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A conversation with 
James Warrick

(Band Director  Guide Magazine)

 
 

Down the left margin you will find links to all the relevant
webpages that describe our Jazz Studies Program.  

FOR A PDF FILE OF THE CURRICULUM


CURRICULUM FOR THE
JAZZ  STUDIES  PROGRAM
AT  NEW TRIER  HIGH  SCHOOL

INTRODUCTION

What follows is a list of forty goals (objectives) for the students in the jazz program with a statement about why those goals are important to achieve. This is followed by specific activities that are designed to help reach the stated objectives—and the procedures used to evaluate the degree of success in reaching those goals. The degree to which some goals are reached will be more objectively observed than others, such as in the case of written quizzes, papers, or the completion of worksheets. Many goals could be considered attitudinal in nature and very subtle to evaluate over just one year. However, when students graduate from the New Trier High School jazz studies program after spending four years in the various jazz ensembles, it is desirable that all of the following goals will have been met to some acceptable degree.

OBJECTIVES

1. Any student at New Trier High School may participate in the Jazz Studies Program, regardless of the instrument they play.

2. Every student who qualifies through audition to be in a New Trier Jazz Ensemble will be placed in an ensemble of musical peers with equal ability.

3. A student will exhibit professional attitude and behavior during rehearsals and performances.

4. A student will become an independent thinker and self-motivated worker while becoming a team player through directing and/or taking part in productive sectional rehearsals, and performing, whenever possible, without a conductor.

5. A student will become aware of his or her skill level on their instrument in relation to their potential.

6. A student will appreciate the efforts of their peers and/or have an opportunity to be appreciated by their peers.

7. A student will become aware of the "pros" and "cons" of competitive and noncompetitive performance events.

8. A student will understand, appreciate and perform a wide variety of jazz ensemble literature.

9. A student will become aware of past and present jazz performers, ensembles, composers, and compositions.

10. A student will be instructed in basic jazz history.

11. A student will learn how to become a proficient sight-reader of music.

12. A student will learn to take care of the printed musical parts issued to them.

13. A student will learn an amount of music theory related to the proficiency level of improvisation they seek to attain.

14. A student will perform all twelve major and relative dorian minor scales on their instrument.

15. A student will be encouraged to use or purchase "play-a-long" recordings to help develop improvisational ability. Students will be required to purchase the appropriate "Jazz Conception" book by Jim Snidero.

16. Saxophonists, whenever possible, will also be able to perform on either the clarinet or flute.

17. A student will identify by ear the difference between major, minor, dominant-seventh, augmented, and diminished chords, and perform those chord structures on his or her instrument.

18. A student will become aware of career or employment opportunities or college-major options available to them in the field of music.

19. A student will be informed of the various college and university schools of music.

20. A student will engage in performance tours or off-campus concerts whenever possible.

21. A student will perform with professional musicians.

22. A student will either perform a well-crafted improvised solo, or know what constitutes such an improvised solo.

23. A student will be given the opportunity to perform in a combo setting.

24. A student will have the opportunity to become aware of the skill-level of other jazz musicians their age and of high school jazz ensembles outside of New Trier, and to interact with students from other high schools.

25. A student will be informed of the opportunities for summer music camp experiences.

26. A student will have the opportunity to be exposed to the teaching styles of other music educators.

27. A student will be encouraged to arrange or compose music and will be exposed to new music by guest composers.

28. A student will regularly present his or her musical skills on television, radio, and Internet.

29. A student will become aware of the various jazz-related websites that exist on the Internet.

30. A student will have his or her talents broadcast live on the Internet.

31. A student will have his or her talents recorded on compact discs.

32. A student will have the opportunity to get practical, hands-on experience in a video and audio production studio.

33. A student will be exposed to current technology in music notation, accompaniment, and sequencing software.

34. A student in the jazz program will be exposed to the procedures of organizing the annual New Trier Jazz Festival.

35. Interested students will be provided the opportunity to become Student Directors of the New Trier Jazz Festival.

36. A student will understand principles and techniques of electronic sound reinforcement.

37. Interested students will have the opportunity to plan aspects of jazz concerts such as stage and lighting design.

38: A student will be responsible for helping to promote audience attendance at jazz concerts.

39. A student in every jazz ensemble will be provided with the opportunity to declare that class an academic "Major".

40. A student enrolled in a jazz ensemble must be concurrently enrolled in a band (wind ensemble) if they play wind and percussionist instruments, or in an orchestra if they are bass players. (Pianists and guitars are exempt.)

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (See Appendix)

SUGGESTED INSTRUMENTATION (See Appendix)

OBJECTIVE 1: Any student at New Trier High School may participate in the Jazz Studies Program, regardless of the instrument they play.

Why is this important? Students who did not begin the study of jazz in the middle schools should not feel that it is too late to begin playing jazz. While jazz ensembles are auditioned, the MUSIC IMPROVISATION CLASS (combo) is open to any student who enrolls, regardless of the instrument they play.

