This year, 2020, I have set some goals for myself as I do every year. One of my goals is to learn how to play jazz music on the piano. In the past, I have tried it before, but never seemed to quite get it. My training has been in classical music and it's been a challenge for me to "master" this genre. There are some musicians that can seamlessly (or seemingly so) transfer their skills from genre to genre, but this has always posed a challenge for me. I have been working on this particular goal since the end of December 2019 and overall it has been positive. I have exceeded the goal of learning a total of 6 jazz pieces in 2020, and as of this date, I have learned to play 6 pieces. This is exciting for me! I still have a long way to go with my skills but I would like to take a moment to identify what has helped me so far:
1. Posting videos of myself playing jazz music on my business and personal Instagram
accounts has been beneficial for me. Although I feel a little exposed, showing myself
learning something new "in front of the whole world," I'm able to track my progress, see
and hear what improvements I have made and what I need to work on. Additionally, an
unexpected benefit by posting these videos is that I'm exposing the next generation to this
great American music and some of the pioneering artists and composers of this genre.
2. Making others aware of my goal of playing jazz music, including my students have been
beneficial. This has helped with accountability for me. I have had people ask about my
progress which forces me to practice consistently and helps keep me on track.
3. Playing pieces I really like has been beneficial. This seems so simple but it really is
effective. I look forward to getting on the piano and working on a song that is beautiful
to me. As a result, I practice more, which in turn leads to more progress.
4. Listening to jazz music and watching videos of jazz musicians play has been beneficial.
This is also something else that seems so simple, but very effective! With this, I'm able
to see and hear how the music is supposed to be played, hear the nuances and style in
5. Having an open-mind and a positive mindset. This is probably the most important
one! Never underestimate the power of being positive about learning or re-learning
something, it really does help!
All in all, I'm learning, progressing and enjoying my journey to jazz!