EDUCATION AT SRJO
Where the kids meet the concert hall.
What is Jazz4Kids? SRJO Jazz4Kids concerts are special events that provide children and youth a rare opportunity to hear jazz performed live in an excellent concert hall. The Nordstrom Recital Hall and Kirkland Performance Center provide an intimate performance space where audience members can enjoy a very close interaction with the performers.
Jazz4Kids concerts include instrument demonstrations by SRJO musicians, and time set aside for questions from kids in the audience. Kennelly Keys Music sponsors the concert by providing instrument displays in the lobby before and after the concert, letting kids look at, handle and play musical instruments up close.
Experiencing Jazz, Fostering Enthusiasm
The need for Jazz4Kids is very clear: Love for jazz in young people must be encouraged so that America's special music is held up as the highest artistic example of the strength of American diversity and creativity. Jazz is a reflection of the unique mixture of cultures found only in the United States, and is enjoyed by people of all ages and ethnic background. By encouraging young people from throughout the area to enjoy and understand jazz, the SRJO is building a community that crosses racial and age barriers.
The SRJO's objective in giving free concerts for young people is to introduce young audiences to this great American art form, and to make it possible for young people to enjoy live music performed by the best musicians in the area, alongside nationally-known guest artists. To do this, we give away tickets to students, their parents, grandparents, teachers, club leaders, or whoever accompanies the young person to the concert.
The SRJO has enjoyed a great deal of success in presenting free concerts for young people. Audiences have shown great enthusiasm for the performances, and attendance has included many families with young children, teenage students who came with friends, large groups from community organizations, churches and clubs that serve young people and families, and school groups.
Audience surveys at past Jazz4Kids concerts have shown that many were attending a jazz concert for the first time. Audiences have been drawn from the entire Puget Sound region, including Pierce, Snohomish, Island and Kitsap counties, and both East and West sides of King County. Offers for free tickets were distributed to parents, teachers, schools and community organizations throughout the region.
Bringing jazz into the classroom.
Jazz Scholars is SRJO's school-partnered pilot program, providing jazz technique and instrumental music lessons for low-income and minority band students. The program began at Denny International Middle School in southwest Seattle, which has 120 students currently enrolled, half of whom qualify as low income. Denny band director Marcus Pimpleton has selected students to participate in the Jazz Scholars program. Jazz Scholars has recently expanded to include programs at Chief Sealth International High School, Aki Kurose Middle School, Concord Elementary, Highland Park Elementary School, Roxhill Elementary, Sanislo Elementary and West Seattle Elementary.
Professional instructors selected by SRJO provide weekly individual or group lessons in the six areas of band instrumentation: saxophone and reeds, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and drums. All instructors are experienced music teachers and active performers in the Seattle area. The instructors provide individual and small group lessons, and occasionally assist band director Marcus Pimpleton in sectional rehearsals for the entire jazz band.
The overall project goal is to demonstrate "best practices" for providing essential music training that will permit these students to succeed. We hope to achieve a stable individual music lesson program at Denny, with a diversified funding base; creation of a successful model demonstrating how to support low-income middle school band programs; and possible inclusion of the Jazz Scholars program in other schools.
We have long known that music study encourages individual cognitive improvement and growth in areas of study other than music, including reading and mathematics. Participation in band, orchestra and chorus also teaches students crucial social skills, including organization and leadership, cooperation with others toward a goal, acceptance of direction, and active mastery of skills they love.
SRJO also provides donated instruments to students who cannot afford to buy their own.
The SRJO is proud to support Jazz Scholars, and has long term goals to expand the program's reach to other middle schools in the Seattle area. We hope to partner with like-minded people to achieve this goal!
Jazz4Kids and Jazz Scholars are made possible by our local partners and supporters.
Help bring jazz to more kids by donating today!
To learn more about supporting these programs, or to donate an instrument,