I took my twelve-year-old daughter to my alma matter last night. The occasion was a jazz master class with Grace Kelly. If you haven’t heard of Grace, you should fix that. She was a prodigy when she was little, but now she’s a poised, funny, smart woman, and one of the best horn players I’ve ever heard. The class was with the college’s Jazz Ensemble, which is basically a rhythm section and a few horns. Similar to the instrumentation on most jazz albums.
She listened to these kids play, and then she gave them lots of great advice on how they could play better together, and how they could improve their own playing. And the whole time, you’re thinking “but she’s the same age as these kids!” (She is 22.) But despite her youth, it was like she had 40 years of experience as a professional musician under her belt. It was truly amazing, and I think my daughter did grasp what a cool thing she was witnessing.
One of the things she talked to the kids about was ear training, and the importance of listening to music. And that reminded me of this piece I wrote about My Favorite Quote.