Activities: A MUSIC IMPROVISATION CLASS will be offered and promoted in the "Course of Studies." This class will meet once a week after school for at least one hour and be taught by highly qualified professional musicians who are experienced in teaching the art of music improvisation. These groups will focus primarily on improvisation rather than playing written melodic lines. Students will receive academic credit and a grade for participation. A public performance will be held at least once a year for all MUSIC IMPROVISATION CLASSES.

Evaluation: Students enrolled in a MUSIC IMPROVISATION CLASS will meet regularly and perform with a combo when appropriate. Grades will be based on attendance.

OBJECTIVE 2: Every student who qualifies through audition to be in a New Trier Jazz Ensemble will be placed in an ensemble of musical peers with equal ability.

Why is this important? Students who perform with other students of equal ability in a performance group will move at the same pace and eventually achieve a greater level of proficiency.

Activities: Four full and viable jazz ensembles with complete instrumentation will be provided and taught by a certified music teacher with expertise in jazz. The Freshman Jazz Ensemble will primarily study and perform music at a "Grade 3" level of difficulty. The Concert Jazz Ensemble, consisting primarily of sophomores, will study and perform music at "Grade 3 and 4" levels of difficulty. The Lab Jazz Ensemble, consisting primarily of juniors, will study and perform music at a "Grade 4" level of difficulty. The Jazz Ensemble I, consisting primarily of seniors, will study and perform music at a "Grade 4 and 5" levels of difficulty. (See the Appendix for the suggested instrumentation of jazz ensembles.)

Evaluation: Four jazz ensembles will be provided by the school comprised of students of equal ability.

COURSE OBJECTIVE 3: A student will exhibit professional attitude and behavior during rehearsals and performances.

Why is this important? Jazz ensembles that rehearse in an organized and efficient manner will perform in concerts with a high degree of musicianship. An attitude of support and respect for others in the ensemble is important if sectional rehearsals are to be productive, if less experienced improvisers are to experiment with improvisation in a nonthreatening environment, and if the atmosphere during ensemble rehearsals is to be positive. These highly regarded attitudes and behaviors are generally associated with and demonstrated by successful professional musicians and are traits which our students should emulate.

Activities: Class discussions about the role of positive and negative attitudes will take place. Guest professional musicians will be brought to the campus to discuss their opinions about attitude and behavior. Examples of both good and bad showmanship will be discussed.

Evaluation: Observers of rehearsals and concerts will observe a sense of purpose, pride, and enthusiasm from the students about the music performed and the organizations performing such music.

OBJECTIVE 4: A student will become an independent thinker and self-motivated worker while becoming a team player through directing and/or taking part in productive sectional rehearsals, and performing, whenever possible, without a conductor.

Why is this important? Any students who leave high school without learning how to think for themselves and work without supervision are at a disadvantage, either in college or in the workplace, regardless of the career path they take. Students also learn that working as a team allows them and the group to achieve higher goals and standards. Good musicians also can see how their individual part fits into the overall musical product. Proficient professional-quality jazz musicians must also be able to perform without a conductor.

Activities: Sectional rehearsals will take place during or outside of the school day and will be conducted by the students themselves working on musical concerns that they identify on their own as well as those suggested by the director.

Evaluation: The productivity of sectionals will be evaluated by the director and the students involved as evidenced by the improvement heard following the sectional. Students will exhibit self-motivation. When a jazz ensemble performs without a conductor on stage, the final musical product will be equal to a performance as if a conductor were employed.

OBJECTIVE 5: A student will become aware of his or her skill level on their instrument in relation to their potential.

Why is this important? Honest self-awareness of one’s abilities and attitude in relation to one’s potential can be a motivating force for improvement.

Activities: Students will regularly complete "Self Evaluation" questionnaires at the completion of each grading period. Private interviews with the teacher and every student in the jazz program will take place at the end of each semester to discuss a student’s "Self Evaluation."

Evaluation: Quarter and semester grades will be determined by considering student "Self Evaluation" forms and teacher observation.

OBJECTIVE 6: A student will appreciate the efforts of their peers and/or have an opportunity to be appreciated by their peers.

Why is this important? Certain students who excel should be recognized for their success or efforts.

Activities: At the end of each school year, awards will be given to outstanding instrumentalists. The recipient of some of the awards will be selected by students in the ensemble, while some will be selected by the director. These awards include The Woody Herman Award, The Louie Armstrong Award, The Frank Schalk Award, Spring Ticket Sales Award , and Special Jazz Directors Awards.

Evaluation: Awards will be presented at the end of the year.

OBJECTIVE 7:. A student will become aware of the "pros" and "cons" of competitive and noncompetitive performance events.

Why is this important? While the philosophy of the New Trier Music Department does not find educational value in participating in music contests or festivals that are considered competitive in nature, students need to have the information, or "pros" and "cons," of such festivals in order to form their own opinions.

Activities: Class discussions primarily in the Freshman Jazz Ensemble will take place in which the structure, philosophy and execution of competitive music events is provided. Whenever possible, another music educator or student teacher who supports the competitive philosophy will be made available for questioning.

Evaluation: Students will write papers either supporting or opposing competitive music events. These papers will be evaluated on their defense of their philosophy.

OBJECTIVE 8: A student will understand, appreciate and perform a wide variety of jazz ensemble literature.

