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The influence of Phil Mattson on vocal jazz education in America: A case study

Sheryl Lynn Monkelien, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore how Phil Mattson, a professional conductor, arranger, and music educator, has influenced vocal jazz education in America. Case study methodology was chosen for the study. To document the extensive career of Mattson, data was collected through observations at Mattson's summer workshops and at The School For Music Vocations; through interviews of Mattson, his colleagues, former students, and workshop participants; and through the collection of representative written materials, recordings, arrangements, and artifacts. Informants responded to questions regarding their training and experience in music and in vocal jazz, and they discussed their interactions with Mattson. Mattson's innovations in vocal jazz and his training of music educators emerged as the main themes in the study. Specific innovations in vocal jazz credited to Mattson include the presentation of smaller groups; first twelve singers, then six; and having them sing “one on a mic”. This is considered the norm for vocal jazz ensembles today. Mattson's arranging for the vocal jazz ensemble brought a new level of quality and complexity to the body of literature for singers, provided much-needed repertoire for vocal jazz ensembles, and was considered innovative. Mattson's arrangements were challenging for the singers, interesting for the audience, and had great educational value for the music educator. Mattson's quest has been to train the singer-musician and music educator in the art of vocal jazz. Through recordings and live performances, Mattson's vocal jazz ensembles have inspired directors and singers to reach for a higher level of excellence with their own groups. Through his summer workshops and at The School For Music Vocations, Mattson continues to provide practical training and experiences in vocal jazz for choral educators. Phil Mattson has been passionate about quality vocal jazz since his earliest experiences with the genre. He has changed the direction of vocal jazz through creative advancements including arrangements and methods of teaching choral educators the art of vocal jazz. ^

Subject Area

Education, Music|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Monkelien, Sheryl Lynn, "The influence of Phil Mattson on vocal jazz education in America: A case study" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3022651.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3022651

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