What impresses me most is the integrity of the Bloom School of Jazz to uphold the incredible legacy left to us by the masters.” – Rufus Reid, Jazz Bass Icon
David Bloom’s teaching has deeply affected thousands of musicians. Read what they have to say:
Martha Larson, Cellist, Vocalist, Business Owner
They say David Bloom is the best kept secret in Chicago, but it’s a shame he’s still a secret. He has changed more lives than anyone else in that town. He has brought together people from more diverse and unexpected demographics than you’ll see in any educational environment, music or otherwise. He has connected people across a variety of professional, educational, ethnic, racial, and generational boundaries. He has connected them and nurtured them into a family of beings who have grown together through the experience of tapping into in a much deeper part of life. Bloom has shown them what they can really do when they drill down into their heart and find out who they really are. That’s not just teaching, it’s religion. Anyone who lives in Chicago or who plays music in a serious way – amateur or professional – should take the opportunity to meet this man and find out what he does. If you fail to do so, it’s like passing by a window to your soul without bothering to simply lift the shade. Don’t make that mistake. Look. Just take a look, and see what you find. If you like what you see, he’ll help you open the door. If you play, if you sing, if you want to play, if you want to sing, go see David Bloom. He will change your life.
Alex Wurman– Hollywood film composer (Anchorman and March of The Penguins)
David Bloom is a name that I remember quite fondly. I was 14 years old, and already had years of different types of musical education. David offered something vital I hadn’t had before. He created the perfect balance of learning theoretical info, and enjoying positive musical interaction in a group lesson. He enabled us all to hear the effect of what we were doing, and not get caught up in the ‘practice’ so much that we lost sight of the goal – make good music!
Over the years, that approach has enabled me to learn so much, as I believe the values (mathematical and otherwise) in music perceived in a cohesive context, find a direct channel to a place of cerebral fertility and growth. Math, and cohesion…. Seems simple, right? The incredibly valuable lessons I first learned from David are still resonating in my home. Yeah, learn, and learn some more, but make sure you love what you’re doing, too! My son is now 14 years old. He has a better chance of fending off the ‘chops’ obsession, and creating great music thanks in large part to David Bloom!
My favorite mode: Dorian. That minor 3rd, nat-6th is so contemplative and enigmatic! Put that together with the Phrygian, and you’ve got the perfect question and answer jam that is potentially never ending! That’s what we did in those first lessons!
Mike Stern, Guitar Legend
“David Bloom is a wonderful player, composer, and teacher. The books he has written are invaluable, clearly written and very thorough. I highly recommend David Bloom’s books to players of all levels.”
Steven Rodby, 13-time Grammy Award-winning Bassist and Producer for the Pat Metheney Group
“David Bloom’s teaching has always been special, and studying with him has always been a great help to me, at different points in my career. Both his specific gifts as a teacher and his knowledge of the music in general allow him to make a serious contribution to anyone’s playing – beginner or seasoned professional. David can teach the notes, but is tireless with his attention to phrasing, dynamics, and the very meaning of music itself. The work runs wide, and it runs deep.”
Cliff Colnot, Conductor of Chicago Civic Orchestra and the DePaul Symphony Orchestra
I started studying with David Bloom in 1978 and in one form or another have been studying with him ever since. He gave me the distinct feeling that he had thought a great deal about the teaching of jazz and had a visionary and highly effective point of view about it. Also, that his musical values were pure and not tainted by politics, media, economics or social agendas. It was clear to me that he was compassionate, dedicated to his students, soulful and open to new ideas and concepts. His largest influence has been on my variety of melodic direction, dynamics, silence, and succinctness. The values I have learned from David translate directly to my work with large and small classical ensembles and to pop music.
Genres Beyond Jazz
Diego Alonso, Guitarist
“I have been playing flamenco guitar professionally for years and have always wanted to implement jazz concepts in flamenco (increasing my chord vocabulary, voice leading, improvising, using chord subs, etc). Unfortunately, I am not a jazz player and as a result have always felt somewhat overwhelmed and without direction in these areas. In less than a month, studying at the Bloom School of Jazz, I have increased my understanding of these jazz concepts tremendously and have been able to apply everything immediately to my own style of music. I’m learning a lot! Thanks David!”
