The North Central Band Program maintains a concurrent-enrollment policy for all wind and percussion students participating in the jazz program. All wind students must also be enrolled in one of North Central’s curricular concert bands. Because of the collaborative educational structure this creates, the North Central jazz curriculum functions as an extension of the band curricula.
Philosophy of Program
As North Central High School students and teachers, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to study and perform jazz music in a curricular setting. The very presence of a curricular jazz program within the North Central music department acknowledges the value we place on the study of this significant musical art form. The historical, cultural and civic values of jazz as an original American art form are by now well understood by many. The objectives of the North Central High School jazz program are largely derived from a praxial philosophy of music education*, meaning that we endeavor to immerse ourselves in the music, engage with it authentically, and develop all dimensions of musicianship through study and performance, with high value placed on the act of doing. In many instances, performance (not limited to formal performances) will be our destination, our opportunity for reflection, and our mode of assessment. Additionally, we challenge ourselves to keep sight of the historical and cultural value of jazz music and strive to include a study of the people and events who shape the music as we pursue our very high performance standards. We acknowledge that there is a “jazz canon” and our repertoire selections will be made with that in mind. We also acknowledge that innovation and evolution are at the core of the jazz story, so our repertoire selections will also strive to interact with contemporary musical forces. Students engaged in a four-year study of jazz at North Central will develop into technically-able, literate, and creative jazz musicians, who will carry a respect for the music into their adult lives. They will be challenged to leave their comfort zone, trust one another, lead, listen, and empathize.
Overview of Program