A special one-week series of jazz-themed music workshops are being offered this June to area students in first through ninth grade.
The program, “Jazz Playformance,” was created by Dr. Denise La Grassa, Lead Faculty for Jazz Studies, at Lincoln College. She will lead the program and two Lincoln College students, Christian Lloyd and Sean Sheldon, will serve as student teachers for the classes.
Classes will be held the week of June 11-15, for 45 minutes each day and be divided by age, with first through third graders taught from 10-10:45 a.m.; fourth through sixth grade classes will be from 11-11:45 a.m., and seventh through ninth graders will attend from Noon to 12:45 p.m.
The classes will be at Audra’s Studio of Dance, 214 McLean St., in Lincoln. There is an $80 fee for the full week. For registration or other information, contact: Dr. Denise La Grassa at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 312-399-5933.
La Grassa’s “Jazz Playformance” classes invite students to play and create in a world of musical games wrapped in rhythm, melody, word-play and story. Musical themes and songs come to life through a series of interactive games designed to tap into each student’s creative thoughts and ideas. These ideas are crafted into songs and sketches through improvisation games.
Jazz Playformance games involve a series of themes from classical and jazz music, classic and modern poetry and plays. Master composers and authors including Shakespeare, Mozart, Ellington and Gwendolyn Brooks serve as a base for students to riff with melodies and word phrases to create individual songs. Advanced level students will merge songs into stories, creating theme-based musicals. These shows will be filmed, recorded and printed to DVD for the students to take home.
Student teachers Christian Lloyd and Sean Sheldon will bring their own jazz studies approaches and experience to the workshops. Both are majoring in Contemporary Jazz Studies at Lincoln College. Lloyd plays Trombone and Sheldon is a saxophonist. Both recently composed, recorded and performed original compositions as part of their studies.
The summer program is also something of a preview of a planned after-school program that will debut in the fall.
Lincoln College was recently awarded a $1,200 grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation to offer reduced tuition for an after-school version of Jazz Playformance. It was one of 73 programs in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties receiving 2018 spring grants from the Foundation.
Funds from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation will be used to provide needed equipment and financial support in order to offer the course to 32 students.