Why is this important? Jazz is a truly American musical art form with its own unique language of interpretation and expression. A well-educated jazz musician must be able to perform in a wide range of musical styles—or be able to enter into discussions with other musicians about various musical styles, genres, or performance media. By performing a wide range of styles, students can be better consumers of music as they decide what concerts to attend, what recordings to purchase or listen to, or which artistic organizations to support.

Activities: Literature to be rehearsed for and performed in every concert will include selections in at least the following styles or forms at various tempi: Swing, Ballad, Latin, Blues (major and minor), Fusion, Be-Bop, Waltz, Mixed or Multimeter, Rock (slow and fast) Contemporary, and other accepted forms of jazz.

Literature to be rehearsed and performed will include selections from the following jazz eras: Dixieland, Bebop, Swing, Funk, Contemporary, and other acknowledged eras of jazz history.

Evaluation: Concerts will be programmed and successfully performed using the music studied.

OBJECTIVE 9: A student will become aware of past and present jazz performers, ensembles, composers, and compositions.

Why is this important? An understanding of the jazz performance styles that precede today’s music is important in giving authentic performances of older-style music. By hearing or seeing past jazz performers, our students will be exposed to performers that they themselves may want to emulate or to recordings that they want to purchase for study.

Activities: Video and audio recordings by jazz artists will be studied during class time. These recordings will range from historical footage to current recordings.

Evaluation: Historical video and audio tapes will be seen/heard during jazz ensemble classes. Discussions in and out-of-class with individual students, and successful performances of older-style music will evaluate their understanding of the music studied.

OBJECTIVE 10: A student will be instructed in basic jazz history.

Why is this important? An understanding of jazz history is important if our students are to converse intelligently with other jazz musicians, and appreciate the unique nature of jazz music as an art form.

Activities: Discussions about jazz history will take place on a regular basis, primarily in conjunction with the performance of older-style music. Video tapes on jazz history will be shown whenever possible.

Evaluation: Written or oral tests will be employed.

OBJECTIVE 11: A student will learn how to become a proficient sight-reader of music.

Why is this important? The ability to perform music on sight is generally regarded as one of the best indicators of a student’s ability to process and understand music. In auditions, both at New Trier and in a student’s future musical experiences, sight-reading plays an important part in determining in which ensemble they will be placed. Students who learn by "rote" teaching will be at a disadvantage when compared to students who have a thorough understanding of fingerings, note values, articulations, dynamics, and the "road signs" that designate expressive musical flow.

Activities: Ensembles will sight-read whenever possible during rehearsals. Sight-reading will be required in all auditions for ensemble or initial chair placement as well as "challenges" used to determine seat placement. The Freshman Jazz Ensemble will sight-read at least 150 selections during the school year.

Evaluation: Students will successfully sight-read in private auditions and with their musical peers in ensembles. The Freshman Jazz Ensemble will sight-read at least 150 selections.

OBJECTIVE 12: A student will learn to take care of the printed musical parts issued to them.

Why is this important? When an individual’s music is lost or destroyed, it creates significant problems during rehearsals and makes home practice impossible. Students who learn to take care of their instrument and music, thus displaying traits associated with being a responsible young adult, are more likely to succeed in their various career paths.

Activities: Students will sign a contract making them financially responsible to replace lost or destroyed music.

Evaluation: Less music will be lost, and the music that is lost will be replaced by the students in a timely and previously agreed-upon fashion.

OBJECTIVE 13: A student will learn an amount of music theory related to the proficiency level of improvisation they seek to attain.

Why is this important? An understanding of music theory is the most basic component in understanding the "right" and "wrong" notes to play when improvising. Students who wish to be outstanding improvisers must, in addition to having technical command of their instrument, also possess a command of scale and chord structure: the basic components of music theory.

Activities: There will be lectures, demonstrations, and playing activities focusing on the major, minor, whole-tone, blues, bebop, and dominant-seventh scales; major and minor chord structures through the ninth chords. Class warm-ups will include the performance of scale sheets that focus on the previously mentioned scale and chord forms.

Evaluation: Written tests will be employed.

OBJECTIVE 14: A student will perform all twelve major and their relative dorian minor scales on their instrument, and several "blues" scales.

Why is this important? Knowing how to play scales is one of the building blocks to creating a successful jazz solo. Successfully performing all the major scales and their relative dorian minor scales demonstrates a technical command of the instrument. While the ability to play and understand the use of all minor scales in solos is important, the dorian minor scales can be used often by beginning improvisors. The most often used "blues" scales are equally essential.

Activities: Scales will be used during the class warm-up periods of jazz rehearsals, particularly in the Freshman Jazz Ensemble. The following "blues" scales will also be used during warm-ups: (concert key) Bb, F, and Eb.

Evaluation: Students will individually demonstrate their ability to play major, dorian and selected "blues" scales from memory on their instrument.

OBJECTIVE 15: A student will be encouraged to use or purchase "play-a-long" recordings to help develop improvisational ability. Students will be required to purchase the appropriate "Jazz Conception" book by Jim Snidero.

