jazz education

Jazz Education


History of Jazz Education - A Brief Outline

Today, jazz education is an integral part of American music education -- but that was not always the case. During the 1930s - 1950s, jazz often came under attack in music education texts and journals because it was thought to have a degenerative effect on school music. Indeed, a majority of music educators in the United States felt it was inappropriate to include jazz in their music curricula. In fact, many teachers of "serious" (classical) music went so far as to ban jazz from being played in practice rooms at their colleges, universities, and conservatories. However, attitudes began to change in the 1960s and 1970s and jazz was gradually accepted by the music education community at large. Two reasons for the shift were:

1) jazz came to be regarded as art music and not as mere entertainment; and
2) extracurricular jazz activities on college campuses were highly successful.

By the mid 1970s to early 1980s, the music education mainstream began to signal their approval of jazz. In the 21st century, jazz education still has its critics but is now considered a vital component of music education in America.

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