This article is copyright 1992 by Antonio J. García and originally was published in Music, Inc. Vol. 3, No. 3, April 1992. It is used by permission of the author and, as needed, the publication. Some text variations may occur between the print version and that below. All international rights remain reserved; it is not for further reproduction without written consent.

In Defense of Funding: Non-Musical Benefits of Music Ed

by Antonio J. García

Maybe music funds could be better spent preparing children for the real world. Let's tighten our belts and get more bang for the buck.

Such attitudes are all too common in this economically challenged era. Just this week my university's paper quoted our professor of Leadership and Education Policy Studies as saying that "ancillary activities" such as music should be cut as the solution to a budget crisis.

Gone are the days when we could dismiss such statements without response; observers will presume them acceptable. As Music, Inc. stated last year, it's time to "preach to the unconverted" (Perspective, May '91). Retailers and manufacturers must aggressively market the values of music education, awakening any slumbering music teachers along the way. Otherwise, when the nay-sayers knock at your door, who will be left to answer?

Unfortunately, music's aesthetic becomes the least effective argument when facing the cost-cutters. What works best is showing how music is related to "academic excellence and the quality of their community's work force" (García, "Musical Self-Defense," DOWN BEAT, October '91).

Test scores

MENC has assembled "Materials to Support Music Education" (800/828-0229). Data shows that bright students and music teachers tend to go hand in hand--regardless of whether music nurtures students or bright students thrive on music. A teacher I met began announcing at concerts the collective, above-average SAT /ACT scores of the all-state ensembles. A school principal and former band director in Illinois did similarly (Duker, "Advice from an Administrator," The Instrumentalist, August '91).

Dollar data

Dr. John Benham illustrates "reverse economics" in MENC materials and in periodicals: cutting all or part of a music program rarely solves and often worsens an economic crisis (Benham, "Defending Music Programs with Economic Analysis," The Instrumentalist, August '91). And had it not been for the energetic referral of my friend and music retailer, Charles Stephens (Karnes

Music Co., Elk Grove, Illinois), I might have missed the article altogether! Retailers are likely also aware of the packet of materials available from NAMM (800/767-6266).

Critical thinking skills

Any music program is at risk unless its "outcomes" and "assessment" demonstrate a positive impact on the non-musical skills of students. I recently attended a Meet The Composer workshop with a presentation by Lyle Davidson and Larry Scripp of Harvard Project Zero (Longfellow Hall, Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138; 617/495-4342). Never before their session had I observed such success in quantifying music's ability to accelerate the growth of critical thinking skills in young students.

Project Zero documents music students' increasing abilities to assess their own work, give and receive criticism, articulate goals, approach their work in an ideal, engaging way, work independently and with others, and draw upon available resources. What enviable qualities to have in a community's work force! And the Project shows that the benefits of the music program often spill over into the non-music classes. Answer that, budget-cutters! ("Harvard Project Zero and Arts PROPEL" by Howard Gardner, Art Education and Human Development, Getty Center for Education in the Arts, 1990; and "Tracing Reflective Thinking in the Performance Ensemble" by Davidson and Scripp, The Quarterly, University of Northern Colorado Center for Research in Music Learning and Teaching, Vol. 1, Nos. 1 & 2, Spring 1990.) Could retailers, manufacturers, and educators coordinate similar projects in their regions?

The media and business

Data and analogies often surface in periodicals: the business world is aware of the challenges it faces in inspiring its work force to excel. For this reason, Motorola called upon the NIU Jazz Ensemble, director Ron Modell, and myself to demonstrate parallels in creativity, risk, teamwork, leadership, and performance before 260 of its top U.S. managers--then later overseas, before 100 of its international managers. A new video from the Center for Creative Leadership (Box P-1, Greensboro, NC 27402-1660), "Creativity in Organizations--A Jazz Musician's Perspective," examines innovation in jazz and in business. For more information, see DOWN BEAT October '91, p. 6 and February '92, pp. 6 and 8.

Who will answer the knock?

