JAMES BIRKETT - Ph.D., BMus(Hons), GDPLM, Cert. Ed., FHEA
A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, I have experience of teaching music at all levels and in all contexts (school, college and university - from beginner to professional levels). From 1986 – 2011, I developed and led the pioneering Graduate Diploma and BMus (Hons) degree programmes in Jazz, Popular and Commercial Music in the North East. I am now based at Sage Gateshead (UK) where I am currently Director of Jazz for the Youth Music Programme and Artistic Advisor: Jazz, Popular and Contemporary Music for The Centre for Advanced Training.

My special interest areas are performance and improvisation studies (my Doctorate developed new approaches to teaching and learning about improvisation), delivering seminars and papers on teaching and learning issues at National and International Conferences, Universities and Conservatoires.  Publications include Jazz Guitar Vols. I & II (International Music Publications), various articles (The Music Teacher, Popular Music Journal) and the development of jazz study and teaching materials for all levels and ages.

Research interests 
  • The theoretical and practical basis of jazz and tonal improvisation.

  • Jazz and popular music - repertoire, analysis and performance.

  • Experimental learning programmes for enhancing personal performance - incl. mental imaging.