Mike McGinnis has questions. Do you have answers?
1) What things do you think are important to teach in regards to improvisation and more specifically jazz improvisation?
2) What is jazz vocabulary?
3) Is jazz vocabulary important?
4) Why is jazz vocabulary important or not important?
5) Should it be taught?
6) If yes, how do you teach it?
7) If yes, how do you learn it?
8) If no, why not?
9) Is teaching something different than learning something?
10) Or if you have learned something yourself can you save a student time or increase progress by showing them methods to learn something that you had to figure out yourself?
11) If vocabulary is important... whose vocabulary? Everyone's? Just certain people's? (Louis Armstrong, Hawk, Bird, Miles, Trane, etc.) What about when a student encounters harmonic or rhythmic patterns in newer music that a particular vocabulary doesn't fit with?
12) If vocabulary is not important, what is important?
13) Why is it important to teach this other thing (something other than "vocabulary")?
14) How is it learned?
15) How do you teach it?
Mike originally circulated this questionnaire to a handful of musicians (including myself) via email. I asked if he wouldn't mind my sharing it with the blog and he said "sure." If you have any thoughts on any of this, please weigh in in comments.