Press Release: Improvisation is Focus of New Publication for Jazz Educators

For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth Lasko
MENC Public Relations, at (703) 860-4000

Improvisation is Focus of New Publication for Jazz Educators

Teaching Improv in Your Jazz Ensemble: A Complete Guide for Music Educators
Available Soon from MENC: The National Association for Music Education and Rowman & Littlefield Education

RESTON, VA (May 29, 2008) – See the joys, challenges, and exciting possibilities associated with jazz ensemble improvisation with Teaching Improv in Your Jazz Ensemble: A Complete Guide for Music Educators. Author Zachary B. Poulter, director of Bands at Syracuse Junior High School in Syracuse, UT, presents scholarly research, professional performance techniques, and nuts-and-bolts rehearsal strategies, all of which will help teachers bring the joy of improvisation more fully into the jazz ensemble class.

Over 180 arrangements of jazz standards are indexed to correlate with the sequence of improvisation study. Complete lead sheets are provided for each chart so teachers can determine the exact improvisational requirements of the charts before purchasing them. Using this invaluable resource, teachers can design an effective sequence for teaching improvisation, and then reinforce it with correlating jazz ensemble charts.

With Teaching Improv in Your Jazz Ensemble, teachers can:

  • learn how to design a sequence of instruction, interpret chord symbols, rehearse improvisation in a group format, and assess jazz improvisation.
  • learn about the philosophy and history of the educational jazz ensemble.
  • see how to integrate different types of resources into a cohesive improvisation curriculum from the resource guide.

“This book focuses its attention on an area of consistent concern for Jazz Ensemble directors; its intriguing premise, pedagogical approach, and compilation of resource materials are sure to be of considerable value to a wide swath of music educators,” says Chuck Owen, professor of Jazz Studies at the University of South Florida.

Uniquely designed to help jazz ensemble directors make the most of the many different improvisation resources available today, this book will be a vital reference for school jazz ensemble directors, as well as in college and university jazz pedagogy courses.

Teaching Improv in Your Jazz Ensemble: A Complete Guide for Music Educators is available from Rowman & Littlefield Education in paperback for $34.95 and clothbound for $80.00. Expected publication date: June 28, 2008. Pre-orders accepted. MENC members receive a discount of 25%. To order or for more information, call 800-462-6420 or visit

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 130,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.