How to succeed at a music festival

Students studying music have the opportunity to participate in many extra activities outside of their regular private lesson. I will be focusing on WHY piano students should participate, and HOW to succeed specifically at music festivals. Since 2010, I have been actively volunteering for music festivals (first in British Columbia, now in Ontario). As a…

How to survive a jazz concert

This is part of an ongoing series of posts where I will explain what to expect when attending a live concert.  Music is best experienced firsthand, and depending on the genre, what’s expected for the concert-goer can be quite varied. Here are my thoughts on attending an Jazz Concert in Vancouver. What is a jazz…

Jazz Day 5 – the performance

Sorry there was a delay in posting about this last day, but here it is! This was the final day of the workshop. Since this was the very first time the VSO School of Music had a jazz workshop, the organizers realized that this was a successful venture, and decided to offer jazz studies this…

Jazz Day 4 – nearing the end

This morning, as promised, Jodi brought her friend and mentor Dr. Celeste Snowber to come in and show us what a dancer, poet and educator has to do with jazz. The exercises that we participated in with her seemed strange and artsy (in a hippie kind of way), but the whole point was to show…

Jazz day 3 – influences

This morning, we met together like we always did.  We had learned an short African song on the first day, and sang it again on Day 2. Today, we learned harmonize (SATB), then added body movement. The teachers added percussive instruments and the entire thing sounded amazing! One of the questions that the students asked…

Jazz Day 2 – cool combos

After an overwhelming day 1 fully immersed in jazz, day 2 seemed to go smoother. Everyone knew the schedule and where they were going, and felt more comfortable making friends. The thing that stood out this day was that our combos (we were put into groups with other musicians playing different instruments) really started to…

Jazz Day 1 – workshop begins

This is the inaugural year of the Summer Jazz Workshop at the VSO School of Music. The morning began with getting to know each other (there were approx. 50 students there), with 60% high school/young adults and 40% older (ie. over 30). I had no idea who the instructors were, or what they had accomplished…

Jazz Piano and dance lessons for me!

About 4 years ago, I told a young student that I was still taking piano lessons, and he was shocked to find out that his piano teacher “didn’t know everything about music”. The fact is teachers must always strive to learn and grow, no matter how many years one as been teaching. That’s why I’ve…