Junior High Band
Jazz Band Tips

Hold Jazz Band and Sectionals before School

Jazz Band has the potential to either make or completely devour a concert band program. My feeling is that Jazz Band should be extracurricular and should be held before or after school. Membership in another band (or music) class should be a prerequisite. That way being in Jazz Band does not affect a student’s regular class schedule and the Jazz Band members get twice as much playing time the days they meet.

Finding a way to meet with the individual sections in the band is important to a band’s success. When I was team-teaching at the high school it was easy for one of us to work with a section while the other rehearsed the rest of the band. At the junior high I was fortunate to have principals who recognized the importance of sectionals and allowed me to teach Jazz Band and sectionals before school as one of my regular paid periods. We held Jazz Band every Monday and Thursday and every other Friday so the students could receive ½ credit for a year’s participation. When Jazz Band didn’t meet we had sectionals. (See EMR Calendar)

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.