Modern Jazz and World Music, Music Education, PlayTheGroove

PlayTheGroove, What’s This All About?

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?


Alternative Assessment: other than performance

All instruments are welcome. As a teacher, with this continuum as a guide, ask yourself, what is the skill range of your players? Our charts and method employ a ‘combo in unison’ approach which satisfy a wide range of ability as long as the core (average) playing ability can step up to the challenge of… Continue reading Alternative Assessment: other than performance


Why Finland? PlayTheGroove across the ocean

On Tuesday, September 24th I left for Finland. For two months I’ll be participating in a music-education residency at the University of the Arts in Helsinki, Finland. Is the grass is greener on the other side of the pond? I have been researching, developing and educationally-grounding the PlayTheGroove initiative for the last several years. During… Continue reading Why Finland? PlayTheGroove across the ocean


Implementing Change in Your Jazz Band

Educator vulnerability is essential to a modern classroom. You are there to guide students in their learning, but that doesn’t always have to mean you know the answers. PlayTheGroove wants you and your students to create and learn together. It’s okay not to have all of the answers. Student’s learn best when seeing how others… Continue reading Implementing Change in Your Jazz Band


Critical Thinking in Different Genres

Teachers may be trained in, or introduced to critical thinking as it specifically applies to Western music. However, the skill set does not readily transfer to modern genres (as with traditional jazz, educators usually have limited experience in performing the music). Modern genres and Western music’s vocabulary and methodologies are not directly equivalent (Green, 2003).… Continue reading Critical Thinking in Different Genres


How to Kick Start Your New Jazz Band

It’s a new year. Your graduating seniors are off on new adventures. Most likely you will have a NEW jazz band to work with. Or perhaps you’re starting a new jazz or horn driven band and this is your first semester launching it. These are great opportunities. Consider vulnerability & nonlinear when introducing new content and… Continue reading How to Kick Start Your New Jazz Band