Listening Excerpts to Develop Jazz Musicianship

Jim Childers

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Imagine an art teacher saying, “Today, we are going to paint in the impressionistic style” and then using only words to describe that style. It would be a frustrating activity for all involved. Displaying classic art by Monet or Degas would be a far better way to grow students’ visual concept of impressionism.

Similarly, the best way to develop a young jazz musician’s understanding of how jazz is supposed to sound is through great listening examples.

In this resource for experienced and novice jazz educators, author Jim Childers organizes hundreds of great jazz recordings into tables—and provides companion Spotify and YouTube playlists—to showcase specific jazz concepts, styles, characteristic tone, genres, emotion, and more.

What can Charlie Parker teach students about alto saxophone? What is Miles Davis’s characteristic trumpet sound? What is the difference between bebop and swing? What separates a slow wide scoop from a quicker, shorter scoop?

Like in the companion volume for wind band, and with concepts timed down to the second, Childers provides students the gift of great musicians playing great pieces of music. And this focused listening is an efficient way to convey musical concepts, improve student musicianship, and inspire a love for jazz!

Jim Childers is Director of Bands at Marion Junior High School in Illinois, where he directs all band activities in grades six through eight. He started directing bands in 1991 and has been at Marion Junior High School since 2002. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education at Southern Illinois University–Carbondale, studying trombone with Dr. Robert Weiss. He has guest conducted many camps, including ISYM at the University of Illinois, and has presented at conferences, including The Midwest Clinic. Jazz bands under Childers’s direction have won state and regional awards, and Childers has also directed jazz ensembles at all-district and honor band festivals.

Categories: Ear Training, Jazz, Musicianship, Rehearsal, Skill Building

Number of Pages: 232

Format: Softcover

Discipline: Band