The University of Leicester and All That Jazz!
University of Leicester is set to 'jazz-up' education for hundreds of children
in Leicester's schools through an innovative new music programme.
exciting Jazz Education outreach project is being delivered in four
Leicestershire schools, thanks to funding totalling £31,320 from the National
Foundation for Youth Music and East Midlands Arts Board, given to the
University's Richard Attenborough Centre.
by Leicester-born international Steinway artist, jazz pianist and composer
Richard Fairhurst, the project's innovative approach provides jazz education
that is sustainable. "So often schemes are delivered on a 'one off basis'
leaving participants with a lack of direction", explains Richard.
outstanding musician himself, achieving an amazing profile at a young age,
Richard has been commissioned to compose music in a wide variety of contexts.
His debut CD 'The Hungry Ants' (Babel BDV 9504), released in 1996, won the
Perrier Jazz Awards in February 1998. As part of the project he is to write some
new music for each of the schools taking part: Leicester Grammar School, Thomas
Estley Community College, Guthlaxton College and John Cleveland College.
I'm doing on this course is giving the students who take part the chance to
learn more about improvising and to develop their confidence and ability in this
area of music" says Richard. "Passing on the right vocabulary is
really important as most schools would claim to perform jazz when in fact it is
just a 'jazzy sound' that is being created. In fact, most solos are actually
written out of that which has nothing to do with what jazz is about: jazz is
about improvising, creating your own melodies at the spur of the moment."
are some very specialist skills being taught on the course, consisting of
regular two-hour workshops. The project is also intended to bridge the gap
between the graded exams, offered by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and
the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and a pathway to progression
towards entry on Conservatoire or University courses in jazz.
showcase to demonstrate 'work in progress' is scheduled for June 14, 2002 at 7pm
in the University's Richard Attenborough Centre. This concert will be a unique
opportunity for students to perform the ideas they are working on within the
course for real. "Giving a live performance is not just about playing well
but about communicating to an audience. I want to build a new audience of all
ages who will enjoy the performance of Jazz".
course is going really well at the moment and I feel it has a fantastic momentum
- I'm lucky to be working with some really committed students who are passionate
about discovering more about the music. This is what it's all about: enjoyment
and pleasure through playing Jazz and expressing yourself through
improvisation!" explains Richard Fairhurst.
Herbert, Organising Tutor for Music at the Richard Attenborough Centre, said:
"This is a great opportunity for students of all abilities to develop
skills in this musical area. So much more provision could be made for jazz
education in schools in this country.
note of innovation in this project is that Richard Fairhurst has been
commissioned to write some new music for each of the four schools participating
in this project. There will be an opportunity to hear the schools perform in two
showcases which demonstrate their level of development throughout this project,
in terms of performance ability."
Richard Attenborough Centre, part of the University of Leicester's Institute of
Lifelong Learning, provides an exciting and diverse programme of arts education
to a wide audience.
For more information, please contact the Philip Herbert on
14th June 2002 at 7pm at the University of Leicesterís Richard Attenborough
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.