As a kid, I loved to improvise melodies and harmonies on the piano. When I was a freshman in high school in 1977, my parents encouraged me to take a jazz improvisation class, which I didn’t like so much. It was held at the local college in a piano lab, a large room containing many keyboards, where students played, using headphones. We were given exercises, and the instructor listened to each of us and talked to us through our headphones, mostly telling us what we were doing wrong and offering little praise. He also insisted we listen to nothing but jazz, which, for a teenager who enjoyed popular music, didn’t go over well. I made it through the course, but it turned me off jazz for several years.
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