Location: Fontainebleau, France

Piano masterclass with double bass: initiation to improvisation without music theory

In traditional music as in jazz, cultural heritage is mostly transmitted orally. It relies on basics (voice, rhythm, and dance) and is imbued with the authenticity of the music. Great musicians such as Keith Jarrett, Thelonius Monk, Cecil Taylor or Steve Lacy, transmitted their music in an original approach of improvisation and thus opened the path to other musicians and to neophytes.
During the piano masterclass, organised in the frame of 2018 Medinea Outreach Programme, Leïla Soldevila, and Pascal Neveu showed some of these techniques: exercises accessible to all (simple, fun, and without music theory), they invited the teenagers to experiment them through an accessible, different and complementary approach to the traditional teaching of piano.

Leila and Pascal proposed to their audience to discover the piano as a whole:
– Scratching, rubbing, and plucking the strings.
– Percussions inside the piano.
– Making use of the pedals.
They also tackled the notion of musical interaction with the double bass.

At the end of the masterclass, which was held in la Maison Educative à Caractère Social on October 4th, the workshop leaders and the group of teenagers exchanged their feelings and improvised a short dancing concert.

The outreach masterclass aimed to desacralize the instrumental practice and give access to an audience who may feel far from the jazz environment, to share a time of improvisation that will lead each of the teenagers to discover a form of free expression, to explore their creative potential. They hoped that this experience helped them to work on self-confidence, by daring, and listening to the others, in complementarity with the help brought in by the institution accompanying them.

la Maison Educative à Caractère Social – Fontainebleau, France