A very exciting time for expanding one’s musical horizons, students at this age really show what they are made of: Whether they are just starting out, or moving their musical prowess into a higher gear, high school is a wonderful time for some hard work and being exposed to new concepts.

Serious jazz students are now playing actively in ensembles and are highly encouraged to take or continue classical lessons as well as jazz. This will be important for college preparedness. Otherwise, time is allotted in the jazz lesson for some classical pieces.

Jazz students learn what all jazz musicians learn: How to transcribe, transpose, and work with multiple ways to approach improvisation. Solo piano style continues to be developed, and a big fat library of jazz on the IPod is mandatory!

I always enjoy having some philosophical discussions with my seniors about art, aesthetics, and all types of jazz. Getting seniors to practice is another story…


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© 2012 Joan Hickey
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