• Story

    Learn from Luminaries

    Years of performance forge a teaching talent who leads the next generation.

    You won’t find our professors standing in front of large lecture halls. Isolated from the masses. Residing in an ivory tower. At The New School, typical professors are ones who actively immerse themselves in their fields, elevate their craft, and contribute to the world. No one better demonstrates the dynamic, interactive scholarly space our educators inhabit than School of Jazz professor Jane Ira Bloom.

    An accomplished soprano saxophonist who has recorded and produced 16 albums, Bloom continues to perform with notable jazz musicians at sellout events. She pursues her own unique sound by incorporating movement and improvisation — techniques she learned live on the stage.

    Bloom brings this philosophy of learning through performance to The New School, teaching classes that help students be authentic, bring more of themselves into performance, improvise in open structures, and slow down to find their personal sound. As a performer who has incorporated outside interests into her music, Bloom also encourages students to explore research and topics from other disciplines in their compositions, resulting in pieces inspired by subjects like text and the rhythm of words and cloud formation.

    Breaking as many barriers in the classroom as she does onstage, Bloom, along with School of Drama professor Joe Grifasi, teaches a unique course that brings together students from the School of Jazz, Mannes School of Music, and the School of Drama to create an interdisciplinary performance piece. Drawing on her firsthand knowledge that musicians need the freedom to explore, Bloom treats students in the class as working artists. As a result, students gain the necessary vocabulary to collaborate with other artists and expand both their thinking and their creative output.

    Under this groundbreaking performer’s tutelage, student musicians find their unique voice, and as they make discoveries, the professor is right there with them, finding new beginnings in years-old notes.

    The New School is a force of new teaching, learning, and performing. Be a Force of New.

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