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The pandemic has taught us myriad things about how we create and share music with our students. I feel so much hope about the way music educators are coming together to share time and resources. While we would all love to see every school have their own rhythm section and recording equipment etc. the reality is that we are all on the same path to rebuild and reimagine what the future is going to look like. Luckily, publishers are stepping up to the plate and evolving along with us. I have chosen music through this lens of rebuilding in the hopes that you, too, might feel encouraged and excited about what we can bring back to the classroom!
Virtual Packages through JW Pepper
Publishers, like JW Pepper, are offering new virtual packages that come with everything you need, including part tracks with professional voices to sing along with (see and hear), accompaniment tracks for your performances, directions for the process of creating a virtual choir and all the permissions and licenses you need to share your work. While we all hope to be in-person soon, it is wonderful to have a new outlet for bringing music to a new and wider audience and have a back-up plan for unexpected pivots in the future. There are two great options for Jazz choirs in these virtual packages. The arrangements include all the conventional vocal jazz idioms in short and sweet packages. Both charts include great voice leading and classic close-voiced harmonies for skill building. I especially appreciate that there are arrangements available for elementary through college level to allow for pivoting in any direction for any reason.
Kerry Marsh has helped to shift the way publishers share music with the use of his visual score experiences on his website. He has found yet another way to change the way we do vocal jazz, now offering SkyTracks mixing packages. These packages offer the following: sheet music, demo, access to the SkyTracks mixer (alter your own rehearsal tracks/build a recording online), vocal part tracks, music “minus one” tracks, and recording stems (if you want to use your own audio workstation). There are instructions on how to use SkyTracks and know that your students can download them too on any computer or mobile device! This is a learning tool that allows the singers in your ensemble to experience what it is like to blend and balance an ensemble in a whole new way. Visit their website to learn more about this cool new music education option! https://skytracks.io/