A critically acclaimed musician and teacher presents a guide to the dynamics of improvisation.
It's easy to assume that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous and endlessly influential "I Have a Dream" speech was scripted beforehand, vetted by others, written, and rewritten. It was not. Instead, it was given on the fly, when from the audience, singer Mahalia Jackson urged King off his prepared text. The result has inspired millions.
The Art of Is contains breath-of-fresh-air thinking about how to cultivate the kind of game-changing creativity everyone seeks. Stephen Nachmanovitch shows exactly how the passion and immediacy of improvisation can be cultivated and how, in fact, we all improvise all the time - whether we are driving or deep in conversation. He explores ideas about being in the moment and reacting to people as they are, finding gold in unexpected distractions and roadblocks, and not only accepting, but also celebrating imperfections in everyday practices. This creative mindfulness also makes innovation the province not of solitary geniuses, but the result of engagement and interaction - and makes clear that improvising, creating, and innovating are only of value when rooted in an ethical and social foundation. The results, Nachmanovitch shows, foster meaningful change and invention - and may just ignite a dream.