Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2019

Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Manning, John

First Committee Member

Allen, Jonathan

Second Committee Member

Schendel, Amy

Third Committee Member

Agrell, Jeffrey

Fourth Committee Member

Cohen, Mary


The original focus of this research paper was to ask the question, “Why are there so few versatile trombonists?” The research suggested that there were curriculum problems in higher education associated with the general lack of performance versatility amongst trombonists. In 2014 the Task Force for the Undergraduate Music Major (TFUMM) determined that the undergraduate curriculum was lacking improvisation and creativity. One of the core musical skills that is essential in improvising is audiation. After determining that audiation is one of the keys to performance versatility, I researched jazz pedagogy and how this area of higher education includes and utilizes audiation and improvisation in curriculum. I concluded that traditional conservatory-style pedagogy is lacking improvisation and audiation in its curriculum because of the bias towards the European music tradition and the institutional treatment of jazz as a legitimate art form that is not equal to the European music tradition.To address the issue of performance versatility amongst trombonists, I created the “Modern Trombonist Curriculum” in 2016. This was my first attempt to address undergraduate curriculum by exposing students to a three-studio model, literature versatility, and utilizing audiation as the foundation of their learning. I sent out this curriculum to ten educators and performers for critique and to provide their thoughts on the current landscape of performance versatility, audiation, and my curriculum. After the interviews and the insight of my dissertation committee, I created a new curriculum titled “The Versatile Trombonist” to address the constraints of time, colleague involvement, student engagement, mental health, fiscal concerns, and other issues that I did not originally consider. Although I plan to continually modify and adjust this curriculum, this current version can be used as a benchmark for future educators that desire to include audiation and performance versatility in their current or future trombone studios.


Audiation, Brass Pedagogy, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Pedagogy, Music Curriculum, Trombone


x, 277 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 75-77).


Copyright © 2019 Austin Seybert

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