When cost-cutters propose raiding music education funding, hit 'em where they live--show them they will feel the effect in academic performance, in their community's work force, perhaps even in

increased staffing costs. And then raise the emotional issues of self-expression, beauty, and joy in our students' experiences.

When you hear that knock at the door, stand up and ANSWER!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Antonio J. García is a Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he directs the Jazz Orchestra I; instructs Applied Jazz Trombone, Small Jazz Ensemble, Music Industry, and various jazz courses; founded a B.A. Music Business Emphasis (for which he initially served as Coordinator); and directs the Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band. An alumnus of the Eastman School of Music and of Loyola University of the South, he has received commissions for jazz, symphonic, chamber, film, and solo works—instrumental and vocal—including grants from Meet The Composer, The Commission Project, The Thelonious Monk Institute, and regional arts councils. His music has aired internationally and has been performed by such artists as Sheila Jordan, Arturo Sandoval, Jim Pugh, Denis DiBlasio, James Moody, and Nick Brignola. Composition/arrangement honors include IAJE (jazz band), ASCAP (orchestral), and Billboard Magazine (pop songwriting). His works have been published by Kjos Music, Hal Leonard, Kendor Music, Doug Beach Music, ejazzlines, Walrus, UNC Jazz Press, Three-Two Music Publications, and his own, with five recorded on CDs by Rob Parton’s JazzTech Big Band (Sea Breeze and ROPA JAZZ). His scores for independent films have screened across the U.S. and in Italy, Macedonia, Uganda, Australia, Colombia, India, Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico, Israel, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

A Bach/Selmer trombone clinician, Mr. García serves as the jazz clinician for The Conn-Selmer Institute. He has freelanced as trombonist, bass trombonist, or pianist with over 70 nationally renowned artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Mel Tormé, Doc Severinsen, Louie Bellson, Dave Brubeck, and Phil Collins—and has performed at the Montreux, Nice, North Sea, Pori (Finland), New Orleans, and Chicago Jazz Festivals. He has produced recordings or broadcasts of such artists as Wynton Marsalis, Jim Pugh, Dave Taylor, Susannah McCorkle, Sir Roland Hanna, and the JazzTech Big Band and is the bass trombonist on Phil Collins’ CD “A Hot Night in Paris” (Atlantic) and DVD “Phil Collins: Finally...The First Farewell Tour” (Warner Music). An avid scat-singer, he has performed vocally with jazz bands, jazz choirs, and computer-generated sounds. He is also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS). A New Orleans native, he also performed there with such local artists as Pete Fountain, Ronnie Kole, Irma Thomas, and Al Hirt.

Mr. García is a Research Faculty member at The University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban, South Africa) and the Associate Jazz Editor of the International Trombone Association Journal. He serves as a Network Expert (for Improvisation Materials) for the Jazz Education Network and has served as President’s Advisory Council member and Editorial Advisory Board member. His newest book, Jazz Improvisation: Practical Approaches to Grading (Meredith Music), explores avenues for creating structures that correspond to course objectives. His book Cutting the Changes: Jazz Improvisation via Key Centers (Kjos Music) offers musicians of all ages the opportunity to improvise over standard tunes using just their major scales. He is Co-Editor and Contributing Author of Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study (published by NAfME) and authored a chapter within The Jazzer’s Cookbook (published by Meredith Music). Within the International Association for Jazz Education he served as Editor of the Jazz Education Journal, President of IAJE-IL, International Co-Chair for Curriculum and for Vocal/Instrumental Integration, and Chicago Host Coordinator for the 1997 Conference. He served on the Illinois Coalition for Music Education coordinating committee, worked with the Illinois and Chicago Public Schools to develop standards for multi-cultural music education, and received a curricular grant from the Council for Basic Education. He has also served as Director of IMEA’s All-State Jazz Choir and Combo and of similar ensembles outside of Illinois. He is the recipient of the Illinois Music Educators Association’s 2001 Distinguished Service Award.

