Finding the Notes Yourself – Musicality Podcast
When I’m not teaching lessons or helping teachers run their businesses, you might find me working on resources for Musical U, a community that helps musicians to find (and train) their inner musicality.
My role at Musical U started in May 2017, and I’ve been having a really wonderful time working with Christopher Sutton and the Musical U team. Our community includes musicians from all around the world — beginners, hobbyists, and even pros — and we work together to improve our skills at playing by ear, improvisation, and song writing.
Last month they launched their newest addition to the community: the Musicality Podcast. It features topics like: playing by ear, improvising, writing music, singing in tune, performing and jamming, among others.
Each week they publish:
- An interview with an inspiring and insightful musician or music educator, and
- A short “teaching” episode on a particular topic to help you improve
They already have 14 episodes out!
… and wouldn’t you know it, today’s episode happens to be my interview 🙂 It was a real pleasure speaking with Christopher about my experiences with improvisation and musicality as a young child and later as a college student.
Here’s a little snippet from the transcript of one of my favorite bits:
Christopher: That’s wonderful. And you know, in Musical U when we talk about improv, we talk a lot about the idea of playgrounds. And giving yourself kind of a safe space to experiment in, something that lets you explore musical options in a way that will generally sound pretty good. And I love the idea of taking a song that you like and giving yourself the stepping stone of knowing what the chord progression is and using that as a safe space to kind of play around in and experiment with different things.
Sara: Yeah. It’s a lot of fun when you start doing this. It is intimidating the first time you do it. I will let everybody know, the first time you try to do this, you might get frustrated and you might feel like, uh, this just didn’t really sound good. But stick with it because the more that you do this process, the easier it becomes. I think that is the biggest issue with learning how to improv is that people give up too easily because they expect that it is going to sound amazing the first time that you do it. Guess what? It’s not.
Christopher: It’s not. And it didn’t for anyone, any of the big improv greats you admire. You know, their first improvisation probably did not sound so hot.
Sara: Oh no. Not at all. Remember those videos out there are totally polished. You are seeing the end result of hours and hours of work. So when you are just starting out, practice forgiveness, and just have fun. Think about what would it be like if I were doing this if I were like six or seven years old. If you can find that child-like mentality and curiosity. You are going to have a lot more fun and you are going to be able to find that forgiveness very easily.
You can listen to the full episode using the player above, or just look up the Musicality Podcast on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app.
Thanks for having me on the show, Christopher! It was a real pleasure.