The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s new School of Music is busy breeding fresh jazz talent. A one week intensive Jazz course capping off today has brought together musicians of various disciplines, with various instruments, and teaches them the art of Jazz.
A-list Juno and Grammy nominated teachers such as Jody Proznick share their knowledge with students in a highly interactive environment.
The class of about 50 people have been learning how to work in combos. On the first day they were divided into groups of four to six musicians based on their playing level. Jazz is very much about improvisation, the group sticks to a set of musical standards, but outside of that are encouraged to explore and become comfortable playing within a group. So far, lunches have consisted of jam fests between the students.
In the morning they work with their instructors hands-on and in the afternoon learn by watching the pros in action. The instructors take to stage in a Jam Session as an example to their students. A one week intensive, students truly get the opportunity to immerse themselves in jazz. After class, the students and instructors for a few nights have made their way to Western Canada’s hotspot the Cellar Jazz Club to take in Jazz outside of the classroom.
The true beauty of the program so far has been it’s ability to create collaboration between different generations. Historically, jazz was taught by having the more experienced musicians play with the younger talent but jazz training has shifted away from that in recent years. The VSO’s School of Music takes jazz back to it’s roots since the age range spans from 14 to plus 65. The program and quality of the teaching staff has drawn musicians from across Western Canada.
This week’s summer-intensive is only a small preview of what is to come in September at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s School of Music. A whole jazz department will be opening up, with the faculty growing to 20 – 25 new staff.
Written and researched by Alina Anghel, a Contributor for Tangoo at Vancity Buzz. Connect with Alina on Twitter @cheriealine.