Satya Gummuluri, Vocalist
“I came to the Bloom School trained in the very different tradition of Indian classical music. I wanted to understand various elements of jazz, from the basics of harmony and rhythm, to nuances of improvisation within the context, subtleties in composition and expression, to building a deeper appreciation of what I listen to.
All of this with no training in Western music and armed only with a keen ear. David works with me within my framework of musical understanding. He never imposes a canned method or rigid way of thinking, giving me only the mantra of aiming to produce the highest level of aesthetic as I express who I am. Within a short period of time on this journey at the Bloom School, I have picked up skills and knowledge in the jazz language and have surprised myself. There is a genuine interest in the student’s growth… that’s a rare gift in a teacher.”
Matt Ulery, Bassist
David Bloom opened my mind and ears to new conceptual approaches to improvising and composing. His personalized teaching methods get to the core of what matters in jazz and what is often missing; dynamic interest. I continue to practice his musical philosophies in playing, writing, and teaching. Bloom has been one of the most influential teachers I’ve encountered on my path.
Curt Bley, Bassist
I came to David Bloom in 2011 because of a debilitating musical problem I was experiencing. I felt like I had thousands of ideas fighting to come out every time I played. This resulted in music that was either pointless or paralyzed, and was EXTREMELY disappointing. I had known of David for years, and he was highly recommended by people whom I respected highly and trusted implicitly.
David helped me organize my thoughts in such a way that made it easier to choose and develop one idea at a time. In the process, Bloom reminded me of many things that I believe are important and beautiful in music that I had let slip aside in the last 25 years.
I’m so lucky I came to study with David. I came in to solve one problem, but thanks to his wholistic approach to music I have found myself redefined and reconfirmed. I have a lot to work on in the next 25 years. Thanks to Bloom it will be about bettering my own musical self. I feel like he has given me new life.
“Bloom School of Jazz makes the students become intensely aware of what we are and what more we can be. They push us to explore possibilities beyond our current limits whether as an individual or as a group. They teach all of those through music and expect to hear end results expressed as a form of music.”
“The Bloom School of Jazz has afforded me the opportunity to envision new possibilities in my playing. My practice habits have become more focused and goal oriented as a direct result of my experience here. Being a relative newcomer to jazz (performance?), I have found the course material to be quite challenging at times. However, the expertise and encouragement of the faculty, as well as the support of fellow students, helps to make the material approachable and engaging.”
Application of Bloom’s Teaching to Other Professions
Mitchell Max, NIH
“Through my study with David Bloom, my creativity in my pain research has surged.”
Dee Hall, Executive Vice-President, Integration, DRAFTFCB
“I just wanted to follow-up from our Jazz session this past month to let you know how fabulous it was! You really hit the key talking points and did it in a way that was both inspiring and entertaining. I think the addition of audience Interaction interwoven throughout the whole session worked quite well and added to the overall experience. Hopefully was can work together again down the road to bring to life the natural metaphor between Jazz and Integrated Marketing.”
“As a student of music, I have never been in a learning environment comparable to that of the Bloom School of Jazz. There is nothing like it. Period. We’re in a time where anyone can pick up a book, for example, on how to learn jazz licks in one week. It’s sad. On another level, anyone can get a degree in jazz performance if they’re willing to cough up the dough to go through school. In many ways, jazz “education” on a whole has done a wonderful job in widening the gap between the jazz masters, new aspiring artists, and listeners. During my studies at the Bloom School of Jazz, that gap that I’ve experienced for so many years has progressively diminished.
This is because the Bloom School not only teaches the aesthetic principles of jazz, but also helps one build a sense of individuality by finding their own voice (rather than discouraging it)… THAT is what the greats of jazz pursued: ultimate sense of self-hood. At the Bloom School, I’ve never been faced with so many tests and trials as a musician and human being. The overall progression has been towards acquiring the sense of courage to be yourself, and to show that through your music.”
Tom Burrell, Advertising CEO
“David Bloom is a master teacher. He teaches about life as well as teaches about music. it’s really one of the most wonderful things that has happened in my life.”