Otto's teaching concepts are influenced by his studies at several great Jazz schools. He began his studies with David Baker at Indiana, followed by studies at Berklee, The New School and Cal Arts. After being in NYC for a few years Matt started suffering from severe bouts of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which forced him to develop ways to practice without his instrument. He began singing with pedal drones in order to help him develop his ear. This seemingly simple exercise began to shape his entire approach to improvisation.
There is quite a bit of singing in this recording of Otto's clinic and I would strongly encourage you to sing along with the exercises. If you follow along through the the entire clinic I am sure that you'll find great value in Otto's unusual approach. Matt's approach helps the improvisor to make the ear the driving force in the process of improvisation, rather than having the mind choose your notes according to theoretical rules.
Matt Otto Clinic- part 1
Matt Otto Clinic- part 2
Links to drone mp3s:Drone Bb