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November 19, 2019

TEACHING IMPROVISATION

TEACHING IMPROVISATION by Todd Stoll As I meet with jazz educators around the country, my go to question is, “what is the one thing that would help you be more effective teaching our music”? Ninety percent of the time the response is, “how do I teach improvisation”? This question is always a bit puzzling to […]

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October 8, 2019

ARE WE DOING THIS ALL WRONG?

Are We Doing This All Wrong? by Todd Stoll For those of us who work in jazz, whether it’s performing, teaching, advocating, or retail sales, we hear or say “how’d did they sound” at least ten times a day. We can be referring to bands, individuals, auditions, gigs, solos, recordings, videos; the list goes on […]

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September 10, 2019

JAZZ CONDUCTING

Jazz Conducting by Todd Stoll  As the new school year begins and aspiring musicians head back to the classroom, the air is full of the anticipation and enthusiasm one would expect. Directors have programmed their year full of great music to be heard at concert performances, festivals and competitions. My mind goes to the part […]

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August 14, 2019

WHY DON’T WE TEACH LOUIS ARMSTRONG?

WHY DON’T WE TEACH LOUIS ARMSTRONG? by Todd Stoll Why don’t we teach Louis Armstrong? Nearly 20 years ago, after attending a lecture commemorating the centennial of the birth of Louis Armstrong, I asked a very well-regarded trumpet player and a renowned scholar, why don’t we teach Louis Armstrong? “Well..” he stammered, “it’s just too […]

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July 18, 2019

DIVERSITY

DIVERSITY by Todd Stoll A year ago, my second President’s letter addressed a topic I feel is vital to the future of our music and our country; diversity. Unlike my eleven other messages, it was met with a deafening silence; I received only two communications from colleagues in support of (or against) my position. Part […]

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