Teaching Approach

Teaching Approach makes Jazz Alive! Most approaches to jazz appreciation focus on jazz history and styles. Our innovative approach brings the listener right to the heart of the art - listening. We present the elements in jazz through dramatic audience involvement pieces, such as The Band Body, Conversations, Feelings, and Counting the Blues. The audience learns by doing, getting right inside the music as they experience jazz through scat singing, imitating the instruments, clapping and moving with the band. Each essential musical element is highlighted by comparing it to a familiar concept from everyday life. This gives people an immediate understanding, and a personal reference. Abstact concepts become easy to grasp. By experiencing one musical element at a time, people are taken step by step through a logical sequence that becomes the map to the treasure, and the key to the treasure chest of jazz.




"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." Albert Einstein

"Jazz Insight combines a jazz devotee's passion with the patience and articulateness of a teacher. Doing so requires breaking jazz down without watering it down."
    Kelly Horan-Jones, Arts & Entertainment Resporter, WMUR-TV, Manchester, NH


"Activities that provide an opportunity for flexibility, change or rearrangement encourage creativity. The creative process enhances the person's ability to think in different ways, extending the thought process."
    The Creative Arts by Linda Carol Edwards


A Whole Person Approach The Jazz Insight approach engages the whole person - heart, mind, body and soul - in the learning process. We consider all learning styles in our presentation, so everyone can tune in. Counting the Blues uses logic, The Band Body combines imagination and body movement, Feelings is about feelings! By integrating all the aspects of human intelligence, a person's creative awareness expands in all directions.

Teaching Style Sparks Intense Curiosity We love to play, and we love to teach. Our highest pleasure is feeling the audience tune in, and seeing the sparks fly as concepts sink in. Our easy, personable manner is balanced by an air of respect for the art form and the audience. These qualities convey our dedication, and inspire rapt attention. We've been teaching the art of jazz listening for many years, and have been able to hone our approach to confidently, comfortably present all of the basic ingredients of jazz in just one performance. Our program informs, but it does much more. It sparks curiosity, inspires creativity and moves the listener. Our goal is to help people find something special in the music that speaks to them, and to empower people to continue discovering jazz on their own. The riches of jazz can be shared by everyone.


"Now when our classes hear jazz they are excited because they understand more about jazz and think the music is fun."
  Lori Groleau, third grade teacher at Peterborough Elementary, NH



"Learning begins with listening."
  Noah Ben Shea

Listening Skills Listening skills are essential. We need to listen at school, at work, and in life. In performance, we teach listening skills in the same way we approach playing the music - with an attentive, receptive attitude. We include all of our senses - our full awareness. Because this "listening attitude" drives our style of playing and teaching, the audience is inspired to adopt it, too. In the activity called I Love Jazz, we demonstrate targeted listening. The audience sings each instrument's part, one at a time. Then, in separate groups, they blend the parts together. This requires integrated listening. By experiencing the music in this way, the audience learns to identify the roles and character of each instrument, and understand how the instruments interact. Many other types of listening skills are explored throughout the program.