Why is this important? Practicing with play-a-long recordings has long been regarded as an important educational experience. These recordings of jazz standards or practice drills provide rhythm sections of professional-quality pianists, bassists, and drummers for the student to play with outside of class time.

Activities: The New Trier library will provide the complete set of CDs and accompanying books in the Jamey Aebersold’s "Jazz Aids" series, and the complete set of "Jazz Conception" books by Jim Snidero for students to check out for three-day periods. Students will be expected to take advantage of this resource, allowing them to select which CD is best for them to purchase. As part of class expectations, students will be required to perform for the class one or more selections accompanied by a recording that they either own or have obtained from the library. Play-a-long recordings will be ordered for individual purchase by students who wish to own their own copies of the Aebersold series. All students will be required to purchase the appropriate "Jazz Conception" book.

Evaluation: Students will perform for the class one or more selections accompanied by a play-along recording.

OBJECTIVE 16: Saxophonists, whenever possible, will also be able to perform on either the clarinet or flute.

Why is this important? The authentic performance of a significant amount of the more difficult jazz ensemble music requires that saxophonists also play flute and/or clarinet.

Activities: Pieces of music that utilize the clarinet and/or flute will be studied and performed whenever possible. Beginning in the freshman year on a regular basis, saxophonists will be told that they must be able to double on a woodwind instrument before they can be considered for participation in Jazz Ensemble I.

Evaluation: All members of the saxophone section in Jazz Ensemble I will maintain a significant level of skill in playing the flute or clarinet in addition to their primary saxophone. Selections using woodwind doubles will be performed by jazz ensembles whenever possible.

OBJECTIVE 17: A student will identify by ear the difference between major, minor, dominant-seventh, augmented, and diminished chords, and perform those chord structures on his or her instrument.

Why is this important? If a student is to be an adequate improviser, then it is equally important to be able to hear and play these basic jazz chord structures besides having the theoretical knowledge of them.

Activities: An ensemble pianist or guitarist will play on the instrument major, minor, dominant-seventh, augmented, and diminished chords while others in the ensemble will be asked to identify those structures, either on a sheet of paper to be graded or verbally to the class. Members of the ensemble will be required to arpeggiate the previously mentioned chord structures on their instrument.

Evaluation: Aural tests will be employed.

OBJECTIVE 18: A student will become aware of career or employment opportunities, or college major options available to them in the field of music.

Why is this important? The field of music has always provided ample opportunities for students to be gainfully employed following high school or college. Students can only enter into a music-related profession with ample information with which to make a well-informed choice.

Activities: Class discussions will take place on the topics of vocations and avocations in music performance, music education (all levels), arts management, recording technology, church music, military music, music composition, music arranging, music copying, and music critic or editorial writer for newspapers or magazines. Guest lecturers, including college student teachers, who are successful in their areas of expertise will make presentations to ensemble classes. A workshop entitled, "So you are thinking about being a music major" conducted by qualified instructors will be offered each year of the New Trier Jazz Festival.

Evaluation: Students may graduate from our jazz studies program and enter vocations or avocations in the field of music.

OBJECTIVE 19: A student will be informed of the various college and university schools of music.

Why is this important? Students should not consider their participation in high school performance groups as their final goal in music. In order to encourage students to consider post-high school music studies on their instrument, materials and recordings will be made available from the various schools for them to study. When necessary, students will be allowed to miss jazz rehearsals to attend college recruiters that visit New Trier.

Activities: A collection of CDs recorded by college jazz ensembles will be maintained in the school’s library. A collection of music school brochures and catalogues will be maintained in the College Counselling Office.

Evaluation: Interested students will take advantage of reviewing the written and recorded resources that are provided by college music schools.

OBJECTIVE 20: A student will engage in performance tours or off-campus concerts whenever possible.

Why is this important? Performance groups that perform away from their school environment, either across town or in another country grow in maturity, both personally and musically.

Activities: Whenever it is deemed appropriate by the director and school administration, jazz groups will travel beyond the New Trier Township to perform as ambassadors, both musically and as student representatives of New Trier High School.

Evaluation: Tours or off-campus performances will take place whenever appropriate.

OBJECTIVE 21: A student will perform with professional musicians.

Why is this important? Students need to know the skill-level, work ethic, and types of personal traits necessary to become a successful professional musician. Former students have later pursued contacts made with professional musicians while at New Trier that have resulted in employment opportunities.

Activities: Guest artists will be utilized to perform with and for our jazz students. Whenever possible, discussion sessions will take place between the artists and our students, in addition to performances.

Evaluation: Guest artists will perform with and for our students.

OBJECTIVE 22: A student will either perform a well-crafted improvised solo, or know what constitutes such an improvised solo.

Why is this important? Performing a truly improvised solo displays the highest form of jazz creativity: that of spontaneous composition. Virtually anyone listening to a jazz solo has some opinion about what could be regarded as a "good" or a "bad" solo. Students need to know the components of both good and bad solos and be given the opportunity to experiment with soloing. Student who choose not to solo will at least be equipped with the understanding of what makes a solo "good" and know why they like certain solos rather than others.

Activities: Every student in the jazz program will be given an opportunity to perform a solo during rehearsals and concerts.

