The School for Improvisational Music is a core group of musician/teachers who are committed to providing a instruction for instrumentalists wanting to study improvisation in all of its contemporary forms and implications. The impetus for this has been our shared view that while advanced jazz education is of the utmost importance, the person wanting to study improvisation has but a few choices made available to them.
We offer exciting options for individuals who wish to study improvisation within a community of working teachers and students. Learning is experienced by everyone – students and faculty alike. We have implemented a uniquely conceptualized curriculum and have selected teachers who come from a base of valuable experience, as well as having the requisite interest and ability to mentor young people. At SIM, interaction between students and teachers is commonplace.
• The unique structure of our program allows us to provide the contextual frame which is necessary when truly preparing a student for life after college.
• SIM Gives students the space to explore or reconnect with their purely creative urges.
• SIM Gives students the opportunity to learn and think for themselves via experience and reflection. Above all, inspiration breeds creativity, creativity breeds experience and experience breeds learning. That is SIM’s core education philosophy.
The cost to attend SIM is considerably less than the tuition charged at many major universities in New York City, and is priced to reflect our belief in teaching as a service and as the sharing of ideas.
We feel a responsibility to lead young individuals into the real world and, more importantly, to help guide and prepare them for the transition out of the comfortable, structured certainty of a school environment, into the uncertainty of the world that will await them. Through honest teaching, we would like to help these individuals develop ways to think for themselves and to prepare them for the time when they will have to creatively shape their own lives.
Both students and teachers desire another kind of environment for teaching and learning. The existing choices for higher education are not very diverse. In the case of jazz education programs, there are examples of experienced players and/or composers who are on the faculty of colleges, but they are either rarely active, or they are retired, or they do not have the freedom to teach in the way that they desire.
Many mainstream teaching and learning systems are predicated on a hierarchical belief in which the students (the “novices”) passively learn from their teachers (“the masters”). In our structure we put more of an emphasis on inspiring students and giving them the time and space to collaborate and learn from each other, as well as from their teachers in an osmotic way. We feel the role of our teachers is to inspire the students to work and learn. Beyond that, the teachers monitor and mentor rather than control. They maintain the utmost reverence for the students’ growth process, and remain mindful of the fact that that process requires patience and support. We feel that students (through their own experiences together) can learn a great deal for and from themselves and needn’t always wait passively for instructors to provide them with answers. With that being said, we offer an environment that mirrors any artistic community where the students are young artists engaging in a search and discover process.
The faculty is comprised of some of the most creative musicians active in the New York jazz and creative music community. Our liquid structure makes it possible for these individuals to do their “field work” and bring these valuable experiences into the classroom. Because of their ongoing professional activities, they teach naturally and from a base of immediate experience, in addition to bringing new thoughts, concepts and materials into the classroom. Philosophically, we feel that the insight and experience of these active artists should be made available to students as the norm rather than the exception.
SIM creates an educational environment that goes as deep and as far as the working, successful professional musicians feel it should, and beyond. SIM sets up the environment where teachers and students truly interact, learning from each other in the best possible sense.
Again, the cost to attend SIM is 70% less than the tuition at many major universities in the New York City area. Our school is priced to reflect our belief in teaching as a service, a sharing of ideas.