Elementary Program

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The best place to start:

at the beginning.


Elementary Music Program at Van Burren Middle School

All the best musicians in the world started somewhere. This program in an introductory program sponsored by the African American Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the Youth Jazz Collaborative. Students start by learning the basics of learning to play an instrument and reading music.

African American Performing Arts Center Music Outreach:


Mondays 3:30 - 5:00 pm AND Saturdays 10:00 -12:00 am

We are currently accepting donations of used musical instruments for this program. We are accepting band instruments- Clarinets, Trumpets, Saxophones, and Trombones. We are not accepting guitars at this time.

Band Instrument Drop-Off - 10 AM-3 PM Tues-Fri at the African American Performing Arts Center on the NM State Fairgrounds.

To Join our Elementary Program, email us at youthjazznm@gmail.com


Jazz Fundamentals

Jazz Fundamentals

The next layer of jazz skills


Jazz Fundamentals

For ages 13-18, these Tuesday after-school sessions held from 4-6 PM at the African American Performing Arts Center are designed for middle school, high school and string orchestra musicians who are just beginning to learn the art of jazz improvisation.

Fun soul jazz-style tunes and classic compositions such as Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" and Miles Davis's "All Blues" are among the songs used to develop knowledge of chords and harmonies as well as scales and cool jazz "licks" used for improvisation in a combo-style setting. A professional rhythm section plays with the group at each session creating a fun, exciting musical environment. A minimum of one to two years experience on an instrument, knowledge of major scales and good-to-excellent reading skills are needed. Fee: $5 per session for facility usage. Drop-ins welcome!


Advanced Jazz Methods


Taking it to the next level

Practicing performing and improvisation



High school and advanced middle school musicians who have learned the basics of theory and harmony for jazz improvisation and are ready for more challenging material meet weekly on a quest to learn the top 100 all-time jam session standards, using ears and instincts to learn and create harmonies, background figures and "shout choruses."

A thorough knowledge of major scales and excellent reading ability are essential for survival in this fast-paced "jam session" environment. Up to four new jazz standards are introduced every week, and we learn as we proceed to quickly identify chord qualities, scales, and useful "licks" and melodic figures to use in improvisation when we begin each tune. Professional rhythm section players play with the group at each session, and share tips and tricks with young rhythm section players.

To audition, please Contact Phil Arnold at youthjazznm@gmail.com

Saturdays, 2-4 PM at Sandia Prep (532 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque NM 87113)