The Playful Musician dives deep into a musician’s journey, techniques and influences. From the first instrument they played to how they prepare for big concerts or recordings to how they find joy in the long practice hours, this podcast reveals the beautiful, and peculiar, details of an artist’s journey.
Whether you’re an aspiring musician looking for inspiration, a seasoned pro trying to find new techniques, or just a fan of the musical process, you’re going to love this podcast.
Sara Gazarek - Acclaimed, Grammy® Nominated Jazz Vocalist
Sara joins The Playful Musician to discuss the Grammy® nomination process and what it’s like to be nominated and attend music’s biggest event. We chat about the loss of legendary jazz musician Chick Corea. Sara shares about finding success at an early age, improvising beyond melodies, and the value of going on the road. We discuss teaching practices and how she empowers and challenges her students. Sara also shares her approach to songwriting and how she’s finding inspiration with her new vocal group, säje.
Rhett Bender - Saxophone Professor and Lifelong Learner
Rhett joins The Playful Musician to discuss pandemic challenges, including teaching remotely and how performing has changed. He shares about his time as a student of Dr. Kenneth Fischer, and how Fischer taught him to practice efficiently. Rhett talks about his journey to become a saxophonist and university professor. We chat about the difference between playing and practicing and Rhett shares where he finds creative inspiration.
Kate McGarry - Grammy Nominated Jazz Artist, Vocalist and Songwriter
In this episode, Kate shares about what she’s learned from studying the Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method for over 17 years. We chat about pandemic challenges, her first jazz influences, and the differences between performing live versus in the studio. Kate divulges some of her unique practice techniques, such as singing through a straw in water. She shares about her vocal cord healing journey, including what she’s learned about overcoming failure and self-care. Lastly, we chat about Kate’s song writing process, future albums and from where she draws inspiration.
Deanna Swoboda, Professor of Tuba and Euphonium
Deanna shares how she teaches students to improvise musically, and in life, and how she encourages them to pursue and diversify their goals. We discuss our brass heroes, Deanna’s journey from clarinet to tuba and how she encourages playfulness in the practice routine. Deanna shares about her time with Dallas Brass, the challenges and opportunities of teaching during a pandemic and what’s currently inspiring her.
Alexander Tutunov - Virtuoso Pianist and Teacher
At the age of six, Alexander moved away from his family to study music in Moscow. We chat about studying music at a young age, influential teachers and how the trombone saved him from fighting with the Soviet Union military in Afghanistan. Alexander shares about his rehearsal process, what inspires him and how he plays in service of the music.
Susan Mohini Kane - Professor of Opera and Voice Talks Teaching and Innovating During a Pandemic
Susan shares about her experience teaching workshops at a maximum security prison, how to embrace musical opportunity during this unconventional time and the challenges of teaching online. Susan shares her practice routine, her advice for young musicians and why singing matters.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Was a good interview. Captured Matty very well. This was easy listening.
Hit the play button
In our culture, we manage to turn just about everything into work, including music. Steve Davidson rightfully reminds us that music is to be played, not worked. Refreshing look at getting to the pure joy that attracts us to music in the first place.
Excellent new contribution to musicianship
Steve is really focusing on something so important to all musicians....how to maintain a creative approach to practice and accelerate improvement, but optimize enjoyment. Highly highly recommend listening!