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In honor of great instruction


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So I have a lot of gear. Some of the latest and greatest, as well as some nice old stuff. A fair share of "meh" old gear too. Some decent amplification too.


What matters more is my playing. I have lots of books, theory and otherwise. Lots of the usual suspects that get mentioned here from time to time.


For me, the thing that changed my playing was face-to-face instruction with the head of the jazz department here - the university I'm getting my MBA at.


He's a real player w/ real pedigree - was formerly NYU teacher of the year, Berklee KB player of the year, several recordings, etc. But what made the difference for me was his ability to parse this difficult language into digestible chunks in ways that directly addressed my playing. I suppose that's one of the things that separates great teachers from middling ones.


Anyway, while grad school is getting more and more demanding, I'm still in one of his ensembles on the main campus. And I'm continually blown away with his ability to observe what I'm doing, where I can improve, and make one or two suggestions that totally turns things around for me.


Can't put a price on that. Well, okay, the university does...but that's another matter...

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Tim, I'm glad to hear that the instruction is working so well. But it seems like it may be mostly luck.


I recently worked with an instructor for about a year. He was a great player with lots of credentials. I did learn some good stuff but not until I took some control. Prompted by a discussion here about the value of teachers, I started showing up at lessons saying "I suck at this. Help." Then he would usually help. But not always.


I think it must be a rare combination - both deep knowledge, and the ability to analyze and teach others. Glad you found one.



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