“Jazz is a lifelong learning experience because the more you learn, the more you can use, and the more creative you become.”
When Paul Wolsk’s friend suggested that they get a jazz band together, he hadn’t played the sax for 35 years. He’d first taken up the instrument in elementary school and played through college, but gave it up as he pursued a long career as a lawyer for the music industry. Then in his 60s, Paul borrowed a sax and began taking lessons. Today, Paul – who recently celebrated his 80th birthday – plays in a Lucy Moses School jazz ensemble and is learning to improvise in a Jazz Improvisation and Harmony class led by the Jazz Program’s beloved director, Roni Ben-Hur.
What was it like to play the sax again after so many years? As a young person, Paul played in a marching band, which was a very different experience than the jazz standards he loves playing today. “The improvising part I had never done before,” he explains. “It’s just fun. Improvising is actually learned. It’s not something you’re born knowing how to do.” Paul loves Roni’s supportive teaching style and the intellectual challenge of memorizing and recalling musical phrases. After retiring three years ago, he tries to practice for an hour or two each day.
Paul has this advice for adults thinking of returning to an instrument, or starting out as a beginner: “If you have any interest at all in music, this is a great place to take it up. Even if you’re a beginner, your efforts are appreciated. It’s an excellent place for people of all levels.”
Registration is open! Click here to learn more about LMS's Jazz Program with Roni Ben-Hur, private lessons, Sight-Singing, chamber music, Dalcroze and many other programs for adults at Lucy Moses School.