We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


Teaching School Jazz

Perspectives, Principles, and Strategies

Edited by Chad West and Mike Titlebaum

Publication Date - 02 July 2019

ISBN: 9780190462581

296 pages
7 x 10 inches


Written by an experienced and diverse lineup of veteran jazz educators, Teaching School Jazz presents a comprehensive approach to teaching beginning through high school-level jazz. Thoroughly grounded in the latest research, chapters are supported by case studies woven into the narrative. The book therefore provides not only a wealth of school jazz teaching strategies but also the perspectives and principles from which they are derived. The book opens with a philosophical foundation to describe the current landscape of school jazz education. Readers are introduced to two expert school jazz educators who offer differing perspectives on the subject. The book concludes with an appendix of recommended audio, visual, digital, and written resources for teaching jazz. Accompanied by a website of playing exercises and audio examples, the book is invaluable resource for pre- and in-service music educators with no prior jazz experience, as well as those who wish to expand their knowledge of jazz performance practice and pedagogy.


  • Based on best practices and latest research in jazz education
  • Practical teaching strategies with accompanying video demonstrations
  • Situates jazz education within 21st-century public schools

About the Author(s)

Chad West is Associate Professor and Chair of music education at Ithaca College. Prior to his appointment, he served as a public school band director for eight years, as Associate Conductor of the Atlanta Wind Symphony, and as a trumpeter for Princess Cruise Lines. He has published over 20 music education journal articles and has edited two books with Oxford University Press. He is a frequent presenter at state, national, and international music education conferences on the topics of preservice music teacher education, popular music education, and jazz pedagogy.

Mike Titlebaum is Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Ithaca College, where he directs the Jazz Ensemble, coaches combos, and teaches jazz saxophone and courses in jazz standards, arranging, repertoire, and pedagogy. He has played in many of New York's world famous musical venues, including the Blue Note, Smalls, Augies, Fez Under Time Café, and the infamous CBGB's as well as the pit orchestra of the Broadway musical Cats. He has performed with dozens of internationally recognized artists and groups such as Jason Robert Brown, Red Rodney, the Mingus Big Band, Cab Calloway, Natalie Cole, Billy Taylor, Mel Torme, Branford Marsalis, Paquito D'Rivera, and many others.


"A substantial and essential contribution to jazz pedagogy, Teaching School Jazz explains and illustrates -- via many video, visual, and audio examples -- how jazz educators and students, both individually and collectively, can teach and learn how to perform, improvise, listen to, and arrange jazz in several forms. This book is a must-read for anyone who takes a serious interest in jazz education." -- David Elliott , Professor of Music and Music Education, New York University

"A comprehensive volume, well-organized and full of practical information. A terrific resource for any jazz educator." -- Dean Sorenson , Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies, University of Minnesota School of Music

"West and Titlebaum have provided a thoughtful landscape for jazz teachers and teacher educators to consider the different pedagogies and approaches to jazz education. This book is a well-needed contribution to the field that combines the authors' expertise with a useful online companion." -- Bryan Powell , Assistant Professor of Music Education and Music Technology, Montclair State University

Table of Contents

    About the Companion Website

    Part I: School Jazz Education

    Ch. 1: Broad Landscape of School Jazz Education
    Chad West

    Ch. 2: Jazz for Non-Jazzers
    Chad West

    Part II: Language of Jazz

    Ch. 3: Social Language of Jazz
    Andrew Goodrich

    Ch. 4: Pedagogical Language of Jazz
    Russell Schmidt

    Ch. 5: Internal Language of Jazz
    Mike Titlebaum

    Part III: Teaching Beginning Jazz

    Ch. 6: Beginning Woodwinds and Brass
    Bruce Foreman Dalby

    Ch. 7: Beginning Rhythm Section
    Chad West, C. Michael Palmer, Michael Grace, Daniel Fabricius

    Ch. 8: Beginning Improvisation
    Mike Treat

    Part IV: Teaching High School Jazz

    Ch. 9: High School Woodwinds and Brass
    Andrew Goodrich

    Ch. 10: High School Rhythm Section
    Daniel Fabricius

    Ch. 11: High School Improvisation
    Michael Grace

    Part V: Instrument-Specific Jazz Pedagogy

    Ch. 12: Jazz Vocal
    Catherine Gale

    Ch. 13: Jazz Saxophone
    Mike Titlebaum

    Ch. 14: Jazz Trumpet
    Frank Gabriel Campos

    Ch. 15: Jazz Trombone
    Christopher Buckholz

    Ch. 16: Jazz Guitar
    Bob Sneider

    Ch. 17: Jazz Piano
    Russell Schmidt

    Ch. 18: Jazz Bass
    Nicholas Walker

    Ch. 19: Jazz Drums
    Gregory Evans

    Part VI: Jazz Literature
    Ch. 20: Choosing Jazz Literature
    Daniel Fabricius

    Ch. 21: Teaching Jazz Standards
    Nick Weiser

    Ch. 22: Arranging for School Jazz Ensembles
    Matthew Clauhs

Related Titles