Quick - can you spell a Dm7(-5) chord? How about a C7sus4? If you can spell it, can you think really fast of 2 different activities to help your students learn to spell it? If you have students who want to try out for their school's jazz band, they'll need to know. And that means YOU need to know.
Today, at the 88 Creative Keys Conference in Denver, I practiced spelling those chords and a bunch more in a variety of fun ways. I also collaborated with 5 colleagues to produce a 5-person arrangement of Rock Around The Clock in about 10 minutes time. And, more importantly, I realized that my students could do that, too. And, if I had a blast doing it, they would, too.
One of the big take-aways from this conference is the realization that this improvisation business really is attainable. By pulling us right out into the pool and making us swim by DOING the improvisation and THINKING of creative ways to teach it, Bradley and Leila are showing us that we can be creative enough ourselves to teach it to our students.