LondonJazz reader Frank Griffith (thank you!) has brought to my attention an interesting essay/blogpost/debate “In Defence of Jazz Education .
It’s by Dublin-based/ much-respected/educator/bassistRonan Guilfoyle- (the headless portrait above is from his blog..)
Guifoyle deals with these three attempted bodyblows at jazz education:
1) That jazz education turns all who partake of it into clones.
2) That the proof of jazz education’s failure is the fact that though there are more practitioners than ever before the percentage of great players hasn’t got any higher.
3) That there is no point of turning out jazz graduates when there are no gigs
There are a number of comments, and the conclusions (these folk write a lot more prose than I’m used to…) seem to me to be that
(a) jazz educators do an awful lot more good than harm
(b) it is MUCH harder for a musician to get his or her sh*t together when much older
(c) (my conclusion) because they are constantly looking at what the student is absorbing on a deeper/longer-term level, the jazz educators I know tend to be more than usually reflective about the effect they do have- they DON’T WANT CLONES. And that is a good thing.
If you like what Ronan Guilfoyle is saying , then be my guest, and try The Art and Science of Time…and I will give a prize for the best explanation in no more than 50 words of what it means.