Thanks to Bret, Randy, the Toms and everyone who worked so hard to make the 4th Annual Zeswitz Symposium a great Professional Development opportunity for music educators in Pennsylvania!
I gave my "No Rules, No Fear Jazz" talk to an appreciative and cooperative group of teachers who stayed inside on a beautiful June Saturday.
Here's what they came up with when we talked about our four big questions:
What rules about jazz are you looking for permission to break?
I don’t have rules.
There are rules in jazz? (string player)
Percussion!! Drumset standards?
Instruments allowed in a jazz ensemble
Notes outside the chord that work
Have to program a swing piece
What rules must we keep for it to still be considered jazz?
It has to swing?
What is your biggest fear about teaching jazz?
Students don’t have the confidence in themselves
Relaxing to the point of passing out
Not able to explain what I do
Not able to help students’ fear of playing
I’m not a strong jazz player. I haven’t had a lot of experience in jazz.
Kids don’t want to solo
Is it true to the jazz idiom?
Setting a good/authentic example for students
Teaching = bad
What is your biggest fear about playing jazz yourself?
No experience in jazz improvisation
Improv that makes sense
Getting lost in changes
Lost in fast chord changes
It’s so fast and virtuosic...which I’m not.
Not sounding creative enough
Setting a good example for students
Exposed to pros
These are all great thoughts, some of which we're already addressing here, and some I hope to get to in future blog posts and articles. Thanks again, everyone for a great day!