The Institute was an early leader in distance learning, curating a groundbreaking series of live educational broadcasts in the 1990s featuring renowned jazz musicians from Herbie Hancock to Joshua Redman to Terri Lyne Carrington. From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute drew on this deep experience to support virtual learning for students, parents and educators throughout the United States. Programs like Jazz in the Classroom and the National Performing Arts High Schools initiative were offered via Zoom to partner schools in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New Orleans, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and beyond.
As with the Institute’s in-person instruction, every online session is tailored to the individual needs of students or ensembles and includes lessons in jazz history and theory, improvisation, transcription, key jazz repertoire and technical skills, as well as “gap” areas in student knowledge that can be adeptly addressed through virtual learning such as reading and playing syncopated rhythms.
Throughout the pandemic, the Institute offered a series of free virtual summer extension programs to learners around the world, including online-only editions of its signature initiatives BeBop to Hip-Hop and Jazz in America. These and other programs like International Jazz Day have reached millions of students worldwide, connecting eager young learners with leading international artists and educators no matter where they live. Apart from giving students of all ages the opportunity to connect virtually with peers, even while observing self-isolation, these special programs continue the Institute’s longstanding mission to promote racial equity by highlighting the vital contributions of African Americans to art, culture and American life.
BeBop to Hip-Hop Virtual Concert
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