UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar

Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar teachers in class

Registration for the 7th Annual UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar at The University of North Texas will open at https://app.getacceptd.com/untmusicworkshops.

(This page has been updated as of December 20, 2022)

It will be held on the UNT’s campus in Denton, Texas from Thursday, June 22 through Saturday, June 24, 2023. If you have questions, please email: music.camps@unt.edu or call 940-369-6541

The seminar will be led by UNT Director of Vocal Jazz, Jennifer Barnes, and co-taught with Heather Nail (Director of Vocal Music, Valley High School, West Des Moines, IA) the award-winning choral/vocal jazz high school-level educator. The seminar will be packed full of content relevant to current or future educators who either are already working with students on vocal jazz or are considering starting vocal jazz with their students, with topics to include:

Learning about sound reinforcement

  • Working with rhythm sections (with special attention given to drum set and bass)
  • Choosing repertoire
  • Sound reinforcement
  • Rehearsal techniques unique to vocal jazz
  • Audition methods
  • Warm-ups and exercises to improve your ensemble's musicianship

Every attendee will come away with materials to take home and apply to their teaching immediately. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are offered, if desired, for a nominal fee (sometimes used to fulfill Professional Development requirements).

Enrollment will be limited to 20 educators on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to current or future educators (music education students welcome!) over age 18.

Attendees have the option of staying to attend the UNT Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop immediately following the seminar (for a reduced combined tuition) for a week of full immersion into all things Vocal Jazz!  Many educators who have done this in the past have encouraged some of their students to join them in attending the workshop to help give a "boost" for the following year, as well as having the fun of learning and participating alongside their students! For more information on the workshop, click here.  

The schedule for the seminar will be as follows (subject to change):

4:30 p.m. - Seminar Begins
7:30 p.m. - Move to the "Culinary Enjoyment & Fellowship Seminar" (out to eat together!)
9:00 a.m. - Seminar Begins
12:30 p.m. - Lunch Break
1:45 p.m. - Seminar Continues
5:30 p.m. - Dinner Break
7:00 p.m. - Seminar Continues
8:30 p.m. - Break for the Evening
9 a.m. - Seminar Continues
12:30 p.m. - Lunch Break
1:45 p.m. - Seminar Continues
6:00 p.m. - Seminar Concludes


  • Tuition: $350
  • "Early Bird" Tuition if registered and paid by March 15: $300
  • Combined tuition for educators who wish to stay to attend the Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop:  $795 (includes discount!)
  • Lodging (includes parking permit):
    • Adult Double (private room with shared bathroom):  $100 for 2 nights (Thursday, June 22 and Friday, June 23; Seminar concludes 6 p.m. Saturday evening); $50 each additional night (before or after)
    • Adult Single (private room with private bathroom): $120 for 2 nights (Thursday, June 22 and Friday, June 23; Seminar concludes 6 p.m. Saturday evening); $60 each additional night (before or after)
  • Meals:  $45 for 5-meal plan (Friday breakfast through Saturday lunch; Thursday evening we dine out together); additional meals may be purchased at the dining hall or off-campus
  • Parking permit for commuters: $15
  • Continuing Education Units Certificate (optional): $15
  • Acceptd.com application fee: $20

Note:  Linens are not provided!  Attendees must bring their own sheets & towels.


Registration policies

  • Full payment is due at the time of registration.
  • Full refunds less a 2.9% + $0.30 credit card processing fee and initial Acceptd application fee of $20 will be honored until May 26 when registration closes. After that date, we regret that no refunds will be able to be made.
  • The reason for these policies and deadlines is that we must adhere to deadlines related to housing, meals, and staff/faculty hiring, which is determined by the number of participants who commit to the registration process.

For further information about workshop registration, contact the Jazz Studies office at jazzworkshop@unt.edu.
For further information about the workshop content, email Jennifer.Barnes@unt.edu

Learning to play acoustic bass!


Educator Seminar participants at Fuzzy's Tacos


Learning to play jazz drums with a rhythm section!



"Hey Vocal Jazz Educators! Just letting you know that the UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar was fantastic! Nice two-day workshop, low stress, high interest sessions, great people to learn from and with! TONS of helpful information, methods, and thought-provoking ideas and philosophies. I highly recommend it for next year when you are wondering if you want to do a workshop. This one is IT! You WANT to do it! Thanks Jennifer Barnes and Curtis Gaesser. Fantastic weekend learning from the best."
Marcy Spencer, Director of Choirs, Gilbert H.S. (Gilbert, AZ)

"The UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar was well worth the effort.  I learned a great deal in the planning, organization, and delivery of a successful vocal jazz program.  All educators with vocal jazz as part of their schedule should consider this seminar".
Kent Ellingson, Director of Vocal Jazz, Booker T. Washington HSPVA, Dallas

"Whether you're beginning a vocal jazz ensemble or have years of experience directing one, this workshop will have details that will improve your teaching. The demonstrations with sound gear, rhythm section (especially working with a drummer), and vocal jazz ensemble rehearsal techniques really made the experience worthwhile. The instructors were open to answer any question and shared many of their personal teaching experiences with seminar members, which was really appreciated. I would highly recommend this workshop to any colleague!"
John Stafford, Assistant Director of Music and Director of Choral Activities, Kansas City Kansas Community College

"The UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar was a power-packed two days, literally covering every aspect of vocal jazz directing and teaching. From seminar directors Jennifer Barnes and Curtis Gaesser I learned techniques and gained insight that I'll use with my students at my school. If you are looking for a way to take your jazz choir to the next level, look no further...highly recommended!"
Dr. Michael Pagán, Director, Bravo! Jazz Singers, Ottawa University

"The UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar is an incredible opportunity for ensemble directors at the high school and collegiate levels to get an in-depth breakdown on the full spectrum of details which go into establishing a program of high caliber musicianship in your ensemble. Facilitators Jennifer Barnes and Curtis Gaesser are at the very top of their field, and their willingness to share their talents as educators and "insider knowledge" was a gift beyond measure. This seminar is a must-do event for anyone serious about creating and maintaining a successful vocal jazz ensemble program, which fosters students to not only excel as performers, but grow as finely-tuned, musical members of their community as well."
Kate Duncan, Professor of Popular & Commercial Music, Loyola University New Orleans