This year, IC's chapter was lucky enough to be able to kick off the month of October with our first workshop of the year: So You Think You Can Improv? With Dr. John White. Dr. White began the workshop with the statement "Yes! You absolutely can improv, provided you have the right tools."
We began the workshop by talking about scat syllables. Dr. White emphasized the importance of imitating a horn when singing a scat solo. Therefore, syllables such as "dah," and "bah" are much more favorable than "squee," and "doo bop." Once we had the syllables down, we read through They Can't Take That Away From Me. As the workshop progressed, we analyzed the relationship between the key of the piece and the chord of the moment. Using this information, we discovered the usefulness of guide tones. The group then ended the workshop by using guide tones to assist their attempts at improvisation. This proved to be extremely useful, as it helped everyone to understand where their melodic line was going.
This workshop was one of my favorites for so many reasons! Dr. White broke down a concept which, before, was seemingly impossible. Then, through analyzation, I was provided with the structure to be able to succeed. Hopefully, IC ACDA will be able to do a So You Think You Can Improv? Part 2 in the spring!
-Maggie Storm; IC ACDA President
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