Every year we make a few “tweaks” to the Milestones program based on what we learned the previous year. This year is no different!
The Milestones 2016-17 school year program will begin in mid August, a bit earlier than in the past. We also have TWO NEW DIRECTORS in Richard Giddens and Barb Shinaver. Richard is well know to any of you have attended our summer jazz program, and we are thrilled to have him joining Eva Scow on Tuesdays to work with our 6-8 grade students.
Barb is the new jazz band director at Bullard High School, and a passionate advocate for jazz education on both the local and state level. She will be joining John Ayala to work with our high-school age students on Wednesday nights.
FOCUS ON IMPROVISATION
We finished last year by increasing our focus on improvisation, learning more jazz standards, and taking a step away from learning “arranged” music. This allowed us to focus our efforts on making sure that every student received A LOT of instruction in improvisation and jazz theory. In other words, we spent a lot of time working on what students are less likely to get in the school setting.
This proved to be a very successful approach, and we saw huge advancements in just a short time. It really is a “trial by fire” approach that builds a TON of confidence in students. Not to be discounted, it was also really popular with students! We will continue that approach this year.
These clinics will usually be accompanied by concerts, and Milestones students will be able to attend all of these events either at either no additional charge or, in some cases, reduced rates.
NO MORE AUDITIONS
We have also done away with the audition process, which many kids will be glad to hear! Instead, we will work as a group for the first four weeks, allowing the directors to assess the students much better than they could in a five-minute audition. This will also allow for more social interaction between the students.
If you ready to register for this year’s program, this is the place!