Evaluation: Improvised solos performed by our students will improve over the course of the school year, or their time at New Trier.

OBJECTIVE 23: A student will be given the opportunity to perform in a combo setting.

Why is this important? While playing in a jazz ensemble teaches how to interpret music written in a jazz style, it often does not provide enough opportunity to either solo or interact musically with a rhythm section. Playing in a combo provides this important setting for musical development. It also makes students more responsible as individuals and provides another opportunity to develope skills in teamwork.

Activities: Skill-based Music Improvisation Classes (combos) are offered to provide additional out-of-school time for students to practice and study the art of soloing in a jazz style. These classes will be taught by professional musicians from the Chicago area who are highly regarding as expert teachers and jazz soloists. The class will be relaxed, with the focus on creativity and "jamming." The class may or may not have a public performance. All classes take place during the first semester, and those groups that have maintained the best attendance and work ethic will be given the opportunity to keep their class together for after-school study during the second semester.

Evaluation: Skill-based Music Improvisation Classes with appropriate instrumentation will be organized each year. Role will be taken on a regular basis with grades issued on the basis of attendance.

OBJECTIVE 24: A student will have the opportunity to become aware of the skill-level of other jazz musicians their age and of high school jazz ensembles outside of New Trier, and to interact with students from other high schools.

Why is this important? A wise musician knows that there are many others beyond his or her immediate area that have the same or much higher skills. Possessing this knowledge is critical to students who are considering either a career in music or becoming a college music major. Unless opportunities are provided for our jazz students to see and hear the products from jazz programs at other schools, they can easily take for granted the music program provided them at New Trier.

Activities: Every student will be expected to devote an entire day to the operation and running of the noncompetitive New Trier Jazz Festival. More than 1,000 students from 40 different high schools attend this festival, usually held on the first or second Saturday in February. New Trier students have the opportunity to hear 40 concerts during that day presented by high school and junior high school jazz ensembles displaying a wide range of abilities.

Students will be encouraged to participate in such activities as the annual DePaul University Jazz Workshop, the district and state-level activities provided by the Illinois Music Educators Association, audition for the Grammy High School Jazz Ensemble, or activities sponsored by the International Association of Jazz Education.

Discussions will take place during class time about the various summer jazz camp opportunities that exist. By attending these camps while at New Trier, our students can meet students from other schools, be exposed to different teaching styles, keep their performance skills active during the summer, perform in environments different than those at New Trier, take music theory/history/improvisation classes, and participate in a host of other educational activities.

Evaluation: Discussions in and out of class between our students and directors will evaluate the degree to which interaction has taken place and the impact that such interaction has made on our students.

OBJECTIVE 25: A student will be informed of the opportunities for summer music camp experiences.

Why is this important? The summer is a prime time for students to either lose ground on their instrumental abilities or improve in their musical development. Attending a summer music camp is one of the best methods of improving during the summer months.

Activities: Class discussions will take place in February about the various types of music camps, costs, and other information provided by music camps. Scholarships will be made available to students with financial needs.

Evaluation: Students who are interested will attend summer music camps.

OBJECTIVE 26: A student will have the opportunity to be exposed to the teaching styles of other music educators.

Why is this important? There are many ways of saying (or teaching) the same thing. As in any school, our music faculty has various strengths and weaknesses. By exposing our students to non-New Trier music teachers, they can be exposed to the pedagogical strengths that other teachers can provide them.

Activities: At least eight highly successful college or high school jazz educators are employed each year to teach our students at our annual noncompetitive New Trier Jazz Festival. Another four to six clinicians are brought to the school to present master classes and special-topic seminars to our students. Highly qualified students will be encouraged to audition for the all-district and all-state ensembles sponsored by the Illinois Music Education Association.

Evaluation: Students will have access to guest directors.

OBJECTIVE 27: A student will be encouraged to arrange or compose music and will be exposed to new music by guest composers.

Why is this important? Musical expression can take more forms than just the performance of another person’s music. The act of arranging and composing music demonstrates command of the mechanics of music theory, an understanding of instruments and their roles in the total musical product, and an opportunity to demonstrate self-expression and creativity.

Activities: Any students who compose or arrange for a jazz ensemble and provide a readable score and set of parts will have their piece rehearsed and, in most cases, given a public performance. Whenever possible, these compositions/arrangements will be recorded using the facilities of SOUNDTRAKS. Each year professional composers will be commissioned to write for Jazz Ensemble I. These individuals will serve as models for our students to emulate.

Evaluation: Student compositions and arrangements will be rehearsed and, whenever possible, performed in public. Jazz Ensemble I will commission new music for premier performances.

OBJECTIVE 28: A student will regularly present his or her musical skills on television, radio, and Internet.

Why is this important? By videotaping concerts and broadcasting them to the community, our students can copy those tapes off the air for self-assessment and future enjoyment. They can also appreciate the amount of work it takes to present a television broadcast.

Activities: By using the student-run facilities of SOUNDTRAKS, every New Trier concert is broadcast on television to cable-equipped homes in the school community.

Evaluation: Televised performances of New Trier concerts will take place.

