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Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study

"I congratulate IAJE and MENC for the work they are doing to further the course of music education....
Teaching Jazz provides resources that can be immediately put into action in the music classroom...."

Wynton Marsalis

Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study, with a foreward by Wynton Marsalis, was developed out of the growing interest in establishing a jazz curriculum that will identify learning outcomes appropriate for the ages of the children being taught. It offers teachers a model for the development of sequenced learning outcomes that meet local needs and provides the novice teacher with guidance for starting a jazz-oriented program in conjunction with any existing program. Organized in six levels, from Beginner (Level I) to Advanced (Level VI), it is suitable for any age or grade level and designed so students and teachers may work at their own pace. It includes suggestions for specific texts, discographies, and jazz literature and is recommended by MENC for text adoption. Teaching Jazz was developed by the International Association of Jazz Educators Curriculum Committee and is a publication of IAJE and MENC, issued in 1996, 88 pages in length.

"...The government of Manitoba has recently adopted...Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study as Manitoba curriculum for instrumental and vocal jazz education in the province...[and] as 'Department Developed/Acquired Curriculum,' which elevates the status of jazz education...on a par with math, science, language arts, social studies, music, for example. It also provides to all band directors a framework and resource developed by professional educators and experts in the field of jazz education. Instrumental and vocal jazz directors will never again have to write course descriptions and applications for jazz course approval."
IAJE Jazz Educators Journal



ISBN 978-1-56545-102-5 (formerly 1-56545-102-3).
via Rowman & Littlefield Education
(800) 462-6420
$29.95 (U.S., likely a discount for NAfME members
(subject to change without notice)

Also translated as Orchestre de Jazz, the French-Canadian edition published in September 1999 as the province of Manitoba, Canada's recommended jazz curriculum. Éducation et Formation Profesionnelle Manitoba (Canada); ISBN 0-7711-3010-4.


"Teaching Jazz is a great new addition to the [MENC] Course of Study series and puts jazz firmly in its proper place in the school curriculum. This collaboration [between MENC and IAJE] promises to be just the beginning of many such projects."
Carolynn Lindeman, then-President, MENC


Antonio García served for three years within the IAJE Curriculum Committee as Editor and Contributing Author of Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study, plus two more years as Co-Editor and Contributing Author. During that period he also served as Co-Chair of the IAJE Curriculum Committee for two years and Chair of its Task Force on Vocal Jazz Curriculum for five years, creating, assembling, and editing the materials for this book.

"Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study can serve as a model for any school district and identifies a sequence of outcomes for students of various ages and ability levels"
MENC Teaching Music

The core curriculum of this book bears García's copyright; he also authored an additional, substantial portion of the overall text. (The core has also been reprinted with his permission within Standard of Excellence by Bruce Pearson and Dean Sorenson, published by Neil A. Kjos Music Co., September 1998 and within the Advanced Jazz Ensemble Method, also published by Kjos, June 2005.) Of this concise curricular grid, Wynton Marsalis stated:

"Eight key categories [are] designed to meet the challenge of teaching what is historically an oral and aural tradition—
ear training, rhythm, composition/improvisation, history, and theory, as well as keyboard, instrumental, and vocal skills.
Although each of these components will not necessarily receive equal instructional time, all are important ingredients in the recipe."

Wynton Marsalis

García's copyrighted grid, Teaching Jazz: Scope and Sequence of Instruction, is available for your study on this site.

"Many treatises have been developed concerning the history [of jazz], jazz nomenclature, ear training and transcription,
methods for arranging and composing in the idiom; and elaborate guides to improvisation have been published.
The IAJE/MENC publication, Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study, now provides a hitherto-unavailable guide for all instructors....
The IAJE members who worked so diligently to provide us with this document are heartily congratulated."

William F. Lee III, then-Executive Director, IAJE

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