Congratulations Richard on receiving this year’s Media award at the Scottish Jazz Awards
Richard Michael, director of Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra and resident jargon buster on BBC Radio Scotland’s weekly magazine programme Jazz House, won the Media award.
The awards, which are organised by the Scottish Jazz Federation and Audacious Music and this year sponsored by Creative Scotland, the Herald newspaper group and Le Monde, were established in 2010 to celebrate the vibrancy of the Scottish jazz scene across the music’s many styles.
Cathie Rae of the Scottish Jazz Federation said: “We’re very proud of the quality of jazz played both within Scotland and by Scottish-born musicians such as Jim Mullen on the international stage. We’re also pleased that mentors such as Richard Michael and projects including Brass Jaw’s school workshops continue to encourage large numbers of young musicians to take up the music and ensure that the healthy state of jazz in Scotland is on course to continue for years to come. These awards recognise the magnificent effort that goes into sustaining careers and interest in the music.”
THE hard work and dedication of Kirkcaldy jazz musician Richard Michael has been recognised in Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday honours.
Richard has been given a British Empire Medal for his services to music education, having spent more than 30 years teaching students in Fife.
The 62-year-old was a music teacher at Beath High School in Cowdenbeath for 31 years before he retired five years ago.
He is now a visiting professor for St Andrews University and a broadcaster on Radio Scotland’s Jazz House.
But among many in Fife, Richard may possibly be best known for his role as director of Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra.
It’s a position which he has held for 36 years.
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Split in to 4 separate learning sections the First Step series is a fantastic resource for classroom teachers and community group leaders to get kids clapping, stomping and grooving through the basics of rhythm, beats, and grooves.
This series of audio podcasts is packed with rhythm games,performances and improvisation on simple themes, aural explanations of key musical concepts - and a beginners guide to harmony.
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Here are example podcasts from ‘Walkin’ a Groove’ covering ‘displacement’
from LondonJazz (nominated Best Publication in Parliamentary Jazz Awards)
HARK. Richard Michael, jazz educator, inspirer of the Youth Jazz Orchestra of the Kingdom of Fife, former schoolteacher, possessor of the infectious smile above…. has just won a Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Award for his Edinburgh Fringe Show “The History of Jazz Piano.”
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At last, an online jazz teaching resource which really hits the spot ! Would be jazzers do not want to wade through endless text and chord theory before playing their first note of jazz. They want to get playing straight away. Simply laid out, this clear and well thought through practical resource demonstrates just how easy it is to get started, and to learn the theory along the way, in the hands of the right teacher.
Lessons are presented in bite sized chunks with clear and simple exercises which can be worked on immediately. By integrating scale and chord based work from the outset it is possible to get up and running in a short space of time and can be accessed from any level of prior piano playing experience. Progression is logical and well paced, the video material demonstrations easy to follow with excellent visual and audio detail.
Richard Michael’s ability to make something appear so accessible, something which immediately sets the student at ease and to which they are likely to return is borne from many years of experience in the classroom, an infectious sense of enthusiasm for everything he does and supreme musicianship.
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Peter Noke – Feb 2011
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