How to Map Your Music (so you can always find your way)
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How to Map Your Music (so you can always find your way)

It’s important for us to understand the meaning of lyrics in songs we dance on. It’s important to understand the cultural relevance of things like improvisation ad micromovement. Knowing these things makes our dance better, more nuanced, more authentic. It’s also important to understand the structure of our music–so we don’t get lost, so we…

How to Write a Blog Post
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How to Write a Blog Post

Don’t like writing? Wish you did? Most teachers focus on spelling and grammar mistakes. Students get back papers full of red marks. It’s disheartening. Because of this legacy of shame, writing is difficult for many folks. Maybe for you, too? Imagine the fun of writing what you want to say–without the misery! But how? Cutting-edge…

How to Make an Entrance
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How to Make an Entrance

A while back I mentioned the complex Arabic orchestral music that used to really throw me for a loop. One of our more complex genres is our modern Entrance music. Back in the 5-part routine days, entrance music was fairly simple, upbeat, made to energize the guests and grab their attention. Any variation came from…

How to Learn Musicality (and why it is possible)
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How to Learn Musicality (and why it is possible)

It’s been 49 days since my mother’s passing. I was fortunate that I could visit her in the last few months, to have a funeral, that I had weekly prayers to say for her, and that several drawings came to me during these weeks that seemed to speak to her traversal through the bardo to…

Musicality: Expressing Nuance
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Musicality: Expressing Nuance

In 2010 I saw this improv jazz ensemble at Barbés, a tiny little club in Brooklyn. The musicians were an eclectic assortment rather than an established band. They played music with no structure, before each piece asking the audience for one word to get them going (like many comedy improv ensembles). There was no song. There…