Giant Steps jazz programs for middle school students

 

Giant Steps Big Band for Middle School

The SJW Giant Steps Big Band for Middle School program offers 10 weekly rehearsals with jazz instruction in a fun, exciting big band setting. Open by audition only, the Giant Steps Big Band gives middle school musicians a solid foundation in improvisation, practice discipline, and the performance of jazz styles and articulations. Following the 10-week program, the Giant Steps Band shows the world how much fun it is to play jazz with a public performance at Stanford University.

Taught by leading jazz educators who specialize in middle school curriculum and pedagogy, the Giant Steps Big Band offers more than just a weekly rehearsal. Each meeting also includes a master class with experts on each instrument. Additionally, SJW faculty work with each Giant Steps band member during the week via SmartMusic, a software practice and evaluation tool.

The result is that Giant Steps Big Band members learn and progress at an accelerated rate, and they sound much more advanced than their middle school grade level would indicate. Students who have participated in the Giant Steps Big Band report that they get placed in more advanced ensembles when they audition for their high school band programs.

There are Giant Steps Big Band programs in two locations:

 

Giant Steps Big Band North, directed by Mike Galisatus

  • Carlmont High School band room, room F20 in the Fine Arts building
  • 1400 Alameda De Las Pulgas
  • Belmont, CA 94002
  • Click here for a map 
  • Rehearsals on Wednesday evenings beginning September 24, 6:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

 

Giant Steps Big Band South, directed by Dave Gregoric

  • The Harker School band room, room 51
  • 3800 Blackford Ave
  • San Jose, CA 95117
  • Click here for a map
  • Rehearsals on Tuesday evenings beginning September 23, 6:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Dates

Ten (10) weekday evenings beginning on February 10 (Harker School) or 11 (Carlmont High), with a break for Spring Break week.

Performance

The bands will perform on Sunday afternoon, May 3 at 2 p.m., at Dinkelspiel Auditorium on the Stanford Campus.

Eligibility

Open by audition only to middle school musicians who are currently enrolled and who will be concurrently enrolled in their school music program. Instrumentation: Trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, guitar, bass, drums, and vibes.

Weekly assessment

Each student will obtain a copy of Make Music SmartMusic, with which we will assign individualized exercises for technique, style, and improvisation practice. We will be assessing each student's progress on a weekly basis. Through SmartMusic, we will coordinate individual development with the tunes in the band's repertoire.

Fees

The fee for each student is $750 for this program. A limited amount of financial aid is available; we want to make sure that all eligible young musicians are considered for the band, regardless of their families’ ability to pay the fee.

 

Giant Steps Jazz Singers for Middle School

The SJW Giant Steps Jazz Singers for Middle School program offers 10 weekly rehearsals with jazz and vocal ensemble instruction in a fun, relaxed setting. Open by audition only, the Giant Steps Jazz Singers gives middle school vocalists a solid foundation in vocal technique, improvisation, practice discipline, and the performance of jazz styles. Following the 10-week program, the Giant Steps Jazz Singers show the world how much fun it is to sing jazz with a public performance at Stanford University. Taught by Juliet Green, a well-known jazz vocalist and middle school pedagogy expert, the Giant Steps Jazz Singers learn and progress at an accelerated rate, and sound much more advanced than their middle school grade level would indicate. 

For more information, please write to registrar@stanfordjazz.org or call 650-736-0324. 

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