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Work With Nick In The Jazz Intensive...

This is an invitation to adult jazz students who’ve been playing for at least a year and are looking to get their playing skills to a level where they can comfortably play in public, accept gigs, and confidently become a part of their jazz communities….

 

…and want support with creating a holistic jazz practice - one that embodies consistency and long term results - and to spend less time thinking about what to do in the practice room and more time building skills for success.

 

There are options to work with me and my faculty of teachers for either 6 or 12 months. 

Both engagements begin with auditing and rethinking how you approach building the skills you desire:

1. Understanding and putting into action first principles of jazz music: Developing a deep understanding and ability with the fundamentals.

 

If you think the fundamentals are just for beginners, you’re in for a wake-up call. This will be a practice you keep for the rest of your musical life. So many of the troubles I see with students relate back to gaps in their foundational knowledge and failure to be able to execute on basic structures. Their entire musical lives are built on quicksand and their weaknesses are exposed easily (doesn’t take much to throw them off).

 

Without fail, the students I have coached that are attending the premier universities, are professional and in-demand working musicians, or teaching at a high level, have taken the study of first principles EXTREMELY seriously.

In the Jazz Intensive, we take a 2 pronged approach to first principles:

  • Isolated daily practice of the basic structures of Western Music. This is a process that builds into ever more complexity, flexibility, and personalization over time and creates deep confidence and ability. Think about this as a rite of passage that will allow you to develop whatever skills you desire. 

  • In-Context practice of fundamentals using tunes and chord progressions as a vehicle for the basic structures even the most advanced solos are largely comprised of. In other words, the required vocabulary that every jazz musician must possess to speak the language on any level. 

 

Many resources on the internet today choose to ignore this important step and focus on narrow, advanced concepts that aren’t foundational. Frankly, you aren’t ready for them. I’m not interested in being a part of that problem.

 

And don’t think that we are against advanced material. We LOVE working on advanced concepts. But we do it from a place of unshakeable confidence in our foundation.

2. Regular “In The Moment” or “On The Spot” Practice

 

The legends of this music I, and my faculty have been lucky enough to work with (Clark Terry, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Fred Hersch, Billy Hart, Benny Green, Bob Mintzer, Rufus Reid, and many more) ALL engaged in this type of teaching. It is quite literally the jazz tradition. 

 

There is no replacement for learning things by ear, on the spot. Things learned by doing stick long term. They teach us the intangible elements of this music and get us out of our heads and into our bodies. 

In improvised music, your body must be primed to create in the moment. Your brain only gets in the way.

 

You have to practice being in the moment if you want to do it in performance. 

 

The ear must be directly connected to the fingers without the brain as intermediary.

3. Guided practice as a vehicle toward functional knowledge and inevitable independence. 

 

There is a big difference between knowledge and functional knowledge. With regular, guided practice, we eliminate the ‘what to do’ and focus on learning through action. No more convoluted practice plans that take weeks to make and inevitably get thrown out at the first bump in the road. 

 

We develop our well of knowledge through taking an action and reflecting on that action later. Most students that start and stop constantly or end up leaving music behind have this process backward. We want to HEAR things and have them COME OUT of our instruments before we label them and intellectualize them. 

 

Many students find their practice time shrinking and their results growing after engaging in this type of learning. As your skills and intuition grow, your efficiency in the practice room will be quite a thing to behold.

 

I’m also not interested in you NEEDING me as a teacher for more than our initial engagement. I produce strong, independent musicians that take the reigns in their own development after working with me for a time. That only happens through this action first style of learning. 

 

I’m happy to keep working with you for as long as you’d like, but you won’t need me for long if you commit yourself to the work we will be doing…

 

Which brings me to the final important piece of our time together…

4. Regular feedback and course correction. 

 

While you are changing and developing into a musician with a deep and resonant understanding of your voice, you’re going to have questions, difficulties, and need guidance and accountability. 

 

This is where there is no replacement for close work with a mentor. This work will be the most important at the beginning of our engagement. Over time,  you develop more conviction that you know what to do.

 

Toward the end of our engagement, I hope to become more of a collaborator and a sounding board for your own ideas….

 

…But mentorship is something that we all need in our lives. I check in with my most important mentors regularly to this day. 

 

These 4 important aspects of a great jazz education, if taken seriously, will transform your musicianship into a rewarding, sustainable, fun, and creative future. 

 

I think you’ll notice that there isn’t a lot of fluff here. Nothing intrinsically exciting or flashy.

Know what is exciting though?

 

Being able to authentically express yourself in your solos and feel consistent growth.

 

To know your musicianship is built on the most solid foundation and that you are working from a functional and healthy relationship with music.

What’s Included?

 

In both my 6 and 12 month engagements, we will work closely together to achieve your goals. We do this in the following ways:

  • An initial 1-on-1 onboarding call where we set the starting point for your specific situation and unpack what has been holding you back. We create the map for our time together in the Jazz Intensive.

  • 3 Weekly group coaching calls. This is where we engage in our ‘on the spot’ learning and where I, and the faculty, can directly address your questions and challenges. 

  • On demand modules of learning content created by myself, the other fantastic educators in the Intensive, and many guests. Hundreds of pieces of directed and practical material that will guide you into the confident and complete musician you want to be. Potent resources when combined with personal attention, mentorship, and an aligned community of peers. 

  • The ability to post your work for review. This is where the course correction and feedback happen that are so vital to your success.

Who should do this?

 

For you to get the most out of this program, you should have some playing experience and be dedicated to reaching the next level. 

 

*You don’t need to be an advanced player! That is why this engagement exists. To help you reach an advanced level….

 

…But you do need to be committed to doing the work, open minded, and ready to take action.  

If you are unsure whether you meet the requirements, we can talk over messenger or email.

Pricing:

 

My engagements are between $3k and $5k USD depending on how long you would like to work together. 

 

Yes, we do have payment plans depending on your situation!

 

Many of my students join for an initial engagement and choose to extend based on their needs. 

 

If you are interested in working together, email me at: nick@nickmainellamusic.com

 

Tell me a bit about yourself, where you are with music currently and where you’d like to be in the near future. 

 

I’d also like to know about why you are considering working with me and what specifically attracts you to my educational style.

 

We’ll set up a time to chat and see if this is right for you. 

 

I’ll speak with you soon over email!

 

Nick

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