Pianist Reuben Allen talks about his experience teaching at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

I’ve had a great time so far at the workshop! My experiences teaching young jazz students have given me invaluable perspective on the challenges of jazz education. In every masterclass, rehearsal, and private lesson, I feel great responsibility to pass on a beautiful musical tradition to young people. The main challenge is to engage students and inspire them to develop or continue their interest in jazz music, even if they may not have much experience as listeners or players. I try to talk to students from my perspective as a student rather than as a teacher so that I can express to them how I learned the music. My goal is to present students with concrete concepts which will grow like seeds into branches of learning where they are inspired and empowered to learn for themselves. Oftentimes I remind students that scales and theories can help them, but that the most inspiring source is the music itself, and that they can only really feel the music by listening.


Reuben teaching during the SJW Eddie Harris jam.

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