Fine Tune Your Jazz Band

This professional development session is intended for teachers or students who are currently running a jazz band at the junior high, middle school, or high school level, looking to start a group at their school, or anticipate teaching a jazz band in the future.  The topics covered will include:

Roundtable discussion about what charts work well for your ensemble and how to adapt existing charts to accommodate the instrumentation and ability level of your students.

Methods for introducing students to jazz improvisation, navigating and adapting chord changes, and emulating jazz style to sound (not just read) good.

Songs and improvisation concepts to teach by ear to improve students aural and listening skills.

Rhythm section coaching for piano, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion.

Arkansas Department of Education Teacher Professional Development Approval Document


This event is open to teachers and University of Arkansas students. Completion of the course provides 4.5 credit hours of Arkansas Professional Development.


Oct 26, 2019


10:30 am – 2:30 pm


Suzuki Music School Room 201 – 859 W. Clinton Dr. 


Pay online. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted.

For More Information About Registration     David Owens  – 479-575-4702 –

For More Information About Curriculum      Chris Teal –


10:30 – 11:30 am: Learning Songs and Charts Effectively and Holistically

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Creating Arrangements for Your Specific Ensemble from Recordings and Lead Sheets

12:30 – 1:00 pm: Lunch

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Existing Repertoire for the Flexible Ensemble

1:30 – 2:45 pm: Adapting Solo Section Chord Changes to Fit Your Student’s Ability

2:45 – 3:30 pm: Roundtable Discussion About Best Practices and Resources


Chris Teal



Chris Teal teaches drum set, beginning jazz combo, and popular music at the University of Arkansas and the Jazz Workshops for the U of A Community Music School. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Whitworth University, Teal is the co-Director of the Institute for Creative Music. Before relocating to Fayetteville, where he plays with the U of A Faculty Jazz Quintet, the Jake Hertzog Trio, the Matt Smith Group, and TheatreSquared, he was one of the most in-demand drummers in western New York, performing with the IfCM Collective, Dave Rivello Ensemble, the Mighty High and Dry, John Nyerges Trio, and Silver Arrow Band. Chris has released three albums with his band Quintopus on ears&eyes Records (Voyage to Ornoc, April Showers, and Prehistoric Beach) and three albums with the Institute for Creative Music Collective on Outside in Music Records (Volume 1, A Tribute to Prince, and A Tribute to Bjork.)

In addition to his active career as a performer, Teal strives to build new opportunities for students to experience the arts by teaching improvisation, aural learning, and composition through the Institute for Creative Music.  The IfCM recently launched “Creative Jazz Fundamentals,” an online school for learning jazz. Along with other Teaching Artists from the Institute for Creative Music, Teal has presented workshops and performances at schools throughout the United States and spoken at the 2017 NYU Impact Conference and 2015 TEDxFlourCity conference.