OBJECTIVE 29: A student will become aware of the various jazz-related websites that exist on the Internet.

Why is this important? An understanding of the potential for information available to jazz students on the Internet is helpful for them to become lifelong learners who can stay aware of new trends in jazz performance and education.

Activities: Students will be taken to a computer lab at the school and be given the opportunity to not only explore the New Trier Music Department’s webpage, NTJAZZ.COM, and the school’s website, site but also explore numerous jazz-related links. They will compile a list of services or information on those various Web pages and be encouraged to locate additional jazz-related web sites that can be linked to our New Trier web page.

Evaluation: Students will complete worksheets that question their knowledge of the school’s various websites and the jazz-related websites and links that are discussed or observed in class.

OBJECTIVE 30: A student will have his or her talents broadcast live on the Internet.

Why is this important? The technology utilized by SOUNDTRAKS allows concerts to be broadcast live from our auditorium directly on-line using the Internet. This allows our students the opportunity to learn about this technology and have their talents seen and heard worldwide.

Activities: Using the SOUNDTRAK’s web server and video/audio mixing facilities all jazz concerts will be broadcast live on the Internet. Archive files of concerts will also be available for downloading for at least one year following a concert.

Evaluation: Concerts will be broadcast live and archived on the Internet at ntjazz.com.

OBJECTIVE 31: A student will have his or her talents recorded on compact discs.

Why is this important? The art of recording is a valuable skill for any musician. Being able to play an instrument well when being recorded builds self-confidence. Having a student’s skills recorded for personal evaluation and posterity is beneficial as well. Having live musicians to record is a tremendous training tool for students who my someday seek a career in the recording industry as engineers.

Activities: Using the SOUNDTRAKS recording facilities, all concerts will be recorded and at least one compact disc will be produced each year. These CDs will be engineered by students at all stages of production.

Evaluation: CDs will be produced each year featuring all of the curricular jazz ensembles and selected other small groups.

OBJECTIVE 32: A student will have the opportunity to get practical, hands-on experience in a video and audio production studio.

Why is this important? While career opportunities in audio/video production are certainly open to students who wish to pursue them, anyone can be more successful in their future career if they know how to creatively use mass-media production techniques.

Activities: Any student who wishes to do so can have access to the music departments student-run, 48-channel, digital audio production studio and eight-camera video production studio. This facility, called SOUNDTRAKS, is located on the third floor of the music building, between the two instrumental rehearsal rooms. Past students have engineered audio recordings resulting in compact discs as well as video projects that have been shown on the school’s television channel, public television, and even received national awards. Most of the school’s concerts are broadcast live on television and the Internet, including all fourteen hours of the New Trier Jazz Festival. Students are welcome to propose independent audio and video projects to explore on their own using the facilities of SOUNDTRAKS.

Evaluation: SOUNDTRAKS will continue to operate with sufficient student support.

OBJECTIVE 33: A student will be exposed to current technology in music notation, accompaniment, and sequencing software.

Why is this important? Much of the labor-intensive aspects of making or composing music has been made easier with the advent of creative hardware and software programs. By making the activity of composing music easier, more students can participate at a higher level.

Activities: There will be class demonstrations of such computer programs as Band-In-A-Box (music accompaniment), Finale or Sibelious (music notation), Professional Composer (music composition), and such hardware as VIVACE (music accompaniment) and the TAP Machine (rhythm practice). Students may use these programs outside of class time by contacting their director to arrange a time.

Evaluation: Class discussions during and after demonstrations will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of presentation.

OBJECTIVE 34: A student in the jazz program will be exposed to the procedures of organizing the annual New Trier Jazz Festival.

Why is this important? Many students have seen such events as the New Trier Jazz Festival or the Chicago Jazz Festival and questioned how such events can be organized. By hearing about many of the behind-the-scenes details, students will have a better appreciation for such events that they might attend in the future—or perhaps develop an interest in careers in Arts Management, where the planning and execution of such events is expected for successful employment.

Activities: Through class discussions before and after the New Trier Jazz Festival, students will be informed of the process involved in organizing such a unique and large community event. This will include discussions of budget, logistics, internal and external communications, and other factors that go into planning the festival.

Evaluation: Extended class discussions will take place in Freshman Jazz Ensemble following the New Trier Jazz Festival. Those students will be expected to write a paper answering the question, "What did you learn from participating in the New Trier Jazz Festival?"

OBJECTIVE 35: Interested students will be provided the opportunity to become Student Directors of the New Trier Jazz Festival.

Why is this important? Future leaders in the corporate or musical world can be taught now by providing hands-on experiences in promotion, organization, and management of a large project or group of people.

Activities: Students are given significant responsibilities in planning, organizing, and running the New Trier Jazz Festival. Several students who work on the festival from the start of school are designated Festival Student Directors. On festival day they supervise a work force of over 100 jazz students as we bring more than 1,000 people into our building during the day to perform and attend clinics—and more than 1,500 people into Gaffney Auditorium for the traditionally sold-out evening concert. Without the help of these Student Directors, a project on the magnitude of the highly successful New Trier Jazz Festival would be impossible for the faculty to plan and execute. Areas needing planning include ticket sales, concert promotion, food service, security, parking, merchandising (T-shirt and CD sales), stage managing, hosting and transportation of guest artists, audio/video recording of concerts, hosting of clinicians, budgeting/accounting of finances, and setup/cleanup issues.

