Accompaniment


When to introduce Jazz

QuestionQuestion
Stephen R., California

I have noticed that The Mirron seems to be tough for students. Any advice on when to introduce this? Maybe Time for More Music should be mostly completed, I’m gathering. It looks like these Jazz pieces may unfold over an extended period of time.

Answer
Missy M., Iowa

You’re right. It was a big jump for my students. Next time I’m going to start them on another Jazz or Accompaniment 2 song before The Mirron.

Answer
Kym N., California

For that reason, I have decided to do Accompaniment 2 before Jazz and have the students play solo for each Acc 2 song first before its rhythm track projects. I made this decision after I tried to teach Jazz to my most advanced group (2 teens who had a few years of traditional piano lessons). Because the Jazz project takes forever to finish, I ended up bringing in Acc 2 after the third Jazz pieces (solo, Jazz Clue 1, Jazz Clue 2).

Also, Acc 2 is a much shorter project as a whole compared to Jazz. So I decided to finish Acc 2 first. I don’t like to do both at the same time (alternate them like what I did for the most advanced group). I also feel that Acc 2 is more useful for students after Time for More Music.

Acc 2 is much easier, I think. The rhythm tracks are easier than the Jazz’s ensemble rhythm tracks. I think Acc 2 is a better project after TFMM because each project is shorter and easier to manage. You can easily learn each project as you teach.

Answer
Stephen R., California

I’ve heard we should do Jazz first, but I don’t know how far along that should be before introducing Acc 2. There’s also Accompaniment Variations that students are working through. But again, The Mirron is tough and may take students some time while we keep moving ahead in other things. I notice some students are stronger readers than others. One student is still struggling knowing Cs and intervals.

Answer
Kym N., California

That’s why the Acc 2 pieces are good starting pieces to learn to play solo instead of using The Mirron. The Mirron is like a giant to the students. The two main pieces in Acc 2 are written in the key of C and they have only two lines of melody which almost repeats itself in line three and line four. The rhythm of the melody of The Mirron (and other pieces in the Jazz program) is more complicated than the pieces in Acc 2.

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Robin Keehn, Washington

I don’t introduce the Jazz program until I have fairly strong readers. I’d do Acc 2 or at least wait until they have completed Timf for More Music.

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Stephen R., California

In the Acc 2 introduction, Neil mentions beginning Jazz first because the concepts cross-pollinate with Acc 2. I guess it could go either way and they do overlap somewhat.