A good understanding of chords is essential to improvising. And no one understands that better than Anne Crosby Gaudet - creator of Chord Town (among other materials for teachers). Anne (on the cover) shares the surprising history of the creation of Chord Town this month as well as some tips on how she introduced improv to her students. You can read all about it in My Trip to Chord Town.
Play to Learn: Let's Play! By Michael Katz
A question I see asked frequently in various Facebook groups has to do with teaching improv. I feel so fortunate to have the incredibly gifted and talented teacher and pianist Michael Katz provide ideas each month in his column Play to Learn: Let's Play! and this month is no different.
Review: Denemo - a Free Music Notation Program
You will also find a review of an open source music notation software in this issue. I stumbled across Denemo not long ago and although I haven't had a chance to experiment with all this program has to offer yet, I do like what I have seen so far. You can learn more when you read Review: Denemo - a Free Music Notation Program.
From Chords to Improv (a beginner's guide)
As I mentioned above, I have been introducing my students to improv for quite a few years now. I don't have any special skills or training, but I have had the good fortune to meet teachers like Michael Katz and a few others who played professionally for decades and then turned to teaching. From these teachers I gleaned tips, tricks and a good foundation for teaching improv which when combined with a good dose of curiosity and experimentation on my part laid the groundwork for the improv basics I teach my students. I share my general plan for introducing improv in From Chords to Improv (a beginner's guide).