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Why Study Jazz?

Written by Dr. Patrick Brown, saxophonist, educator, and JazzArts Charlotte Education Director.

September 2022 — As we prepare to begin our Fall 2022 session of our Youth Ensembles + Workshops program, I wanted to share some thoughts on why studying jazz is important. Two elements that are unique to jazz are the recognition of American history and the value of self-expression.

Studying jazz is a lesson in American history! Jazz began racially integrating as far back as the 1930s, well before the civil rights movement. The history of the music is intertwined with its performance, so these topics are an important part of our programs. We emphasize Jazz’s African-American heritage and its connections with racial integration.

An important part of jazz is improvisation, which fosters creativity and self-expression. The study and performance of jazz provides students of all ages the opportunity to develop improvisation skills and express themselves through music. It is through this development that students find confidence to demonstrate who they are as individuals.

At JazzArts Charlotte, we believe in the power of music and its ability to transform lives. Our core values include the following: Respect, Hard Work, Fun, Community, Trust, and Responsibility.

We hope you will join us or find a way to participate in our mission to prepare our next generation.  Visit our Education section to see what’s coming up.


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