In BYU Arts and BRAVO!, Experiential Learning, Masterclasses

Students participated in a jam session with the accomplished bluegrass duo

Pikelny and Duncan answer questions from students and faculty. (Ben Williams)

Bluegrass icons Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan answered questions from student and faculty folk musicians as part of BYU’s BRAVO! Professional Performing Arts Series. The duo shared lessons learned from their lives and music careers — and surprised students with a jam session at the end of the masterclass.

One of the topics banjoist Pikelny and fiddle player Duncan discussed was the processes and advice about improvising.

“I often say improvising is like composing or writing variations in real time,” said Pikenly. “If you’re not able to do it in real time, you need to teach yourself how to do it. How will you be able to perform in front of an audience if you can’t do it when you’re alone?”

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