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The Importance of Listening

I can remember the first Wynton Marsalis recording I ever heard.

It was an early evening in the spring of 1991 in the band room of Fairfax High School. I was a junior in high school and the jazz band was not a class. We rehearsed one night a week for a few hours.

My Director, Ms. Mary Ulrey, wanted us to hear what she meant to breathe through a phrase. She played “Never Let Me Go” from the Standard Time, vol. 3 album.

I had been inundated by the offerings of my peers with the stratospheric recordings of Maynard Ferguson,

But, I remember thinking for the first time as a junior in high school how beautiful the trumpet could truly be. The next day I went to the store and bought the album.

As an educator, I have never forgotten the importance of playing professional recordings for students.

Today, we live in an amazing era! It never ceases to amaze me how much we have at our finger tips. Students no longer have to travel anywhere to pick up a great recording. In a matter of seconds almost any recording you can think of is available to play on your computer, tablet, or phone.

Because so much is available, it is important for us steer our students in the right directing and guide them towards quality and meaningful listening experiences.

Here is a playlist for you to share with your students:

Tell us what we missed and what should be added in the comments below!

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