I remember improvising quite a bit as a kid, back in my Suzuki days. Just making stuff up, composing on the spot, for no reason other than it was fun. It even came in handy once on stage, when I had a memory slip, and just improvised my way along for a few lines until I found my way back to something familiar.
But at some point, I stopped doing it. And after years passed, the idea of improvising actually began to scare me, and I discovered I had all sorts of mental blocks, that made it feel impossible to even improvise a few ornaments here and there when I joined a Baroque orchestra in grad school.
Anyhow, improvisation doesn’t have to be scary. Or difficult. It can be a fun thing to practice. And help with developing the courage to take risks, be more improvisational and spontaneous, and musically freer even when playing classical music.
So I asked jazz violinist and educator Christian Howes, to put together an “essentials” course, specifically for classical musicians, to help you start exploring improvisation, and learn how to add these skills to your musical toolbox.