Offlist [Dixielandjazz] Wonder what is wrong with music in Schoolstoday ?

Russ Guarino russg at
Fri Oct 21 16:19:07 PDT 2005


I do not understand Be-Bop.  I work at Trad Jazz and can play it
well, but when I hear be-bop, I realize how different it is and how
difficult it
is for me to play in that style.

Perhaps this is a parallel example of how classical musicians react to
jazz.  They just don't get it and would have to spend a lot of time to
learn it.


I was playing with my Dixie band at a mall and a guy came up and said..
"I'm the
clarinet chair in the Monterey Symphony and I have never played
Would it be possible for me to sit in with you guys for a tune or two
and try
it?  I'll run home and get my horn".

I was delighted to have him play with us.  

He did and he absolutely could not make any sense of it.  It was so sad. 
He had a great left brain, but no right brain at all.

It takes time.  And before you get it, it's gobbledygook.

Russ Guarino

Larry Walton Entertainment wrote:

> I know exactly where you are coming from.  You see classical music is an
> exact science with often only one real way to do it.  Jazz on the other
> hand is like  Art, each person is expressing himself and  the results
> are not  exact.  Colleges do a really bad  job teaching  Art too but are
> much more on track than in music.  Jazz requires an entirely different
> set of skills that in my opinion can't be taught in a classroom nor can
> it be taught quickly by the end of a course.  Jazz is a lifetime
> commitment not just for this semester. You also can't really test for it.
> Since this is the state of music education I find it entirely possible
> that educated people just don't know what Jazz is all about.  My
> understanding of it is completely different that the teachers that I had
> in school.  They respected me very little because I played jazz and
> worse still made money at it.  They treated me like a druggie.  I had
> several conversations with them that the jist of the conversation was
> how I was wasting such a great talent and that I had the potential to
> play in a symphony orchestra.  The university of Southern Illinois (SIUE
> Edwardsville ) has a good jazzer as the Brass specialist but he is a rarity.
> You see it's difficult to teach jazz and like a good friend of mine says
> you just can't teach it.  Maybe that's the problem.  Jazz makes them
> look like they are stupid.  Most of what I learned was from listening to
> jazzers in the AF band and playing gigs.  You can't build walls around
> jazz nor can you effectively teach it except by example.  I personally
> think that it can't be taught out of a textbook  That's why listening to
> jazz is so important.
> Moving into jazz for a classically trained musician is like an out of
> body experience.  Musicians will clutch onto the charts and not be able
> to get free of the printed page.  They are completely dependent on it
> like junkies.  They can't soar.  Once you get off the ground and start
> flying it's hard to not look down at them
> Good luck with your quest for jazz.  I've never looked back and you know
> playing in some third rate symphony and being dictated to by some iron
> assed conductor isn't my cup of tea.  I'm not into S&M.  Who cares how
> some other guy wants it played it's how you want it played.  So you see
> Mike, you are on your way to an F in music but on your way to a really
> fun experience..
> Mike C. wrote:
> >   Thanks for the nice post Larry. I am currently in college myself. I
> > grew up in a myraid of school to where there was little or no jazz
> > program. I mostly was self taught on my horn as well as in jazz
> > improvization. My problem was not knowing how to do it because I was a
> > quick learner. My problem was that I didn't know what to practice and
> > how to practice it.
> >
> >   Most of my teachers were, I suspect moderately-poor jazz players at
> > best I suspect. Everything was classical music. I love classical but I
> > don't love it shoved down my throat. I was told that learning jazz was
> > bad for technique.
> >
> > What a wonderful web we weave.
> >
> > Mike
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Larry Walton Entertainment wrote:
> >> In some defense of that music teacher.  I went to a College that is
> >> now a major university but they didn't have any jazz at all.  Another
> >> student introduced me to the mysteries of Chord symbols for example.
> >> They tried to dissuade me from playing in the dives across the river
> >> because it would spoil my appreciation of music and ruin my Oboe
> >> chops.  I also had no training in jazz except I was playing it.  The
> >> school I went to did nothing to help me with the understanding or
> >> playing of jazz.  They were totally against it.
> >>
> >> Things haven't really changed much except there are pseudo jazz
> >> courses in some music schools today and in almost every music
> >> program.  Those classes are for the most part taught by people who
> >> cannot play jazz.  the reason for this is that most jazzers don't
> >> have degrees stacked up high enough to teach at the college level.
> >> What you end up with is guys that are highly trained in the
> >> intellectual pursuit of music but are short on the hands on part.  We
> >> have a university (I don't use that word though) here in town that
> >> has the highest number of students who can't pass basic reading.
> >> Their teachers came from the same schools and their students
> >> (graduates) will go out and teach more kids who won't be able read
> >> who will in turn become students and professors of that school.  DUH!
> >> what's wrong with this picture.
> >>
> >> Rather than make fun of that person (may be deserved) It would be
> >> better to try to explain Jazz and Blues so that person might be
> >> better educated then to teach our kids.  It may not be entirely his
> >> fault but the school that he went to.
> >>
> >> Since I teach still on a part time basis I run into these guys fairly
> >> often in the teaching field.  Most are good intentioned and are
> >> trying to do a good job.  If you know something that they don't and
> >> they will listen then teach them.  Unfortunately some of them are
> >> know it all jerks too.
> >
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