Evaluation: Student Directors will be successfully utilized in the planning and execution of the New Trier Jazz Festival.

OBJECTIVE 36: A student will understand principles and techniques of electronic sound reinforcement.

Why is this important? Being knowledgeable about the electronic production or reinforcement of sound/music allows students to be better performers, as they can take advantage of the potential of sound reinforcement for being a positive and negative aspect of their performance. Based on their experience in the jazz program, students may even desire to enter sound-reinforcement fields as vocations or avocations following graduation.

Activities: Jazz ensemble students will actively assist in setting-up and dismantling the sound system used in Gaffney Auditorium for jazz concerts. Discussions about microphone placement and the roles of various equipment used for sound reinforcement will take place during class time and in small groups outside of class time.

Evaluation: A correctly operating sound system will be used during jazz concerts assembled and operated by students.

OBJECTIVE 37: Interested students will have the opportunity to plan aspects of jazz concerts such as stage and lighting design.

Why is this important? A jazz concert can be a more unique experience when visual elements such as special lighting can be employed. Using the Gaffney Auditorium’s computer light system, creative lighting can add a special dimension to a jazz concert and give a selective number of students an opportunity to experiment with visual effects and stage design. This offers a practical connection between what students learn in their theater tech classes and what the students are able to present in live concerts rather than theatrical productions.

Activities: Special lighting effects will be designed and operated by students in jazz concerts using the school’s computerized lighting equipment. Meetings will take place between the lighting designers and the director to determine the creative parameters the students may employ in their lighting design.

Evaluation: Lighting effects designed and operated by students will be used in jazz concerts.

OBJECTIVE 38: A student will be responsible for helping to promote audience attendance at jazz concerts.

Why is this important? Students need to know that audiences do not "just happen" and that it takes work to generate an interest on the part of non-parents to attend concerts. Without an audience a concert is just a "play-through" rehearsal. People who have a ticket in hand are more likely to attend a concert if the weather is inclement, and the stress of standing in line to buy tickets at the door is relieved.

Activities: A ticket sales contest among students in the jazz program will take place prior to most Fall Jazz Concerts and all Spring Jazz Concerts. Students will have the option of selling tickets in advance of the concert with a prize awarded to the student who sell the most tickets, and another prize awarded in a drawing of ticket sellers. A plaque will be placed in the trophy case engraved with the name of the individual who sells the most tickets to the Spring Jazz Concert.

Evaluation: Tickets will be presold for various jazz concerts with incentives provided to encourage sales. A perpetual plaque will be given to the student selling the most tickets to the Spring Jazz Concert.

OBJECTIVE 39: A student in every jazz ensemble will be provided with the opportunity to declare that class an academic "Major".

Why is this important? Students deserve the opportunity to get "major" credit on their report card and high school transcript. Since the work load and expectations in our "capstone" performance ensembles equals that of many colleges, students who wish to do so should get credit for doing this advanced level of work. Also, students who are planning to major in music in college may wish to have the identification of high school music major appear on their transcripts.

Activities: Students who chose to be a "Major" in a jazz ensemble will satisfy the basic course requirements and complete additional requirements of completing three of the following activities, each with the approval of the director:

1. Attend and review four jazz concerts per semester. One of these concerts can be a program in which that student performs, and one can be another New Trier jazz concert. Two concerts must be off campus.

2. Perform a "recital" of two selections accompanied by a recording of a rhythm section either out of their Snidero Jazz Conception book, or Jamie Aebersold’s play-a-long series.

3. Plan and execute a "special project" with the approval and assistance of the director.

Evaluation: Students will complete the requirements for "Major" credit and be graded according to published criteria.

OBJECTIVE 40: A student enrolled in a jazz ensemble must be concurrently enrolled in a band (wind ensemble) if they are play wind or percussionist instruments, or in an orchestra if they are bass players. (Pianists and guitars are exempt.)

Why is this important? Young players will learn the basic skills of musicianship and broad repertoire in a large ensemble (band or orchestra). Participating in a jazz ensemble will teach students how to take those basic skills and adapt their articulation and "feel" to a jazz style.

Many students at the ninth grade level do not know what they will major in when they later go to college. They may not discover that until as late as their senior year. Students who participate in both a jazz ensemble and a concert band (or orchestra for bass players) will be better prepared for acceptance into reputable music schools after high school. A student who plays in band (or orchestra) and jazz ensemble will be much better prepared to make value judgements about the quality of more types of music for the rest of their life.

Since traditional band and orchestra repertoire does not support the full time participation of guitarists or pianists, those students are exempt from this requirement.

Activities: Students will be counseled in the "Program of Studies," by their Freshman Advisor Chairs and their current middle school music teachers that concurrent enrollment is required.

