2020 Pandemic Fall Session
Join PYJO this Fall! Interact with other musicians!

2 levels - General or Vanguard

October 5 - December 7

Let’s inspire each other to make music. Music is therapy, music is expression, music is powerful.

Weekly 45 minute Zoom Meetings

General level

Mondays 5:30-6:15pm

Vanguard level
Mondays 7-7:45pm

There will be 2 charts assigned to each level. We will work through the big band & small group chart as we would in a live rehearsal. We can’t play together, but we have developed some good tricks for getting a good work-out on our parts while online together. Solo concepts will be a big focus. The social aspect is a nice bonus! We love to see you all!

General Level

All PYJO students are welcome here & we are excited to add new musicians to the program. If you are new to us, and unsure which level, simply check in by email to determine General vs Vanguard.

For former PYJO 1 & 2 students, this will be fun! The charts have well suited challenges & are a good opportunity for all of you to work on soloing.

If you were last in PYJO Pops! or PYJO 3, this will stretch your abilities. Many of you were ready to move up, we are excited to help you. If you want to learn, we want you to participate!

Vanguard Level

PYJO Vanguard members are a mixture of advancing professionals, band directors, college students & top high school musicians. PYJO 1 students are welcome to rise to the challenge & join us in Vanguard this fall! The music is much more challenging & the solo concepts are more advanced than the General Level.

If you have less time or were on the new side to PYJO 1 (a solid high school level), you may want to stick with the general level. We will always find new challenges if you need them.

What We’ve Learned

After 2 sessions of online PYJO,(one a recording session, the other online zoom meetings/videos) and discussions with PYJO families, we have learned that a mixture of these ingredients would serve students the best.

Students need to meet to feel accountable & to get bursts of motivation from us & each other.

They also need self-paced side projects that push them to the next level.

Self-Paced Video Learning

We are creating videos that accompany the session. Topics such as ‘tune of the week’ or improvisation concepts, theory topics, groove etc will be included. You will also have access to some archives from our spring & summer classes. This bonus material allows us to share the topics we would cover in live classes. Students can pick level appropriate challenges & work at their own pace. Questions can be emailed or asked during zoom meetings.

Interactive Parts

Everyone will work on two charts, one Big Band & one small group. These will have specially made interactive play alongs to practice with.

Track 1- Has your part removed (so you can practice that lead part over the band etc)

Track 2 - Has your part as the focus so you can hear exactly how it should sound. This is for practicing style & accuracy.

2 levels General or Vanguard

Optional Recording

Record your parts! Be part of the history of PYJO by recording the parts you worked so hard on. We can’t have a concert during a pandemic, but we can have a lasting recording.

Recordings can be made on your own using phones or any level of recording gear you have. IF possible, we can record your part or maybe your section at Bspace on our pro gear. (Pending safety of in person meetings/opening)

Are you overwhelmed by the thought of recording yourself? Or just too busy? We are totally OK with you participating in the session & keeping up as best as you can.

The recording is OPTIONAL! NO STRESS!

We want music to be in your life!

Take advantage of being cooped up. Log in practice hours that you may NEVER have time for when post-pandemic life starts up again.

The hours you log in during this time will follow you through the rest of your musical lives.

New Students

LEARN to PLAY it, HEAR it, TEACH it!

Returning Students

Easy Registration here!!

PYJO Alumni are around the world spreading music!

Beyond just musicians, PYJO alumni have branched out to many fields in music: College music professors, ethnomusicologists, radio hosts, band directors, private music instructors, touring musicians, L.A. studio musicians, composers, arrangers, booking agents, software developers, bandleaders, studio engineers & more. Not to mention the doctors, rocket scientists & others who still play music to relax!

Listen to PYJO!

Links to Videos & mp3 of PYJO bands, summer bands, combos etc.

The Burlingame Space - Home of PYJO

Rehearsals, Lessons, Recitals & Meeting Space. Rental Available!

PYJO Performances

Click here for current concert info.

Private Lessons

All Levels - Beginners to Professionals!

Ben & Michelle Medler

Founded The Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra in 2001.