scrambled eggs is easy to make.
But imagine if you had to scramble eggs exactly the way somebody else did it.
What if you had to take exactly the same steps through the kitchen, use exactly the same kind of spoon, scramble exactly the same amount of times in the same diretion.
That’s what it’s like for me to play classical music – playing exact notes in a specific way. And I’d be anxious and stuck all the time if that’s how I tried to play music.
But improvisation is all about having a recipe that you can play simply, or add more when you’re good and ready – the way YOU want to – different every time, and in a way that works for you.
Like scrambled eggs.
That’s what you learn to do in “Hip Harp Academy.” And the first class of the Academy Spring Quarter is literally a simple musical recipe that I’ve been using for decades to create music that ranges from slow meditation to a sizzling show stopper.
Yes … all from the same musical recipe.
You learn it simply – and then you learn how to make it as fancy or free as you want at your level of ability.
We interrupt this post for an important message:
Hip Harp Academy
Presents an intro to Hip Harp Academy
Blues Jam HARP Challenge - July 1-8
This is GROUNDED Expansion
I call this style of improvisation “Grounded Expansion” because you are always grounded in a simple idea you can feel safe with – and which can be expanded without limit. Like scrambled eggs. And the first musical meal we make in the spring quarter is based on a piece called “Baroque Flamenco”
What’s beautiful about this is that you can improvise on a simple version of “Baroque Flamenco,” just like you can make a simple version of scrambled eggs. And that simple version is beautiful! Or you can a fancy version – as fancy as you want. And that’s also beautiful.
Not more beautiful, also beautiful.
This is the foundation of what I teach at Hip Harp Academy: the ability to create beauty exactly as you are, at your current level of technical ability and to expand it when you’re ready, yet you’re always playing something fun and beautiful – right from the start.
This is the power of improvisation: a musical recipe that you can re-create, re-invent throughout your life – sometimes simply, sometimes more complicated, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, even changing the feeling and the style – because it’s not note-by-note like classical music.
It’s a recipe for your self-expression in music.
Every class I teach in “Hip Harp Academy” is a different recipe for joy, freedom, fluency and self-expression in your playing instead of the stress of trying to get every single note right.
And that is how we cook up music in Hip Harp Academy.
Come join me to cook up a wonderful, joyous, musical self-expression of YOU.
If you play the harp, join me for the creative adventure of a lifetime.