Quite a few years ago, I got to sit in on a Masterclass for a jazz band. The leader kept saying snippets of advice to the band, so I jotted them down. The more I listened, the more I heard universal wisdom in the phrases.
At the time, I was involved in a lot of worship planning and creating learning environments. Now, I am primarily involved in creating virtual space for community. These jazz masterclass tenets hold up either way.
I invite you to read through this list and consider how each may apply to some aspect of creating community in which you are a part:
“Don’t be afraid to come IN when you are at the entrance.”
“This is OUR music. You are part of an ensemble. Listen for yourself in the whole.”
“The more silence you put in your music, the better the music sounds.”
“Help the audience know when something new is happening.”
“If you are one of the loud people, maybe play closer to your stand, or back it down a little.”
“Not every note gets the same attention. Make sure the melody is singing when they get the chance.”
“Hit the back wall with your sound. You set the mood for everyone else to join in.”
“[Jazz] is like a rubber band, you can pull it any way you like, but the basic structure you Do. Not. Break.”