Herbie Hancock Institute Unveils Virtual Summer Slate of Free Music Education Programs for Students

Offerings include Jazz in America, BeBop to Hip-Hop, Jazz in the Classroom and Performing Arts High Schools Program

WASHINGTON, DC – The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz has unveiled an ambitious slate of live, online educational programs and webinars to take place this summer for elementary, middle and high school students from across the country and around the globe. All of the programs are offered to participants at no cost, but registration is required. The Jazz in America and BeBop to Hip-Hop summer programs are made possible by support from AT&T.

Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock noted, “The Institute’s online jazz education programs will teach students of all ages and musical abilities about the truly American spirit of the music of jazz and its essential elements of improvisation and creativity. These free programs will help students navigate this challenging time and keep them focused on their future. The Institute is committed to keeping students engaged in meaningful pursuits this summer, especially as many summer programs across the nation have been canceled.”

Jazz in America is an innovative, internet-based jazz curriculum for social studies, American history and general music classes. Developed by the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, the curriculum aims to provide students with a basic understanding of jazz as a musical form, along with appreciation of the profound contributions jazz has made to America’s cultural and civic life. The 24-session webinar series taught by Dr. JB Dyas, the Institute’s Vice President of Education and Curriculum Development, offers mini-courses for students in grades 10-12 (June 22-July 8), grades 7-9 (July 13-29) and grades 4-6 (August 3-12). Participants from the United States and over 30 countries have enrolled in the first course.

BeBop to Hip-Hop is a 10-week program for high school students from June 25 to August 27. Aspiring producers, musicians and rappers will create music with guidance from renowned music industry professionals including DJ Khalil, Hi-Tek, Mike & Keys, Tariq Beats, and others to be announced shortly. Students will have opportunities to collaborate virtually on original music projects and the program will culminate with a unique online public concert presentation. Hancock Institute West Coast Director Daniel Seeff stated, “This program will provide a rare opportunity for students around the country to develop their artistic vision with guidance from successful professionals who can give them invaluable feedback from their years of experience in the music industry.”

Jazz in the Classroom, the Institute’s highly-regarded series of programs tailored to help public school students develop an understanding of and appreciation for jazz music, shares the positive aspects of jazz with young people who would not otherwise have opportunities to learn about this national treasure. Weekly online programs will be extended over the summer at three District of Columbia public schools: Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Roosevelt High School and Wilson High School.

An excerpt from a recent virtual master class with Washington, D.C. public school students, featuring teaching artist and 2013 Institute Saxophone Competition Winner Melissa Aldana.

Institute Director of Special Projects Leonard Brown said, “If not for these intensive, virtual sessions, many of these students would regress in their musical abilities over the summer months. Through these lessons, students will not only maintain, but further develop their music skills.” On the West Coast, members of the Herbie Hancock/LAUSD Beyond the Bell All-City Jazz Band will participate in virtual master classes and group instruction. The All-City Big Band, under the co-direction of Dr. Dyas and Beyond the Bell Branch Music and Entertainment Education Coordinator Anthony “Tony” White, comprises the top high school music students enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest public school district. 

Students at Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. perform “Tenor Madness” as part of their virtual studies in the Institute’s Jazz in the Classroom program.

The Performing Arts High Schools Program provides intensive jazz training for exceptionally gifted and motivated student musicians at 12 public performing arts high schools in 10 cities across the country. Dr. Dyas will host virtual forums throughout the summer to provide students with opportunities to network and focus on tune learning, practicing and listening. Said Dr. Dyas, “The richness of these webinars lie in the fact that we can get together from all parts of the country, and grow as jazz musicians and people.”

After graduating in mid-June, the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA Class of 2020 fellows are already hard at work teaching the Global Jazz: Ongoing Conversations online summer intensive program at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Led by UCLA Global Jazz Studies faculty, the week-long program brings together performers from around the world. Students will participate in master classes, lessons, composition workshops and performances throughout the week, with collaborative classes and lessons designed around each student’s needs using online platforms as an extended global classroom.

For more information and complete details on all of the programs and to register, please visit hancockinstitute.org.

Additional support is made possible by United Airlines, the official airline of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.

Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz

The mission of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is to offer the world’s most promising young musicians college level training by internationally acclaimed jazz masters and to present public school music education programs for young people around the world. The Institute preserves, perpetuates and expands jazz as a global art form, and utilizes jazz as a means to unite people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. All of the Institute’s programs are provided free of charge to students, schools and communities worldwide. These programs use jazz as the medium to encourage imaginative thinking, creativity, positive self-image, and respect for one’s own and others’ cultural heritage. hancockinstitute.org