Rob Levit is now booking school assemblies, workshops, residencies and motivational talks for youth

Residencies and workshops available:

Inquire about the availability of Maryland State Arts Council funds for your school!


"Mr. Levit was exceptional in ability to introduce a sophisticated art form, jazz, with a combination of clarity, respect for his audience as creative individuals, and impressive musical talent. Each member of the Trio spoke with sincerity and passion about his or her instrument and contribution to The Trio. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the presentation while coming away with fresh knowledge about jazz and much to think about in terms of their own creative pursuits."
Westminster School, Annandale, Virginia

"He was successful in finding creative ways to tie in the art, poetry, dance, and music. In general, he truly created an atmosphere of creativity and excitement. Dr. Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools, observed our center this summer and formally noted Mr. Levit's positive contribution to our program."
Program Director, Maryland Summer Center at Maryland Hall, Annapolis, Maryland

"As part of our project, it was an honor to have Rob Levit speak to the students about continuing the arts in their area, and he gave them a creative, interactive lesson about jazz and scat. He has the ability to effectively communicate to and bring about the best in young people. He was able to bring up some young students with very little experience, and have them step outside the box and reach their hidden potential."
Project Director, Bravo On With The Show (NBC)

"His talent and cultivated knowledge of the music world provided our community with lessons and activities filled with fun, creativity, and appreciation for music in the broadest sense."
Founding Director, The Summit School, Edgewater, Maryland

Contact or 410-263-8779


Description and Plans for Residency: Journey Into Jazz/Rob Levit

Journey into Jazz

Description: Jazz is more than a musical style and cultural history – the art of jazz improvisation serves as a model for teamwork, expressing one’s individuality while contributing to the whole, and developing speed and accuracy of thought.

With instruction from a world-class jazz trio and hands-on experiential learning for students, Journey into Jazz provides wonderful insight into the process known as jazz.

Students will be introduced to the work of several great jazz masters and how the lessons of their music can be applied to student’s lives. Students learn to scat-sing and acquire basic performance skills to aid in developing self confidence, awareness, and teamwork.

Space needed: Classroom(s) and multi-purpose room/auditorium for performance(s).

Grades: 6-12

Pans and Activities:

I. Introduction to the origins and history of jazz.
II. Key question: Why is jazz important to American social and cultural history?
III. Introduction to improvisation and teamwork.
IV. Key activity: Students participate in call and response clapping and singing.
V. Students define improvisation and teamwork for themselves on basis of what occurred in group activity.
VI. Dixieland – The art of teamwork. Music of Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five’s and Seven’s will be played and discussed as an example of a group working together.
VII. Key activity: Using basic percussion and mouth/vocal instruments, students will create a virtual Dixieland band.
VIII. Scat-singing – the art of personal expression. The music of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong illustrates that one’s voice and instrument are the same and that each jazz great “sang” through their instrument to develop their individuality.
IX. Key activity: Students come up with “jazz syllables” and are invited to participate in “jam session” with Rob Levit Trio. The goal of the activity is to demonstrate that each student has the capacity of self-expression but it must fit into the context of a group.
X. Bebop – The art of speed and accuracy of thought. The music of Charlie Parker, bebop pioneer of fast and complex musical lines, is the model for students to create a “musical strategy game” using their scat-skills, basic knowledge of jazz history, and communication skills. Students are divided into teams and each team creates a skit/game based on the music they hear. Practice will be given but each skit/game will be planned in 15 minutes and the actual performance will last only 3 minutes.
XI. Final performance – culminating assembly with participants and performance with Rob Levit Trio with students invited to “sit-in” with the Trio and demonstrate their newly acquired skills.

©2005 Rob Levit

Description and Plans for Residency: Leonardo’s Studio/Rob Levit

Leonardo’s Studio

Description: Leonardo da Vinci is widely considered to be the greatest multi-disciplinary artist who ever lived – expert painter, writer, draftsman, and musician. Students, using examples from Leonardo’s journals and artwork, will be introduced to three concepts that they can apply in their own creative lives: taking appropriate risks to work toward mastery, persistence in problem-solving and innovation, and thinking out of the box. Students will create self-portraits using photos, create visual art self-portraits, work with unlined journals to learn how Leonardo worked.

Space needed: Classroom(s) and multi-purpose room/auditorium for performance(s).

Grades: 6-12

Plans and Activities:

I. Students are briefly introduced to the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci using large reproductions of his work and journals.
II. Key question: How does one individual learn to excel at so many things?
III. Creative journals are introduced. Non-lined journals are distributed and students are invited to participate in a “journaling jam” of creating as many observations of their surroundings as possible and then writing a poem or paragraph on their findings and sharing them, if desired.
IV. Key activity: using digital cameras or disposable cameras, students will be invited to make self-portraits using meaningful objects and surroundings.
V. Key question: What can someone learn about an artist from the way they portray themselves? What can artist learn about himself?
VI. Key activity: Students will be invited to interpret their self-portraits by making a collage, painting, or drawing of the photo in their creative journals. They will then write a creative piece on their interpretation and be invited to share them.
VII. Key question: What did you learn about yourself and others that you did not know before?
VIII. Group activity: Students are shown Leonardo’s innovative sketches and designs for inventions that were hundreds of years ahead of their time. Students will then be divided into teams and invited to create blue prints and designs for a new invention in their sketchbooks. The catch is that all students will be given the exact same materials to create the invention.
IX. Final activity: Students will show blueprints, how their invention was constructed, how it works (theoretical if not practically), and then write a final creative piece on what they have learned.

©2005 Rob Levit

Jazz Scat-Singing and an Audience Jam Session with The Rob Levit Trio

After a short introduction to the basics of jazz and short jazz performance with his Trio, Rob Levit will briefly demonstrate how the art of scat-singing has the potential to release the creative spirit for the non-musician.

Members of the audience will be invited to come up, “sit-in with the band” for a jam session, trade choruses, and do all the things that jazz artists do to foster a creative, supportive, and fun atmosphere for innovation and improvisation.

During the event, audience members will be transformed into “jazz cats and hipsters” who understand just how important the ability to improvise, take risks, and think on your feet is to innovation.

Scat-singing is positively addictive and entertaining once you get the hang of it with a few simple steps:

  • Participating in a rousing blues call and response, like a giant gospel choir, with the entire audience.
  • Learning a few key syllables and “jazz licks” that can be internalized on the spot.
  • Taking a solo flight and trading ideas with a live jazz band and fellow participants in a live jam!

This method enables participants to access a level of creativity and non-verbal communication that they only have dreamed of.

Scat-singing is a fun and easy method of using sung syllables like be-bop-ba-doo-bop to imitate the sound of jazz trumpet and saxophone masters like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie “Bird” Parker. It was and still is practiced by jazz musicians “in the know” to give their instrumental music a vocal, flowing, and human touch. The non-musician can access these same skills and ideas and apply the same spirit to their own creativity

Anyone can learn to scat through a simple process and learn how to access the power of improvisation and creativity in their own lives. Learning to scat with a jazz group teaches the individual to “loosen up and play” but also how to do it in the context of team work.