Books and publications of interest to jazz educators

Paul Berliner Thinking in jazz: the infinite art of improvisation, University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London 1994. In depth and scholastic investigation of the how jazz musicians improvise – from an ethnomusicological perspective…


John Biggs –Teaching for Quality Learning at University Open University Press, 2003 This publication provides a pragmatic approach to assist educators in enhancing students’ learning.


Bloom’ Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. Longmans,1956.


Cigman and Davis (Ed). New Philosophies in Learning Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Much provocative stuff here, challenging Howard Gardner amongst others…


Guy Claxton – Wise Up. Network Educational Press Ltd: 2001. Guy Claxton reveals what it takes for learning to occur. An important book for anyone – including teachers and learners of jazz!


Jerry Coker – The Teaching of Jazz Rottenburg: Advance 1989. Concise and practical book about teaching jazz, based upon an orthodox American model.


Hal Crook – How To Improvise – A Guide to Practising Improvisation. Rottenburg: Advance, 1991. Probably best book about improvising available, this is a book about improvising rather than the more common compendium of information. Hal Crook stresses the importance of design and control. Information serves process here, with dozens of practice routines. Suitable for all improvisors – including drummers and singers.


Hal Crook – Ready, Aim Improvise! Exploring the Basics of Improvisation. Rottenburg: Advance, 1999. Excellent, practical and comprehensive, essentially a summary of an undergraduate jazz course.


Carol Dweck – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006. World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success, but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset.

Geoff Dyer – But Beautiful, London: Abacus, 1991/96.

Betty Edwards –  Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain. London: Harper Collins 1979, 1993. A stunning revelation of how left/right brain (hemispherical) theory transforms drawing and painting. While written for artists, this is well worth a read.

Gallowey and Green – The Inner Game of Music, New York: Pan 1986, 1987.

Nachmanovitch, Stephen –  Free Play – Improvisation in Life and Art. New York: Tarcher/Putnam 1990.
Beautiful, readable and highly insightful treatise about improvising, drawing upon, amongst others William Blake, Einstein, Martha Graham, Stravinsky. A must!

In the Course of Performance: studies in the world of musical improvisation: Chicago and London Chicago University Press, 1998.


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