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Renowned bassist and educator Bert Turetzky, discusses the value of improvisatory skills in both music and everyday life. Turetzky performs composed and improvisational pieces on the Contrabass for the students, and uses the instrument to experiment with sound.

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  • Creativity--understanding the creative process in music and life
  • Improvisation--what it means to improvise in music
  • Experimentation--the value of experimentation in music and life; how to experiment with instruments and playing techniques
  • The music of the Contrabass
  • What defines a style of music (what classifies jazz music as jazz...what makes classical music, classical, etc.)
  • The role western contemporary musicians had in changing the sound of music
  • The process of becoming a musician
Discussion Points
  • What does it mean to be creative? How can we be creative in our daily lives?
  • What is the traditional role of an instrument (to carry a tune, provide emphasis, present the melody)? Could an instrument play a different role?
  • How can music be used to establish mood and express an emotion?
  • How can you develop a style of your own. What does style mean to you?
  • Who is your favorite creative artist? What makes them creative and what do you like about their work?
  • Play an instrument using different techniques. If the instrument requires a bow, trying plucking it, for example.
  • Listen to a non-musical sound, such as a helicopter flying by, or the sound a dishwasher makes, and try to imitate that sound with an instrument. Remember, accuracy isn't the goal--the goal is to explore the musical possibilities of the instrument.
  • Use an instrument to play another instrument. For instance, Turetzky uses his Contrabass to emulate the Sitar. What other instruments might a flute sound like? Or a violin?
  • Try to create different moods by playing an instrument harder, softer, faster, slower. Come up with a specific emotion and try to recreate that emotion using an instrument.

Introduction to Musicians and Middle Schools |
Using the Videos in the Classroom |

What Creativity Means: Anthony Davis, Cecil Lytle, Steven Schick,
Bertram Turetzky, Chinary Ung & Susan Ung |

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