(The sum total of all these video excerpts is only 10 minutes.)
DoSo® Music intends that every community should have its own local DoSo Dance Band. The Neighborhood DoSo Dance Band has a home base at Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT. When asked to play in a park in the neighboring town of Hamden, we drew upon our stable of musicians who actually live in Hamden.
The music is simple enough that we could do this performance without a rehearsal nor did we even have time for a sound check. We rely on improvisation to elevate the arrangements to a professional level.
When we tested the DoSo Dance Band concept, naysayers told us teenagers will never dance to live music. For this afternoon presentation we told the audience they could dance if they were moved to do so. The song is “Woy-de-Woy” written by David Mills.
Watch what happens!
Using technique found in both Indian classical music and American jazz, DoSo teachers are able to show classically trained musicians how to improvise.
Patrick Smith, a member of the DoSo Dance Band Senior Team, has developed a unique method of rhythmic scale practice and melodic exercises. As a result, his students at Coop High School become fluid improvisors when playing in a DoSo Dance Band.
During his college years David Mills attended a “Summer Intensive” at Berklee College of Music. One of his teachers emphasized that confidence is the most important ingredient in improvisation. David elicits that from his own students by engaging them in DoSo Freestyle conversations. There are no boundaries — where it goes is where it goes. (The student is Cristian Ortiz at Coop High School.)
A good carpenter never blames his tools. David Mills asks Larry Shea, one of his assistant teachers, to solo using a 3-string guitar during a DoSo Elementary performance. In the spirit of Suzuki, DoSo programs call upon teachers to show off their musicianship from time to time.
If you show young people how to dance, will they follow your lead?
The answer is YES!
Wintergreen Grade School
photo by Mia Malafronte