Regarding Jazz Improvisation: Practical Approaches to Grading, Darius Brubeck says, "How one grades turns out to be a contentious philosophical problem with a surprisingly wide spectrum of responses. García has produced a lucidly written, probing, analytical, and ultimately practical resource for professional jazz educators, replete with valuable ideas, advice, and copious references." Jamey Aebersold offers, "This book should be mandatory reading for all graduating music ed students." Janis Stockhouse states, "Groundbreaking. The comprehensive amount of material García has gathered from leaders in jazz education is impressive in itself. Plus, the veteran educator then presents his own synthesis of the material into a method of teaching and evaluating jazz improvisation that is fresh, practical, and inspiring!" And Dr. Ron McCurdy suggests, "This method will aid in the quality of teaching and learning of jazz improvisation worldwide."

About Cutting the Changes, saxophonist David Liebman states, “This book is perfect for the beginning to intermediate improviser who may be daunted by the multitude of chord changes found in most standard material. Here is a path through the technical chord-change jungle.” Says vocalist Sunny Wilkinson, “The concept is simple, the explanation detailed, the rewards immediate. It’s very singer-friendly.” Adds jazz-education legend Jamey Aebersold, “Tony’s wealth of jazz knowledge allows you to understand and apply his concepts without having to know a lot of theory and harmony. Cutting the Changes allows music educators to present jazz improvisation to many students who would normally be scared of trying.”

Of his jazz curricular work, Standard of Excellence states: “Antonio García has developed a series of Scope and Sequence of Instruction charts to provide a structure that will ensure academic integrity in jazz education.” Wynton Marsalis emphasizes: “Eight key categories meet the challenge of teaching what is historically an oral and aural tradition. All are important ingredients in the recipe.” The Chicago Tribune has highlighted García’s “splendid solos...virtuosity and musicianship...ingenious scoring...shrewd arrangements...exotic orchestral colors, witty riffs, and gloriously uninhibited splashes of dissonance...translucent textures and elegant voicing” and cited him as “a nationally noted jazz artist/ of the most prominent young music educators in the country.” Down Beat has recognized his “knowing solo work on trombone” and “first-class writing of special interest.” The Jazz Report has written about the “talented trombonist,” and Cadence noted his “hauntingly lovely” composing as well as CD production “recommended without any qualifications whatsoever.” Phil Collins has said simply, “He can be in my band whenever he wants.” García is also the subject of an extensive interview within Bonanza: Insights and Wisdom from Professional Jazz Trombonists (Advance Music), profiled along with such artists as Bill Watrous, Mike Davis, Bill Reichenbach, Wayne Andre, John Fedchock, Conrad Herwig, Steve Turre, Jim Pugh, and Ed Neumeister.

The Secretary of the Board of The Midwest Clinic, Mr. García has adjudicated festivals and presented clinics in Canada, Europe, Australia, The Middle East, and South Africa, including creativity workshops for Motorola, Inc.’s international management executives. The partnership he created between VCU Jazz and the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal merited the 2013 VCU Community Engagement Award for Research. He has served as adjudicator for the International Trombone Association’s Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana, and Rath Jazz Trombone Scholarship competitions and the Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble competition and has been asked to serve on Arts Midwest’s “Midwest Jazz Masters” panel and the Virginia Commission for the Arts “Artist Fellowship in Music Composition” panel. He has been repeatedly published in Down Beat; JAZZed; Jazz Improv; Music, Inc.; The International Musician; The Instrumentalist; and the journals of NAfME, IAJE, ITA, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Percussive Arts Society, Arts Midwest, Illinois Music Educators Association, and Illinois Association of School Boards. Previous to VCU, he served as Associate Professor and Coordinator of Combos at Northwestern University, where he taught jazz and integrated arts, was Jazz Coordinator for the National High School Music Institute, and for four years directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Formerly the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, he was selected by students and faculty there as the recipient of a 1992 “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching” award and nominated as its candidate for 1992 CASE “U.S. Professor of the Year” (one of 434 nationwide). He was recipient of the VCU School of the Arts’ 2015 Faculty Award of Excellence for his teaching, research, and service. Visit his web site at <>.

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