Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
Funded in March, 2008: $37000 for 1 years
Using Dana Foundation funds, The Monk Institute will offer Jazzing Up Jazz Band, a professional development program for 50 middle and high school band directors from public schools in the greater Los Angeles area. The goal of the program is to provide band directors with the teaching tools necessary to develop higher-quality jazz band programs. According to the Institute, most public school band instructors have not had formal training in the teaching of jazz. The result is that public school music students rarely learn about improvisation which is the central element of jazz. Jazzing Up Jazz Band seeks to remedy this by offering training consisting of 1) a weekend training workshop, 2) visits to each participating school by jazz teaching artists who will work with the jazz band, and 3) follow-up visits to the schools by Institute personnel who will observe and provide input on band directors' jazz teaching techniques. In addition, band directors will be given the Institute personnel's contact information for ongoing consultation and counsel.