Everyone Can Jam Workshop Outline

Everyone Can Jam Workshop 

Part 1: Musical Mindsets  


What is music?

     Anciently music was considered to be a gateway to all the sciences. 

     Pythagoras (600 BC) said that the universe is founded by and governed by music. 

     Middle ages: music, math, science, art, spirituality, were all one thing. Music was an important part of practicing medicine. Various belief systems were respected. Patients were          cared for accordingly.

          musica mundana - seasons and elements

          musica humana - Quadrivium, Cardinal Virtues, and Humors

          musica instrumentalis - representation of the tones

Music is basic human behavior. Brain research indicates that everyone is born with the ability to do music just as everyone is born with the ability to learn to speak. (Crowe)

Why isn’t everyone doing it?

Everyone can. (Everyone can achieve high levels of math also.)

     Successful people are comfortable with failure. 

     When you make a “mistake” THAT’s when you’re learning.

          The illusion:

“Many characteristics once believed to reflect innate talent are actually the result of intense practice extended for a minimum of 10 years.”
— K. Anders ERicson, Ralf Th. Kramp, and Clemens Tesch-Romer

How it works

     Break it down to basics. Break it down more. 

     If the student can’t do what I have suggested, it’s on me. (the teacher) They see me modeling problem solving. They see me facing failure and trying another approach. “Maybe I      didn’t say it quite right. Let me try again.” 

     Build appropriately

     Measure progress appropriately

“Wrong” is wrong!


     There are a lot of musicians “teaching” lessons who do not have a positive regard for their students. Many do not have training in education. 


Failure bow

Hard work = good results (especially important for GT students)

How the Brain Learns Music - Is it a gift or a prize?  


Playing music is skilled motor behavior.

     Brain Blog Part 1: What has to happen

     Brain Blog part 2: Three phases of motor skills acquisition:


     link: athletic trainers text: http://lib.oup.com.au/secondary/health/PDHPE/HSC/Student%20Book/PDHPE_HSC_e_chapter_Ch8.pdf

     link: Fitts and Posner: “Paul Fitts and Michael Posner presented their three stage learning model in 1967 and to this day considered applicable in the motor learning world.” 


     Three Phases:

          1. Cognitive Phase - thinking - You understand what to do.

          2. Associative Phase - developing brain pathways and neurological pathways. This is the long one. It’s important to enjoy the process and to recognize progress. 

          3. Autonomous Phase - You have developed skills that happen without consciously thinking about it. It’s automatic. 

     Brain Blog 3: How this applies to practice

     Brain Blog 4: How to play “in the zone” 

          Beginners can learn to do this just as readily as musicians with highly developed skills. Musicians MUST do this to be magical. 

Learning to play modern western music is extremely complex.

     Playing music is basic human behavior, HOWEVER, one could question whether or not modern western music is “basic human behavior”. By selecting appropriate instruments          and developing musical expression that is simpler, we can create an experience where absolute beginners can have musical expression “in the zone”. Recommended reading:          Effortless Mastery, by Kenny Werner

Music Language Basics - A little bit goes a long way! (in a good way) 

     Do re mi is not the very beginning. Often a good place to start. 

     Pentatonic music (maybe IS the very beginning) - ancient, intrinsic,  and universal. Link to pentatonic music article

     Diatonic music - modern and western

     Demystifying music.

     The same activity we are doing in the workshop is available online. Repetition is GOOD. Free lessons: www.everyonecanjam.com Join my email list; get free lessons.

     More lessons are being created. You can access my free lessons page when you join my email list....go to home page to join and enter the raffle. 

Modes and Moods - therapeutic music for everyday life

     Diatonic - it’s all about where the half steps are. You need a drone or a reference. Free basic lessons on improvising using modes: This is made for harp; it is very transferable to         piano. You would need to know the names of the notes on the piano. You would be able to improvise with these lessons on any instrument that is in standard c tuning.

     link to improv lessons in modes: http://www.emeraldharp.com/free-lesson/  The support papers can be very helpful. 

     Various modes have various therapeutic affects. 

link to website about modes and harp therapy:



         ·Ionain- uplifting, soothing, light, gentle, optimistic


       ·Dorian- grounding, strengthening, stable, centering


       ·Phrygian- intense, sad, emotional, fiery, haunting


       ·Lydian- happy, joyful, playful, laughter, dancing, fun


       ·Mixolydian- dreamy, peaceful, relaxing, serene, calm


       ·Aeolian- soulful, introspective, deep, tranquil, reflective


       ·Locrian- transcendent, suspended, mysterious, floating


        *Angel Mode- ethereal, celestial, heavenly, magical (not really a mode) (pentatonic)


        *Middle Eastern Mode- ethnic, ancient, mystical (not really a mode) 

Take away this for now: 

     Modes are an easy way to begin to learn to improvise. 

     The mode of music can have a profound affect on the listener/feeler. Experiment, observe the affects. It is different for everyone. The same song in a different key can have a             much different affect. It can be different on different days. 

     Hearing a variety of modes can have a therapeutic affect on everyone. 

Part 2: Let It Be Easy


     When students “fail” at music, we’re asking too much too soon. 

     We need to be careful about defining what music is, what success is, what progress is.

     We need to be asses where they are at. Meet them where they are and take them where we or they want to go.  

     We need to be creative about what we choose to play, so that the student is not burdened with too much thinking. 

          Students can have something easy to play, so they can develop playing with feeling. 

          They can concurrently have motions to practice, so that more complex motions will later be easy. 

First Learn to Practice

     If you don’t enjoy practice, change it until you do. 

     There is a difference between practicing motion and playing music. 

     Transcending Patience (click here for utube link)

Rhythm WOD (work out of the day)

     You can change your brain (Doidge)

Songwriting Outside the Box

Can Jam

     Recommended reading: The Music Lesson, by Victor L. Wooten


my Amazon shopping list: (for instruments used in workshop)



Music and Soul Making by Barbara Crowe

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Mathmatical Mindsets by Jo Boaler

First Learn to Practice by Tom Heany

The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge M.D.

Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner

This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin

The Woman Who Changed Her Brain by Barbara Arrowsmith Young

The Brain The Story of You by David Eagleman