Third Stream Ear Training at the Queensland Conservatorium
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Aural training for improvisors is a specialized area of musicianship. It requires development of conventional skills, as well as a high level of aural awareness which permits real-time reactions to a variety of musical stimuli and contexts. The Third Stream Ear Training Method, developed by American pianist/educator Ran Blake at the New England Conservatory, Boston, is the foundation of jazz aural training courses at the Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane. The method involves the memorization and vocal performance of melodies from a wide range of cultures without recourse to scores. This results in not only the learning of basic pitches and rhythms, but also the internalization of nuances of style and genre which result in a sophisticated and informed musicianship. The Method has been modified to suit the academic environment and needs of the jazz students in Brisbane. An overview of the classroom methods I employ over three semesters of jazz aural skills classes is offered, with some specific examples of exercises which have proven useful in developing an aural understanding of basic harmonic and melodic principles for improvisation.
Proceedings. 29th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education
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Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy