A book called "Essential Elements for Jazz Ensemble” written by Mike Steinel and published by Hal Leonard was written in 2001 for students interested in learning Jazz. The series is very well designed with historical references, definitions of musical terms, and includes two CD's with each book. The inclusion of the two CD's allows the students to practice at home with appropriate musical backgrounds and aural examples of the music found in this book. It is extremely important for young musicians to hear examples of jazz music in order to interpret the music properly. Some of the phrasing, musical styling and other musical devices that are characteristic in jazz music needs to be listened to first and then practiced. This book effectively combines listening and playing extremely well. It teaches students with little or no Jazz background how to interpret America's only indigenous musical art form. The well-written exercises, songs, and especially the inclusion of the CD's is the perfect compliment to the work we do with all our jazz ensembles here in Caldwell-West Caldwell Public Schools. We use this book all year long with the Sixth Grade Jazz Band students to develop improvisational skills, increase knowledge of important American musicians and to develop an aesthetic awareness of Jazz. “Essential Elements for Jazz” can be purchased at most music stores and online. For more information and to see the book, click here . This last hyperlink (in blue) will bring you to a commercial for profit, jazz music web site where you can look at more information and purchase the book if you choose to. It is not meant to be an endorsement for the specific site and is included for informational purposes only.