The essence of Ben Schwendener’s approach to teaching is built on the premise that everybody has talent and that creativity is choice.
“I like to think of myself as a facilitator – a tour guide, so to speak, enabling students to consciously navigate the vast tonal, rhythmic and historical geography of what is available in nature and human cultural history.”
Schwendener asserts that creative choices which give rise to the individual voice are fundamentally comprised of elements - not necessarily by following pre-existing systems or formulas. Knowledge of and understanding the vast resources (elements) provided by nature offers limitless expression of one’s own creative voice. Exploring, discovering, understanding, freely choosing from what is already available in nature, as well as in aesthetically relevant historical practices, limitlessly expands the individual’s creative options.
The premise that every individual from birth has a unique voice provides a fresh approach to encourage and help develop capable artistically creative people in music and other disciplines. Schwendener believes in encouraging the evolution of art forms and the discovery of new solutions from a very young age. This mindset to expand creative potential has driven Ben as an educator of music for over 30 years. If it’s true in music it must be true in other disciplines. His celebrated project-based course designed for non-musicians for the Critical and Creative Thinking Department at UMass Boston also bases itself in the belief that creativity is choice.
Ben Schwendener offers private and group instruction in music, music production, composition and improvisation, piano, the Lydian Chromatic Concept and creative development at his studio in Jamaica Plain, MA. Online sessions via Skype, Facetime or Google Hangout are also offered.