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mjf Education Programme - JazzY2k project

Permission being saught from the Manchester Jazz Festival

The mjf Education Programme was launched in 2000 with the ambitious JazzY2k project, which involved five schools, ten musicians, twenty workshops, and a four-hour finale concert! (For more information about this project please contact the festival).

This project set the mood for future activity and reflected the common aims of our programme, which are: -

Manchester Jazz· To include people from a variety of ages and backgrounds in Jazz Education

· To create teaching and work experience opportunities for musicians in the North West

· To introduce participants to jazz music and group performances via workshops and projects

· To initiate partnerships with schools, museums, community groups and businesses

2001-2002 Programme

This year's theme was percussion. Thanks to the generosity of the Blackburn with Darwen Music Services we had access to the Funky Junk percussion orchestra, a set of instruments built from recycled barrels and drums. The leader of this noisy band was musician, Steve Berry. Formerly of the band Loose Tubes Steve now concentrates his activities on teaching throughout the region, lecturing at the Royal Northern College of Music, and composing.

All workshops were free for participants. Questionnaires were gathered from those taking part in activities, and from those watching the projects. Although working to a common template, the workshops were presented in three very different ways:

Science Meets Jazz

Manchester JazzWorking with the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester (MSIM) we presented a weeklong programme of drop-in workshops for 7 - 12 year olds. The noisy, rhythmic environment of the museum's Power Hall, (an old carriage building filled with working steam engines and turbines), inspired the workshops. Our musician, Steve, used this giant metronome as the starting point for sessions that were enjoyed by participants and audiences alike:

Manchester Jazz"I wish I could stay all day!" Skelton (9)
"Great fun! Also very educational. A rare and wonderful opportunity." Strickland
"Groovy - Good teaching. Easy to pick up" Blackburn (9)

Jazz comes to Salford

This year we joined forces with the City of Salford Support Services to present a programme of jazz workshops for a group of 15 and 16 year olds. The young people, who are usually based at Salford's Park House project, joined mjf staff at Eccles Youth Centre for the day to take part in the project. The programme began with an introduction to basic rhythms and drumming, and developed through the day into solo performances and a final composition. Everyone got involved in the project and worked together to create a memorable experience:

"It was really top… I have never done anything like it before…" D (16)
"We had to keep the rhythm and we made up our own piece of music… I liked the solos best." J (16)

Open Air Jazz

As part of the festival's weekend launch, we presented workshops at two of the key festival venues: St. Ann's Square and the Bridgewater Hall. Luckily the weather was good, so the open-air setting was perfect for the mini workshops attended by participants of all ages. Sessions were sandwiched between festival gigs, which meant that the drummers could watch and hear the music and then create their own.

"It was great fun." Nancy (9)
"Good… nice and chilled." Chris (14)
"A good introduction to playing music." Mr Entwhistle

Further information

For more information about the Education Programme and future work, or to join our Education mailing list please contact our Education Officer, Lucy Power

Thanks to:

North West Arts Board, Blackburn with Darwen Music services, Granada Foundation, City of Salford Support Services, Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, and Eccles Youth Centre.

Photography by Jean Horsfall, Chris Kell, and Lucy Power.

Back to Aja at the Manchester Jazz Festival 2002


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