How to Develop a Jazz Studies Program

I have directed the jazz studies department at New Jersey City University for 20 years. During that time, I have created undergraduate and graduate jazz performance degree programs that have been lauded by some of the most respected names in jazz; hired a faculty of top New York professionals; brought world renowned guest artists to perform with and for the students; taught courses in jazz improvisation, jazz history, jazz pedagogy, big band and jazz combo; instituted a high school jazz festival; and performed at jazz conferences and high schools throughout the northeast. All of these have allowed me to gain greater insight into the components that constitute a successful jazz program.

This presentation is designed to acquaint music majors, music educators and jazz performers alike with the materials and courses needed to implement such a jazz program in a school system or college. Any jazz educator wishing to improve their one–one studio teaching can also use the information offered. The topics to be discussed can include any one or combinations of all of the following:

  • A Rationale for Jazz in the Classroom
  • Establishing a Jazz Curriculum
  • How to Recruit, Build & Promote a Jazz Program
  • How to Teach the Jazz Concept— Swing, Phrasing & Articulation
  • How to Teach Jazz Improvisation
  • Teaching Jazz History
  • The Small Jazz Ensemble: Instrumentation, Selecting the Repertoire, and Rehearsal Techniques
  • The Large Jazz Ensemble: Instrumentation, Selecting the Repertoire, and Rehearsal Techniques
  • Concert Preparations, Competitions, Jazz Festivals and Tours