The embed code given for the TED talk of the title turned out to be something else (still interesting – see below). Until I figure out how to get the correct embed code, view the video at
It’s been a busy start to the school year. Besides the regular horn teaching, I’m teaching Creativity in Music (where does music come from: improvisation and composition – for non majors) and Weird Music (a first year seminar – weird, meaning unfamiliar to incoming freshman). Lots of work, lots of fun. I will detail some of what we’re doing in these classes soon, but right now I just want to announce some other news:
Repertoire-based improvisation is beneficial. It develops sensitivity to notice the features in the composition; it encourages creativity; it develops the ability to think and make decisions in motion; and it provides infinite musical ideas to choose from, to improvise freely.
–Yawen Eunice Chyu in Teaching Improvisation to Piano Students of Elementary to Intermediate Levels (DMA Dissertation)
The old saying (can’t think of the author – sounds like Oscar Wilde, though) was: there are two tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want. The other is getting it. Or that old stand-by: Careful what you wish for (you might get it).
David Brooks, columnist for the NYT, recently wrote an intriguing column entitled: The Creative Monopoly. He leads with a story about Peter Thiel, a bright grad of Stanford and Stanford law, who didn’t get what he wanted: a Supreme Court clerkship. But instead of becoming, say, an ambulance chaser who moans nightly to bartenders about thwarted dreams, he harnessed that ambition and tried something else. He founded a little company called – you might have heard of it – Paypal. In his spare time he was an early investor in another little company you might have heard of: Facebook. And on and on. Currently in his spare time he teaches CS183: Startup – a class in the computer science department at Stanford (Blake Masters has posted an essay version of his class notes – read them here – they’re excellent). No surprise there.
Yeah, yeah, I know, this blog is supposed to be about classical improv, etc., but I am a big fan of ideas in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Cool stuff is cool stuff. And: if you’re paying attention and think a bit, sometimes when you come across a DNA-bending Creative New Idea, you extrapolate and otherwise tweak or transplant the idea to other fields. Say, classical improv. Or horns. Anyway, here’s a fun article that you should definitely check out for just this reason:
Who can resist ideas like Analytical Undies (#3), The Shutup Gun (#14), Terrifying Playgrounds (#17), The Mind-Reading Shopping Cart (#21), Teeth That Think (#23), or Robo-Petting (#31)?