“Did you enjoy jazz band in high school? What did you gain from that time, as far as a musician and songwriter?”
Hi Rachel –
I smiled when I read your question because I never was in jazz band in high school. You and I grew up in the same small town, so maybe it seemed like I was a member. I substituted once for Jeremy Wilson, the electric guitarist. And I was a guest guitarist for one of the spring concerts. But I never actually was in jazz band.
BUT…I was in choir. I learned a lot from Mr. Kindzerski, Mrs. Wensloff, and Mr. Johnson. They taught me how the voice works, how you can get different tones. They taught me how to sing from my abdomen versus my throat. And I think one of the biggest lessons was that it didn’t matter if you could sing well, it mattered whether you could sing in a group well. So much of that was learning to listen to others around me. I sat next to Steven Haaby for three years. It was kind of a masterclass, because he was a year older, could read music better than I could, and had a great voice. But he used his voice like an instrument in an orchestra, he knew how to blend. I learned by listening to him.
So, to answer your question, yes I enjoyed it (most days), and I gained so much. Something that occurs to me now is how much time and money students probably save by being in classes like choir or band. It takes about 10,000 hours to master a skill. They can cover a decent chunk of those before they’re eighteen!
Thanks for the question!
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