Though my private students have continued on FaceTime, Covid19 has stopped our jazz class for the time being. I thought I’d write about 1) what I miss, 2) what to do right now, and 3) what I look forward to when this is all over.
What I Miss
Of course I miss the just being together. I miss the laughing. We can chat on Zoom, but I do miss being in the same room. What can’t be replicated at all on Zoom is the musical interaction. There was one site that dangled the carrot of playing together with no delay, but that turned out not to be true. It seemed impossible, and it was. By the time one person hears the other and plays along, the first person hears everything off from each other. I miss the class playing together! In my personal playing life, I had recently started playing with a sax player who really seemed to enjoy improvising together with me. In another band I had just started to play with, the trumpet player and I hadn’t played together for 20 years. Reunion, interrupted. Income, interrupted.
What to Do Right Now
I hope you all have iRealPro. You can put their list of jazz standards on your phone and practice improv on your own. You could learn a new song every day (google to print out melodies) and still not be through the list when the world starts back up again!
You can listen to jazz on YouTube. An endless list! (Don’t forget to find women artists.)
You can make videos of yourself playing and share them with the group.
You can write a song about how you feel, with or without words.
You can message me for input. I’m still here for you.
You can message and chat with each other.
What I Look Forward To
I know it seems like this “distancing” thing is going to be forever, but it’s not going to be forever. It’s okay to miss playing together. It’s okay to feel sad. I do! We’re all missing playing together and missing friends and missing events, and we’re all having trouble wrapping our minds around what is happening. It’s okay if you don’t feel like playing with iRealPro or searching YouTube for jazz. Take it easy on yourself! But we will be back together before too long, and I look forward to finding a cool harmony or pretending to be a llama or spontaneously deciding to play Heart and Soul in a minor key. And it’s going to happen! Even if you’re graduating this year, you are welcome to come back. I’ve never looked forward to anything more!