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Improvisation in Life and the Arts : Page 2 of 2

Improvisation in Life and the Arts

continued from page 1

  • Improvisation in day-to-day life means having heightened awareness, tapping into intuition and opening yourself to fate's will.
  • The teacher's art is to connect the living body of knowledge with the living bodies of the students in the room.
  • Scripts (a predetermined set of actions) are appropriate sometimes, and are a part of being committed and responsible i.e. to perform a concert when you said you would.
  • Once you've learned techniques or craft, it's essential to let them go and just relate to what's in front of you. Create through your technique and not with it.
  • Improvisation entails surrendering to the unknown.
  • Each moment is precious and can't be preserved, even though we tend to want to preserve what we create.

If you'd like to explore these ideas of "creative flow" and "everyday improvisation", spend some time answering the following questions.

  • When have you experienced "being in the flow" in your art or in your day-to-day life?
  • What precipitated that state? What helped you stay in it? What brought you out of it?
  • How do you best learn from a teacher? What have you noticed about learning based on a syllabus versus having the learning customized to your needs?
  • Where in your life is improvising not an option? When do you find it necessary to stick with a schedule or outside structure?
  • What do you think of when you imagine "surrendering to the unknown"?
  • What's been your experience in the different "times" of creativity? The flash of inspiration, the creation into form and the performance?
  • Which are the underlying techniques that you're grounded in (have learned so deeply that they're internalized), and that you need to "forget" when it's time to improvise?
  • What creative moment in your life do you most wish you had a record of?

So, can you be an artist while you're washing the dishes?

Watch your hands dance through the bubbles, watch the graceful movements of your arms, see the shining surfaces appear before your eyes, watch the precision as you stack your finished products, and notice how time both seems to stand still and pass effortlessly as you lose yourself in your task.

I think you can. •

This article was originally published on the Muses Muse Songwriter's Resource website (April 2005) www.musesmuse.com.

© Linda Dessau, 2005. All rights reserved.

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7/17/05