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Build Your Jazz Music Library and Knowledge

Get these essential books and attend key conferences to learn about teaching jazz.

In Case Study: Crafting a Jazz Studies Program, Janis Stockhouse, director of jazz ensembles at Bloomington High School North, didn’t know much about jazz when she was tasked with teaching it.

She stresses the importance of building your jazz knowledge. Here are five resources she highly recommends for band directors who are entering jazz from another musical discipline.

1. “Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz” from GIA Publications — Available as a book or CD set, this title contains some of the most significant works ever composed for developing and intermediate jazz band.

2. Aebersold Publications  —  Jamey Aebersold’s Play-A-Longs have made it possible to create an interactive jazz environment in a classroom. Aebersold has produced more than 130 volumes of jazz recordings and books along with various supplemental items, carving out a new avenue for jazz education.

3. Sierra Music Publications Inc. This jazz-specific music publisher offers more than 600 big band charts from established composers like Stan Kenton, Bill Holman, Count Basie and Maynard Ferguson. In addition, Sierra has commissioned music from many new composers, including Dan Haerle, Ellen Rowe, Fred Stride, Fred Sturm and others.

4. The Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference As a band director, you’re likely already attending the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference. If you’re new to jazz, though, make sure to check out the jazz-specific clinics and concerts. This past December, sessions included “‘Latinizing’ Your School Jazz Ensemble” and “The Jazz Combo – An Inside Look.”

5. Jazz Education Network (JEN) Website and Convention — This organization is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance and developing new audiences. Membership in JEN offers many benefits including networking, performance opportunities, and discounts to magazines and goods from strategic partners.

Photo Courtesy of Bloomington High School North 

This article originally appeared in the 2017 V1 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.

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