The Future of Jazz Education

Fathers of Jazz Education

Jamey Aebersold, David Baker, Jerry Coker, Dan Haerle, Ed Soph, and Rufus Reid - July 16, 2010

One of the most amazing parts of attending the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop was getting to meet so many fantastic players and educators. I’ll be posting more about my experiences, but I felt like it was best to start with these 6 incredible people – the ones who started it all.

One of the most amazing parts of the camp for me was getting to personally interact with people, who up until that point in my life, has simply been authors of the jazz books I own. I was able to enjoy meals with them, ride elevators with them, sit near them at concerts, see them perform, take lessons, attend masterclasses and generally get to know them as people. It was truly incredible for me. I will share individual stories in another post – there’s many. 🙂

This picture was taken on the last day of the workshop and I have to admit, I got a little emotional. Jamey introduced each of them with a story and made us all laugh. It shows how much their friendship has been an important part of keeping the camp and jazz education alive.

Which got me thinking: what is the future of jazz education? I thought about what would happen when these guys don’t want to or can’t do this anymore. Who’s going to take over what they have started and keep introducing young and old alike to playing jazz?

I asked 2 people that I met at the camp that question, and got 2 very different answers, which I wanted to share.

The first, a bass player from Florida, said that it was over. He said no one would take over the camp and jazz education as we know it would end. I have to admit that was more than a little surprised by his comment. It was incredibly dark for the end of such an awesome week. But everyone’s perspective is different. I hope he’s not correct…

The second was a trombone player and middle school band director from New Orleans. When I asked him who was going to take over jazz education he looked at me and said “It’s going to be us.” I had to laugh – because that’s exactly what I was thinking.

It’s said that we need goals – I have a huge one. I want to be a good enough player and teacher that I will be asked teach at the Aebersold Workshop someday. I’m serious. I’ve got a shitload of work ahead of me – but it’s something I truly want.

4 thoughts on “The Future of Jazz Education

  1. I so agree with you Monica. I think that it’s definitely up to us as educators to pick up the ball, so to speak. I think about that often as I watch those who taught me growing and getting older. The future of music education in our communities is really up to us. I think you can achieve your goal. You are a great player and your awesome personality will take you far 🙂

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