Elephants Everywhere! (Part 4/4)

In case you missed it, here’s the link to Part 3

Quick recap: I’m skeptical it can exist, but I’m trying to create a jazz piano formula for non-specialist teachers to give to their beginner students. I’m going to try and expand on the three parts mentioned in the previous post.

The chords are easy to expand on. No more root position; use inversions and better voice leading:

Elephants Everywhere - Chords Inversions

Add the Charleston; shift it through the measure.

Elephants Everywhere - Chords With Rhythm

Here’s a bass line they can learn:

Elephants Everywhere - Bass Line

If they listen to the recording, maybe they’ll figure this out:

Elephants Everywhere - Melody Variation

Here’s why this process is shady: With the exception of the chord inversions, every expansion is coming from my knowledge of the jazz tradition. A non-specialist would have no way of figuring out that bass line without listening to a recording (which won’t happen) or learning it through me. That means whenever a student is ready for the next step, his/her teacher would have to come back to me to get more information! That’s a problem on many levels. Namely, his/her teacher would be acting more as a relay than a teacher. It’d also be impossible to shape lessons around the student’s individual capabilities and interests.

The best solution I can think of is for the teacher to pass his/her students on to a specialist, someone who knows instinctively how to play Freddie Freeloader. Maybe he/she can keep the students and give them the above material over three lessons. But preferably, they take lessons from a specialist sooner than later. Remember, I haven’t even touched improvisation!

The question: If our goal is to build another room, to what degree, if any, can the new room include non-specialists?

My answer: Non-specialist piano teachers can stay for three lessons max!

Thanks for reading!

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