Elephant in the Room

Yesterday, I conducted a workshop for the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers Association.

The topic: How to Teach Jazz Piano.

The class: Remember this post? Generally, the class consisted of piano teachers from the ‘read-execute’ tradition who are encountering more and more students interested in learning “jazz.”

The elephant: I’m not interested in RCM-approved transcriptions of Oscar Peterson solos. I’m not interested in jazzy versions of Pachabel’s Canon in D. I’m interested in a fundamental shift in methodology. They need to embrace a ‘listen-execute’ tradition. And I want them to embrace the jazz ‘listen-execute’ tradition!

Every music teacher I spoke to recognized the imbalance. They all want to change, but don’t know how. The elephant is getting bigger.

Our goal: Build another room!

UPDATE: I spotted another elephant.

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