Students at the Music for All Summer Symposium Jazz Division have the opportunity to express themselves by improvising new rhythms while learning new, unfamiliar pieces and scales. They also get the unique opportunity to work with world renowned artists with a variety of musical backgrounds and skills. One of those artists is Sammy K, a Yamaha Performing Artist specializing in drums, based out of Los Angeles. Sammy K’s dynamic teaching style is reflective of his experience as a clinician and performer. He has played and taught at different camps, festivals, and organizations around the world. He teaches a variety of drumming genres such as drum set, marching percussion, and even facilitates drum circles. Sammy K is also the creator of the “Groove Boot Camp,” a program for all ages and learning levels that teaches the basics of Jazz Drum Set that are necessary to play in a Big Band. Sammy K’s magnetic energy and teaching methods leave his students energized and ready to play.
“Sammy K is a gifted musician and educator,” says John Wittmann, Yamaha Director of Artist Relations and Education. “His energy is contagious and his effect on students is life-changing.”
The Jazz Division is an overall entertaining week. Students have the chance to learn in a Big Band environment. They also take classes in jazz improvisation, jazz history, and jazz arranging, as well as participate in jam sessions. The Jazz Division goes beyond the notes on a sheet of paper, with students reflecting on who they are as musicians and as people. The Symposium also offers the Directors’ Academy for high school and middle school band directors.
Mark Buselli, Division Head and Coordinator, thinks all directors and students should attend. “Music teaches us a lot, not only about ourselves, but about others and how to treat others.” As one student remarked, “It can’t be put into words how awesome it is.”