January 15, 2021 - OMTA Achievement Auditions Committee
9:30am - Zoom Meeting
February 17, 2021 - "Speaking the Blues" - Brock Chart, presenter
11:00am-noon - Zoom Meeting (see summary below)
Improvisation is difficult to teach students. How do you practice something that always changes? This was a question I struggled with while working with my own private students on blues improvisation. The answer I discovered was to tell a story. I’ve found that approaching improvisation with a two-note story telling exercise is a relatable, creative and fun method of teaching a difficult subject.
Stories are something everyone understands. Most of my students love to read books, watch movies and binge watch the latest Netflix series. Students are also learning about story development in Reading or English classes at school and I use several of the same terminology such as: Setting, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action and Resolution to talk about improvisation.
Brock has been awarded two Student Music Awards in DownBeat magazine for composition in jazz writing categories in both large ensemble writing, and small group writing. He was recently named an honorable mention in the 2017 New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions for his piece, "Down to the Wire.", and was named 2nd Place in the Kansas Choral Composition Prize for his SATB piece from Christina Rossetti’s poem, “Echo.” Last year Brock composed original music for the Museum of Modern Art’s short film series, “How To See” which was listed in the British Film Institute’s list of the Best Video Essays of 2019. More recently Brock has focused on composing piano education literature and has self-published two supplementary piano books written for late beginner and early intermediate students called “Five-Finger Jazz!”.