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Mission Statement: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Summer Youth Programs are dedicated to providing the foundation for talented and aspiring high school Jazz musicians a holistic educational experience.  Through improvisation we will teach personal confidence, through swing we will teach good manners and teamwork, through the blues we will encourage emotional depth and determined optimism.  

“Nothing was learned better from being learned quickly!”

Students will be provided:

  • Insight to American vernacular music and jazz specific techniques
  • Understanding of jazz through the philosophical lens of the great ensembles and performers
  • Introduction to the communal history of jazz in a socio-political context
  • Guidance on how to interact with an audience as an artist and entertainer
  • Awareness of our mission as jazz musicians today building on the aspirations laid by earlier generations

Teaching Objectives:

  • Redefine virtuosity by emphasizing the most communicative aspects of our music
  • Melody from its vernacular roots
  • Expressive tone in the tradition of the great instrumentalists
  • The primacy of the swing rhythm, with an emphasis on dance-ability and how to construct grooves in the African and Latin tradition
  • Rhythm and harmony as time and space
  • How to construct solos in the context of form and how to help the audience hear the form
  • Three ways of approaching harmony:
    • The sound of each note in a chord including extension
    • The sound of common notes that can be played through a chord progression
    • The sound of progression through different keys
    • Importance of singing