The Past, Present, and Future of Jazz Education: Toward Alternatives in Jazz Pedagogy
By: Joshua Renick
Published: 05/16/2012
Uploaded: 11/20/2017
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2012 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: formal, Informal, Jazz

Description/Abstract: This study was an investigation of what occurred when aspiring jazz students and professional jazz musicians came together in the spirit of collaboration to create an alternative learning environment. While many jazz educators, musicians, and critics alike have called for the rethinking of jazz education, few have explored pedagogical alternatives beyond the master-apprentice model, a formal method favored by the Western conservatory system. This study used collaborative inquiry, a method of participatory, action-based inquiry, to discover if such a horizontal environment was effective in 1) reconnecting jazz education to its historic pedagogical roots while simultaneously working toward a new direction in jazz pedagogy, and 2) seeking a viable learning model which would allow jazz musicians of all levels to deepen their understanding of themselves and their art. Over a three-month period, two novice undergraduate saxophone players and two professional jazz musicians worked through and across varied musical abilities to form a learning community founded on the democratic principles of jazz music's historic roots. Eschewing binary conceptions of formal vs. informal learning, they explored myriad musical concepts and topics which affected their growth as musicians, teachers, and improvisers, creating a hybridized environment which resembled the historic learning environments found in jazz pedagogies past, while working within the advantages of university space and institutional support.