an education in jazz

I am finally, only through the grace of God, done with college.  When I say it like that it sounds like it was miserable.  It wasn’t; in fact, it was pretty fun.  But it wasn’t always easy, and I wouldn’t make it through a day without his grace anyway, college or not.  I am also now unemployed, teaching music not being a lucrative enough venture to pay the rent (with my skills and limited experience, at least), so I’m moving back in with my parents (it’s ok, they’re cool, and when I say they’re cool I mean they’re nerdy like me).  I’ll stay with them until I either go to grad school in the fall or get rejected from grad school, in which case who knows!  I have full confidence in God’s sovereignty, so maybe I’m less stressed about unemployment than I should be.  I have roughly two weeks left before moving back home, and I must admit I’m relishing the wide empty TIME that I finally have.  Apparently, I like reading and music!  I noticed that it said so on my Facebook profile, so I tried them and I DO like both!  My parents gave me a Kindle for graduation, and even though my first love will always be crispy, age-worn sweet smelling tomes, the (near) infinite capabilities of the tiny Kindle delight my fondness for always having multiple reading possibilities with me.  And I’ve been learning jazz, FINALLY.

Jazz has always been to me the elusive domain of musicians far better than me, surrounded by a smoke of nonchalant genius and pure creativity.  My (former) boss is giving me a crash course in jazz, from progressions to modes and ninths and improvisation.  I never really learned how to improv in a band setting, like I do in the worship band; I kind of just tried and it happened.  Jazz seems like “anything goes,” but the theory is endlessly complicated.  For the first time, I’m having to actually think about what notes I should play next.  I’ve started listening to more jazz, having been directed to jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli.  Jazz violin!  How cool is that!  Learning jazz has made me realize how much I love learning music, and how refreshingly challenging the puzzle of theory is.  It’s been a bit of a reassurance for my decision to pursue a postgraduate music degree.  I’m glad I majored in history, but I miss music.

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