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10 | Introducing Jazz Repertoire to Young Singers: Interview with Mim Adams

February 11, 2016

Overview: Why is vocal jazz is so FANTASTIC for young (teen) singers?

Jazz Educator and co author of the FULL VOICE Workbooks, Mim Adams discusses why this genre is ESSENTIAL for the developing singer. She breaks down the unique musical challenges in this popular genre and offers some repertoire suggestions to help teachers and students explore and discover this music. 




About Our Guest:
Mim Adams is a vocalist, private voice teacher and Jazz Educator from Toronto. She is also the co-author of the FULL VOICE Workbooks and one amazing voice arranger. (See Mim’s detailed about page here)

http://mimadams.co m/


Here are Mim’s top Jazz repertoire recommendations:

1. Start your young singers off with Jazz Standards with a  RELATABLE STORY:

I Fall in Love Too Easily (Styne/Cahn) – Chet Baker

Honourable mentions:
Everything Happens to Me (Adair/Dennis),
Imagination (Van Heusen/Burke),
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (Mann/Hilliard),
That’s All (Brandt/Haymes)

2. Songs that are great for allowing singers to begin playing with
melodic and rhythmic embellishment. (aka, songs with LONG NOTES) 

Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) – Billie Holiday

Honourable mentions:
Time After Time (Styne/Cahn),
What Is This Thing Called Love (Porter),
I’ve Never Been in Love Before (Loesser),
Moonlight in Vermont (Blackburn/Suessdorf)

3. Songs that have SIMPLE HARMONY and are really good for introduction
to melodic embellishment and scatting:

Centerpiece (Edison/Hendricks) – Lambert, Hendricks & Ross

Comes Love (Stept/Brown/Tobias) – Stacey Kent

Honourable mentions: 
All of Me (Marks/Simons),
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Farrés),
I Want To Be Happy (Youmans/Caesar)

4. Great jazz standards with awesome SWINGING RHYTHMS to help develop the appropriate feel: 

They All Laughed (Gershwin/Gershwin) – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Honourable mentions:
Witchcraft (Coleman/Leigh),
Just in Time (Styne/Comden/Green),
I Thought About You (Van Heusen/Mercer)

5. Jazz music uses beautiful sounding chords. Young singers need to become familiar with 7th chords sounds and extensions (rather than triads). So simple jazz songs with COMPLEX SOUNDS can really challenge and inspire the student:
There’s No You (Hopper/Adair) – June Christy

Honourable mention:
Born to Be Blue (Tormé/Wells)