CPS Elementary Jazz Academy
- 30 September 2019
- Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman
Music educators in the United States and Europe have discovered that the exposure to the many styles of jazz have been particularly effective at capturing and maintaining the attention of young students in urban environments. Model jazz education programs for younger students have demonstrated that this music has the ability to motivate and challenge young students from all socio-economic backgrounds to pursue and reach their musical and academic potential.
Modeled after leading jazz education programs including Jazz at Lincoln Center Middle School Jazz Academy (New York City), Jazz St. Louis Elementary Curriculum Partnership and St. Andreu Jazz Academy (Barcelona, Spain), Cincinnati Public Schools in partnership with Kennedy Heights Arts Center is launching the CPS Elementary Jazz Academy. Starting in 2019-2020, the Academy will provide extraordinary, intensive, tuition-free music education and performance opportunities for 28 diverse students in grades 4-6.
Students are bussed from 8 elementary schools to KHAC’s Lindner Annex three afternoons per week for rehearsals and group sectionals. Each student receives a new instrument to take home and a weekly private music lesson with a qualified instructor, as well as free afterschool snacks and homework assistance. They will also gain a complete introduction to jazz including listening to audio and video recordings and attending performances by renowned jazz artists.
The program is led Dr. Isidore Rudnick, a nationally recognized music educator, jazz trombonist, conductor, composer and arranger, with assistant director Ms. Eden Dunning and an impressive group of professional musician instructors.
The Academy’s first performance will be at the CPS International Jazz Festival on Saturday, October, 5 at 7:30pm at the Aronoff Center for the Arts – where they will share the stage with renowned jazz artists and other CPS student musicians.
The CPS Elementary Jazz Academy will provide exceptional professional training and music performance experiences for underserviced, low-income and minority, students led by world-class jazz musicians and educators at no cost—and incredibly rare opportunity for any student, let alone those most at-risk. Students learn how to play jazz while emphasizing the importance of teamwork, creativity and self-expression.