Thank you for your interest in 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 educators. Currently, I am pursuing an M.A. in Educational Technology at California State University Northridge (CSUN) which is supervising a research study. Start at PlayTheGrooveMusic.com.
Some 10 years ago, with my son in high school, I had more time. After composing and producing 2 original CDs and playing hundreds of gigs with my contemporary groove-jazz band, Present Tense, a change was in the air and I started volunteering in high school music programs and attending jazz festivals. The bands sounded terrific. But much to my surprise, most of the music performed was from an era 50+ years ago and I realized the teaching methodologies were the same as when I was in high school and college: they were also clearly teacher-led through conducting.
So I created PlayTheGroove to change all the that.
It turns out there are many broad issues in music education, overall disciplines, that could use updating. However, our initial niche is the rhythm-section-based* ensembles, aka as “jazz” bands, that want to play current styles that are more accessible and meaningful to them with relevant and matching methodologies that match how a great deal of music is made today: student-led through creative music making.
It’s the culture of music education we wish to change. There are so many terrific music teachers out there that simply don’t have access to modern music with the proper content, resources, and methodologies.
That’s where PlayTheGroove comes in.
*For PlayTheGroove, this refers to an ensemble consisting of drums and bass with keys and/or guitar, and horns, woodwinds, and even string instruments welcome. As part of our commitment to inclusivity, and since we created a new unison-chart format, all tonal instruments (woodwinds and strings too) initially play the melody, and we have multiple rhythm-section parts at various skill levels.