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10 QUESTIONS FOR JAZZ EDUCATORS

As jazz educators, I believe we should consider the following questions:


1. What is Jazz? Is it a bag or style to be played correctly, or is it an opportunity for a musician to explore self-expression?

2. Is Black Culture an essential component of Jazz, or can Jazz be any music utilizing improvisation?

3. Has a curriculum centered on theory created a eurocentric model?

4. Have the patriarchal traditions of Jazz created a bias against the participation of women, and has the feminine aesthetic been discouraged in the music?

5. Is imitation and transcription essential, or might it prevent the process of self-discovery or discourage creativity?

6. Is it better to teach Jazz by lecturing or by modeling?

7. Is soloing by theory the same process as playing by ear? If not, when are each necessary or appropriate, and how does a musician train to develop and distinguish the separate processes?

8. Is the History of Jazz sufficiently understood by studying the history of recordings, or is there more to be understood?

9. The educational system is producing more Jazz artists then ever before. Should we teach them how to develop a larger audience, or must they play for each other?

10. How can we honor and connect to our tradition without simply recycling it?

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