Evaluation: With the exception of guitarists and pianists, all students enrolled in a jazz ensemble will also be enrolled in a concert band or orchestra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS AS DESCRIBED
IN THE NEW TRIER HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM OF STUDIES

MUSIC DEPARTMENT

Music education is the education of human feeling through the development of a responsiveness to the aesthetic qualities of sound. Performance classes provide intimate contact with these expressive qualities. In this context, performance is not an end in itself, but a means to an end, which includes:

• the augmentation of knowledge and understanding of the structural elements of music, and of music as a creative art form;

• the cultivation of habits, attitudes, and appreciations;

• the development of each student’s aesthetic potential, sensitivity and
responsiveness to that which is beautiful in music.

Students who have participated in the music program should demonstrate a knowledge of music as a creative art form in a historical and cultural context; an understanding of the structural elements of music; and relevant eye, ear and hand-oriented musical skills.

It is the intent of the Music Department to help students develop their aesthetic potential, to give them an understanding of their own culture and the cultures of others, and to provide a unique vehicle for achieving excellence either alone or in cooperation with others. While some students will discover talents leading to careers in music, many will find that music has the potential to enrich their lives either through performance, study or appreciation.

Any exceptions to the course prerequisites, selection process, ensemble membership and/or auditions must be approved by the Music Department Chair.

All performance ensemble classes in the Music Department may be elected for either Level 8 minor credit or Level 9 major credit. To obtain major credit, students must complete additional work outside of class. Students may participate in as many performance ensemble classes as they are eligible to take; however, no student will be permitted to receive major credit in more than two performance classes per semester.

Special Enrollment Note: Participation in the Jazz Studies Program (for wind, percussion and bass players), the Orchestra Program (for wind and percussion players) or Swing Choir (for choral students) requires concurrent enrollment in a second music performance ensemble class.

 

JAZZ RELATED CLASSES

FRESHMAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE
major or minor
Open to freshmen level 9, major
Prerequisite: previous band experience for wind players, rhythm players will be expected to submit an audition tape of materials supplied in a special mailing following spring registration for the course.

This course provides basic instruction in jazz-related rhythm, tone, style, concept, listening skills, woodwind doubling possibilities and improvisation. The ultimate goal of this ensemble is to give interested students an opportunity to study and perform jazz ensemble literature. Concurrent enrollment is required in Freshman Concert Band or a wind ensemble for wind and percussion players, and an orchestra for bass players. Exception: piano and guitar players. A textbook and a metronome are required. Students in this performing group are required to participate in Internet, television and radio broadcasts.

CONCERT JAZZ ENSEMBLE
major or minor
Open to sophomores, juniors level 9, major and seniors
Prerequisite: audition

This intermediate ensemble is for performers who need to develop their jazz performance skills beyond the basic level. Emphasis is on ensemble skills and style development. Various text and workbooks, videotapes and audio recordings are used to create a formal study of jazz appreciation and listening skills. Concurrent enrollment is required in a wind ensemble for wind and percussion players, and an orchestra for bass players. Exception: piano and guitar players. A textbook and a metronome are required. Students in this performing group are required to participate in Internet, television and radio broadcasts.


LAB JAZZ ENSEMBLE
major or minor
Open to sophomores, juniors level 9, major and seniors
Prerequisite: audition

This intermediate ensemble continues the study and performance of jazz for the more advanced student. The ensemble may participate in activities outside the township. Various videotapes and audio recordings will be used to create a formal study of jazz appreciation and listening skills. Concurrent enrollment is required in a wind ensemble for wind and percussion players, and an orchestra for bass players. Exception: piano and guitar players. A textbook and a metronome are required. Students in this performing group are required to participate in Internet, television and radio broadcasts.

 

JAZZ ENSEMBLE I
major or minor
Open to sophomores, juniors level 9, major and seniors
Prerequisite: audition

This ensemble is for the most advanced jazz performers. The ensemble performs "concert oriented" jazz literature, often recorded by college or professional bands, with emphasis on improvisation. This ensemble will perform in various festivals and concerts outside the township, state, or country. Saxophonists are expected to also play flute and/or clarinet. Concurrent enrollment is required in a wind ensemble for wind and percussion players, and an orchestra for bass players. Exception: piano and guitar players. A textbook and a metronome are required. Students in this performing group are required to participate in Internet, television and radio broadcasts.

 

MUSIC IMPROVISATION
Open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prerequisite: departmental approval

The course is designed to develop confidence in independent playing and the art of spontaneous composition in a jazz style. Considerable study of scales, chords and combo playing will occur. Students are placed in groups according to their ability. Music Improvisation classes meet one day per week after school and is taught by Chicago area professional jazz musicians. A public performance will take place at the end of the second semester.

 

SUGGESTED INSTRUMENTATION
FOR CURRICULAR JAZZ ENSEMBLES

Whenever possible, the instrumentation of the jazz ensembles at New Trier High School will be as follows...

2 alto saxophones
2 tenor saxophones
1 or 2 baritone saxophones

4 or 5 trumpets
4 or 5 trombones

2 pianists
2 guitarists
2 bassists
2 drummers
1 vibraphonist
1 auxiliary percussionist
====
23-26 members

Revised Dec., 2002
Copyright 2002, New Trier High School
All rights reserved

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