‘Jazz Goes to School’ returns to local schools | VailDaily.com

‘Jazz Goes to School’ returns to local schools

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado

VAIL ” The Vail Jazz Foundation’s ‘Jazz Goes to School’ musical education program for fourth and fifth graders returns to Eagle County elementary schools this week. This innovative approach to teaching jazz music will reach over 1,000 students with over 4,000 instruction hours during the 2007/08 school year. The program, which is in its 10th year, is designed to educate students about America’s own music form ” jazz ” and to foster an appreciation of jazz music.

Five professional musicians will present lessons that include age-appropriate discussions of the history of jazz music and the fundamental elements comprising jazz.

“We like to mix it up; we play some of the kids’ favorite songs, like the theme song from Charlie Brown or Pink Panther, in jazz style, and they just love it,” said Tony Gulizia, who heads up the program for the Vail Jazz Foundation.

The ‘Jazz Goes to School’ program integrates historical, geographical, demographic and scientific perspectives to help students understand everything from the relevance of jazz in American history to the acoustics of sound. The interactive format allows students to learn by playing drums and percussion instruments to help them understand jazz rhythms; singing and clapping to demonstrate concepts such as call and response; and playing special melodic instruments to experience improvisation.

Local jazz musician and professional jazz educator, Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Jazz Goes to School program for the Vail Jazz Foundation. Tony’s brother, Joey (drummer), who is also a professional jazz musician and educator, co-presents the sessions, along with professional musicians and clinicians Andy Hall (bass) and Roger Neuman (saxophone) and Kirk Garrison (trumpet).

JGTS strives to make jazz music meaningful and relevant to the students who experience the program. The program has been embraced by school administrators and instructors, parents and students alike.

“Elementary school level music education provides an effective tool for teaching kids the thinking skills essential to success in any academic discipline. ‘Jazz Goes to School’ will continue to broaden students’ horizons and awareness in many aspects of their young lives,” said Marcie Gass, Gypsum elementary school teacher.

Over 10,000 Eagle county students have participated in ‘Jazz Goes to School’ since its inception.

Parents of local fourth and fifth graders are encouraged to attend their student’s session this week at their children’s schools. For more information, parents can contact the school or the Vail Jazz Foundation at 479-6146.

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