Understanding the Engine Room – Pedagogy for the Jazz Rhythm Section

FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER, 6-8pm, Newington College Music Centre

  • Booking via Trybooking.com – http://www.trybooking.com/DRII
  • Free for members
  • $50 for non-members – why not consider joining ABODA for $75 which includes free entry to the workshop and membership to April 2014.

ABODA Engine Room OCT2013 proof2

ABODA Engine Room OCT2013In this ABODA professional development session, Jason Isaac will present a comprehensive and practical tour of ways to inform, develop, and understand your Rhythm section students. Teachers of all experience levels will be able to dissolve the mysterious inner workings of the Rhythm Section.

The symbiosis that has developed between composers and rhythm section musicians began in the vaudeville pit and has become one of the most intriguing sources of confusion and concern for teachers who haven’t themselves spent time in the engine room.

With the assistance of two student rhythm sections (primary and high school), questions answered will include:

  • What do all those slashes mean?
  • What happens if my drummer plays the written part?
  • Why do younger piano parts have so many semibreves?
  • What’s a 2-feel?
  • Who’s in charge of the tempo?
  • Can my guitarist play bar-chords? Why not?
  • What’s a II V I?
  • Why should I program Jazz Standards?
  • How many is too many Bb Blues charts?
  • What will happen to the universe if the pianist uses montuno with the drummer and bassist playing a bossa nova?

along with practical suggestions for:

  • How to incorporate the rhythm section in the warm up.
  • Simplifying parts and scaffolding.
  • Chord Spelling and extensions.
  • Chord Scale Theory (what note choices work when improvising).
  • Comping roles (the arrangement vs. the solo section).
  • Internal and External interaction.
  • Maintaining tempo across time feels.
  • Why we should remove the beginner pianist’s left hand and drummer’s right foot.

With a unique background spanning orchestral conducting (Adelaide, Tasmania Symphony Orchestras, Auckland Philharmonic, Orchestra Victoria), Jazz Performance (Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, Sydney Jazz Collective, the Tundra Ensemble), and Education (NSW DEC Art Unit, Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, Pan Pac Jazz Camps et al), Jason brings a broad perspective to the challenges of Jazz Rhythm Section Pedagogy. Drawing on multiple visits to the IAJE Conferences and Midwest Clinic, his pedagogical approach combines the worlds of ‘classical’ and ‘contemporary’, dissolving the mysteries of Jazz and Latin music for teachers and students who feel they’re peering in on these genres from the outside.

About the Presenter

Jason's PhotoJason Isaac holds a Masters degree in Teaching, a BMus(perf) from the Sydney Conservatorium (leftover from his previous life as a French Horn player), a Diploma of Music in Jazz Performance and is currently conductor of the NSW Public Schools Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) and assistant conductor of the Schools’ Spectacular Symphony Orchestra for the Department of Education & Communities Arts Unit. His performance credits include the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, the Sydney Metro Big Band, Sydney Jazz Collective, and his composition project; the Tundra Ensemble along with live broadcasts on each of the commercial and public television broadcasters. He has toured extensively as a performer and educator, and recorded with Katie Noonan, Don Burrows and a range of commercial and session work for Sony BMG, Warner Music and Fox Studios.

Featured image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaimeoriz/7999238265/

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