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Avant Garde/Free Jazz; Fusion (1960 - 1990)

IV. Jazz Education

A. Importance of Jazz Education to Americans


in the 1970s, the public became increasingly aware of the importance of jazz to America’s history and culture 



high schools (and even middle schools) increasingly added jazz bands to their music programs 



jazz has been increasingly “legitimized” in formal academia 



university jazz studies programs proliferated in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s 



today, jazz students study and practice side by side with their classical music counterparts in America’s most prestigious university schools of music and conservatories (e.g., Eastman, Indiana University, New England Conservatory) 



today, students can earn a bachelors, masters, or even a doctoral degree in jazz studies 



many university music departments specialize in jazz studies (e.g., University of Miami, University of North Texas, Berklee College of Music) 



because jazz encompasses so many musical styles, the study of jazz provides practical training for budding professional musicians 

B. Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz


a non-profit education organization founded in 1986, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz offers the world's most promising young musicians college level training by America's jazz masters and presents public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world 

C. Jazz: American Art Education


in 1987, the Joint Houses of Congress passed a resolution declaring jazz an American National Treasure; jazz education has henceforth been considered American art education 

D. The ABC's of Jazz Education:


Aebersold, Baker, Coker 



expanding on the "Music Minus One" concept, Jamey Aebersold has produced over 125 play-along recordings, enabling today’s jazz students to play along with a recorded rhythm section (i.e., practice with accompaniment) anytime they want; the play-along recordings feature professional jazz rhythm sections which play accompaniment to common chord progressions, standards, and classic jazz tunes (the CDs are categorized by jazz artist, particular standards, and common chord progressions) 



David Baker is considered one of the world’s most eminent jazz pedagogues; he (1) founded the jazz studies program at Indiana University, (2) has written over 60 books and 400 articles on jazz improvisation, arranging, composition, pedagogy, how to learn tunes, how to practice, and related topics, and (3) is active today as Director of Jazz Studies at IU, a composer, performer, clinician, and Director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra; he is a past president of the International Association for Jazz Education  



Jerry Coker founded the jazz program at the University of Miami (one of the most innovative schools of jazz today) in the late 60s; he also has written a number of books on jazz improvisation, how to teach, how to practice, how to hear common chord progressions, how to listen to jazz, and related topics  

E. More Jazz Education


for more on jazz education, click here 

the thelonious monk institute of jazz
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