So Much for Schools

With reference to all the hoopla lately (here and at Sequenza 21) regarding whether or not composition can be taught, singer-composer Emily Bezar (whose lovely music you should check out) tenders a relevant quote from Keith Jarrett she read in last month’s Downbeat magazine:

Schools cannot create innovation. Innovation and schools are almost
diametrically opposed. A jazz player cannot study with jazz people because
you become a part of who you study with. So, you can’t become yourself. No
one will help you on that issue. If you’re improvising and it’s not coming
from you, it’s not worth playing because it’s been played before, probably
by the people who taught you.

And as for the school of thought of emulating people to find your own voice,
I don’t think so. All a pianist needs is a piano-teacher to teach you how
to use the instrument. After that, it’s nobody’s game but yours.

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