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Jazz Immersion

Are you new to teaching jazz? Here are ways to learn about jazz quickly.

In the blog post, Case Study: Crafting a Jazz Studies Program, Janis Stockhouse, director of award-winning jazz ensembles Bloomington (Indiana) High School North, embraced teaching jazz.

Are you new to jazz instruction? Don’t panic! Here are some tips to quickly learn about jazz from Stockhouse.

Tip 1: Buy and Listen to Classic Jazz CDs: Stockhouse encourages new jazz instructors to start by listening to “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis as she did, then check out John Coltrane’s “Ballads” album. “If that hooks you, keep discovering other classic recordings,” she says.

Tip 2: Learn to Improvise Yourself: Purchase Jamey Aebersold’s play-a-long book “Maiden Voyage: Fourteen Easy-to-Play Jazz Tunes” and learn how to solo over these fairly easy but great jazz pieces.

Tip 3: Attend a Jazz Workshop: Stockhouse suggests the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, offered as week-long or two-day courses in Louisville, Kentucky.

Tip 4: Network with Jazz Artists: Go to the Jazz Education Network convention held each January and other conferences in the national or state level. Seek out more experienced jazz directors and artists and ask them all of your questions.

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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