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“Herding the Cats”: Reflecting Your Priorities as you Teach Jazz Improvisation

  • thumbnail for Antonio García
  • What are the objectives of your improv-instruction? How much can you assist students' creative expression? Will you focus more on technical skills such as chords and scales? How do you grade something as personal and nebulous as Jazz Improvisation? Does your grading-structure reflect your instructional priorities? This session provides perspectives gained from surveying instructors with over 700 years of combined experience teaching Jazz Improvisation, over 400 of those years for credit.
  • Antonio García (ajgarcia@vcu.edu)
  • 12/21/2017 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
  • Meeting Room W192
  • Antonio J. García is a performer, composer/arranger, producer, clinician, educator, and author in both instrumental and vocal genres. The Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, he is a past nominee for CASE U.S. Professor of the Year and is the recipient of Northern Illinois University’s 1992 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Illinois Music Educators Association’s 2001 Distinguished Service Award, and the VCU School of the Arts’ 2015 Faculty Award of Excellence. His newest book, Jazz Improvisation: Practical Approaches to Grading (Meredith Music), explores avenues for creating structures that correspond to course objectives. His Cutting the Changes: Jazz Improvisation via Key Centers (Kjos Music) offers musicians of all ages the opportunity to improvise over standard tunes using just their major scales. Tony has performed as trombonist, bass trombonist, or pianist with 70 major artists including Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Mel Tormé, Billy Eckstine, Doc Severinsen, Louie Bellson, Dave Brubeck, and Phil Collins. A Bach/Selmer clinician/soloist and avid scat-singer, he is Associate Jazz Editor for the International Trombone Association Journal, Past Editor of the IAJE Jazz Education Journal, Past President of IAJE-IL, Board Secretary of The Midwest Clinic, previously a board member of the Illinois Coalition for Music Education, and is Co-Editor/Contributing Author of Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study. He serves as a Network Expert (for Improvisation Materials) for the Jazz Education Network. His articles have been widely published; and his compositions have been published by Kjos, Hal Leonard, Kendor, Doug Beach, ejazzlines, Walrus, UNC Jazz Press, Three-Two Music, and his own company. He is the subject of an extensive interview within Bonanza: Insights and Wisdom from Professional Jazz Trombonists (Advance Music) and authored a chapter within The Jazzer’s Cookbook (Meredith Music). Visit his web site at www.garciamusic.com.
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