Teaching Undergraduate Jazz Ensembles within Virtual Spaces

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COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the teaching and learning of jazz-based undergraduate performance students. The necessity to rapidly develop a pedagogical framework in response to ‘iso’ was initially directed towards solving technical problems such as audio latency, online learning platforms and virtual environments. However, this initial response did not entirely address aspects of
the jazz and improvisation performance art form that relies on acute listening skills, high instrumental ability, interaction, synchronous playing and importantly socio-artistic transaction.

This paper investigates the enforced necessity to teach tertiary jazz and improvisation ensemble performance online during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will identify adaptive teaching and learning modalities and reflect on these experiences through assessing the pedagogical efficacy within the
small jazz ensemble (combo) context. The small ensemble, being at the heart of any jazz curriculum, offers an opportunity to investigate the unique qualities of real-time, mutually informing, and generative artistic practice that is grounded in improvisation and interaction.

It is anticipated that this area of research will be significant in the existing and post-COVID environment by creating a greater opportunity to innovate, develop and refine a blended and flexible approach to digital and face-to-face pedagogy through development through the enhancement and development of documentation, reflectivity and student/staff feedback. Finally, this research aims to contribute to fluctuating teaching and learning environments in an uncertain future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Music, Health, and Wellbeing
Issue number2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Music, improvisation, COVID-19, on-line, syncronous

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