Thank you for wanting to learn about PlayTheGroove, I'm Richard Frank, creator of this innovative program that incorporates modern jazz and world music into music into an educationally-grounded program. PlayTheGroove is rooted in my personal experiences as a professionally trained musician, a graduate-level researcher, 60+ clinics and workshops, and countless conversations with professors, students, and… Continue reading PlayTheGroove, What’s This All About?
When I was in high school, I wanted to perform more often than what “normal” high school gigs offer. Fortunately, my rock band fulfilled that drive to perform. Good and bad experiences (mostly good), helped me take ownership of my learning. The performances gave me reason to practice. Flash forward 8 years and I'm in… Continue reading Importance of Performance
The PlayTheGroove initiative decalcifies music education with a fresh approach, which has now been implemented in the national study that forms the basis of this action research. PlayTheGroove consists of modern jazz and world music presented in the classroom along with materials and methodologies designed to encourage and engage secondary school ensembles. Students take ownership… Continue reading Our Research Process
The overarching hypothesis for this study: The PlayTheGroove method is thought-provoking and engaging to aspiring musicians and secondary teachers, regardless of the lens through which they are viewing this learning and teaching approach. This research explores these questions: Will teachers shift from the traditional approach, which relies mostly on reading music, to an approach that encourages… Continue reading Hypothesis – Research Study
There are terrific books and methods introducing jazz, improvisation, and its history and culture that have been in use since the 50s. These include the Dean Sorenson series, Jamey Aebersold, and Tom Kamp. When introducing jazz improvisation to beginners, I recently reviewed Rhythm First!: A Beginner's Guide to Jazz Improvisation by Kamp that was written… Continue reading PlayTheGroove or Jazz Method Books
In my secondary ensemble experiences over the past 10 years, the "traditional" big band of 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxes, and a rhythm section is not as common as it once was. More often than not, a teacher finds themselves with an odd number of every instrument. This leads to a conundrum of what… Continue reading What is a non-traditional & inclusive ensemble?