Master Classes, Workshops & Guest Artist Appearances...

These are just about the most fun thing for me to do in Jazz education, and I love doing them. A room full of budding Jazz musicians ready to improve their playing is pretty exciting. 

 

At the moment I'm currently lucky enough to deliver pretty much three of these a week to local groups at St Albans Music School & the University of Hertfordshire. These are short sessions ranging from 1-2 hours and we actually work out a much longer programme for an entire gig at the end of term time as well as going into depth about the nuances of ensemble playing and improvisation. 

I also run longer full day workshops for the Herts Youth Jazz Ensemble once or twice a year. These usually exist as either a full day of rehearsals culminating in a Jazz festival performance or a clinic where we focus in depth on a couple of charts and develop certain skills, whether they be ensemble playing, improvisation or whatever. I have delivered these kind of days in conjunction with The National Youth Jazz Orchestra & The National Youth Jazz Collective.     

What kind of experiences can you offer? 

Simply, there are two types of session I can bring you. One with a performance orientated goal or one with a process orientated goal. This doesn't mean that one cannot include the other by any means, all I mean is that if we are working together for a day or a number of sessions with a gig as the end goal we will probably cover more material. Whereas if we are not looking at a high profile performance at the end then we might look at less material in greater detail. (we can still do a short set for friends and family for sure!)

For both types of session I will bring some charts that I think will challenge your ensemble at an appropriate level (these can be sent in advance), you will also get to keep them too so you can perform them whenever you like. We can also play stuff that you have been working on as well.  

Let's do a gig together...

OK, this is what I would call a 'Guest Artist Appearance' or a 'Workshop'. It is also what I would typically refer to as something with a performance orientated goal. 

 

How it works is; 

 

- We will consult on things like the standard of your ensemble, what kind of things they like to play & how long the suggested performance will be.

- We can then work out 6-9 tunes to do that will challenge your ensemble, suit your audience and be fun and engaging to play. 

- I'll bring/send you some charts to get working on.

- We will work out session times. This can either be a number of sessions over a period of weeks/months or a full day.

- We all get together and workshop (led by me) the charts so they sound top notch before performing them at a gig you have arranged.

These are so much fun, and can either feature me as a guest artist, or I can MD your band or just play in the Trumpet section.

Let's get into the nitty-gritty...

Cool, this is really great as everyone loves to feel like they have improved as a musician from these kinds of experiences. This is what I would refer to as a 'Master Class' or 'Clinic', and its is certainly what I mean by doing something with a process orientated goal. 

How it works is;

- We will consult on things like the standard of your ensemble, what kind of things they like to play, what things present challenges to them and what you find you struggle to deliver to them in your allotted rehearsal times. 

- I will then come up with 2-3 charts (some of these might even be specially arranged for your ensemble) which will have clear learning objectives that we can work on together and you can then continue to develop as an ensemble after your time with me.

- We will work out session times. This can either be a number of sessions over a period of weeks/months or a full day.

- We all get together and work our way through the material in detail and overcome the challenges it presents together.

- We can also have the option of putting on a small gig/open rehearsal for Friends & Family at the end of our time together, but that is up to you.

I think I prefer to do these types of session even more than the performances. The performances are great and everyone gets loads of praise and a huge cheer at the end to reward the hard work. However, here everyone gets to learn and develop in a no pressure environment and further their understanding of the music. It's very rewarding for all (including me!)

This sounds great, how much does it cost?

Every project is slightly different. It depends on the schedule we work out (i.e how many sessions you want and how long they are), how far away you are etc., you know... logistics. In most cases the ticket revenue from performances can help you cover my fees, but also if you are based in England, because we are working in Jazz education here, there are sometimes grants from Arts Council England that might be able to help you financially too. I am happy to give you what advise I can on these matters.

The best thing to do if you are thinking about putting on any of the above is to get in touch

© 2020 Duncan Fraser

Created by myself @ my house