This post is in response to an article on the AAJ (All About Jazz) website. It seems that MENC (Music Educators National Conference) is coming to the rescue of Jazz Educators since the demise of the IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education). OK, enough with the initials already; on with the post.It strikes me as a somewhat sad state of affairs that jazz educators need to be 'served' and the profession needs to be 'promoted'.
I might even argue that the profession of jazz educating doesn't exist in a traditional sense of the word. After all, what are the options for a jazz educator upon graduation from college? Either work in a traditional school system where one has few if any colleagues or opt to abandon education and/or music altogether.
The goal 'to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all' is a lofty one. Perhaps MENC should contribute to a fund that goes toward teaching jazz educators business and entrepreneurial skills so they can band together and open schools in communities around the country.
Turning our attention to the health of the profession is a great idea. We should be as passionate about music educating as we are about music education. If the benefits of teaching music were as apparent as other professions, we wouldn't need to be promoted or served.