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The Burnett School of Music is an applied methodology and practice regarding the study of music which has been developed over several decades. Research and development is ongoing and continual. Validations are inculcated into subject matter syllabi.


o Music Educators / Jazz Band Directors: As an official Conn-Selmer Artist, I may also be available at no cost to your school to conduct my various jazz improvisation and applied music theory clinics with your students. Learn all 12 Major Scales in one class period. Learn how to improvise over all jazz chord progressions in one class period.

o Private Organizations / Inquiries Welcome: I was invited by Shelly Kinnune of Kansas City Early College Academy to be one of the artists/clinicians to work with a quintet of young jazz artists who are among the selected Special Guest Groups participating in the 2017 Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California. The group is a fine jazz quintet (four members shown in the video). The March 19 clinic went very well. I am not making the trip with them. They are going to have a blast and meet other great artists of their generation … See the blog about this clinic at

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How playing an instrument benefits your brain – Anita Collins

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout. Lesson by Anita Collins, animation by Sharon Colman Graham.

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How to practice effectively…for just about anything – Annie Bosler and Don Greene

Mastering any physical skill takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. But what does practice actually do to make us better at things? Annie Bosler and Don Greene explain how practice affects the inner workings of our brains. Lesson by Annie Bosler and Don Greene, animation by Martina Meštrović.
Leavenworth USD 453 School Bands Teaching Assistant

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Mr. Burnett founded the Kansas City Youth Jazz program combo program.

Kansas City Youth Jazz – Intensive Clinic on “Black Orpheus” arr. by Paul Murtha (Sunset Band) and “Recordame” arr by Eric Richards (Reno Band) |


Mr. Burnett has noteworthy college-level teaching experience as a former director of the jazz ensemble program at Missouri University of Science and Technology, formerly University of Missouri-Rolla, where he was employed as an adjunct Lecturer in Music for more than 10 years (academic years: 1984-1990 and 1996-2000) until returning home to the Kansas City area. He was bestowed as an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma chapters at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

He was also one of the principle artist/educators featured at the First Annual Jazz Education Forum and Jazz Festival in 1998, which was held in Jefferson City, Missouri. At which, he performed with his own quartet, as well as with another stellar group comprised of: Bill Cunliffe (piano), Kristin Korb (bass), and Yoron Israel, (drums).

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The Shed – Burnett Music

Mr. Burnett has taught several hundred students over the years. Specifically, and for example, as of January 2011, he had averaged teaching 33 private music lessons each week over the fifteen year period: 1996-2011.  This fact results in his having taught at least 24,750 music lessons since retiring from active duty service with US military bands in 1996 alone.

I want all of my students to have a firm grasp of the fundamentals and practical factors of music performance, along with a basic set of technical skills that will successfully allow them to perform music on their respective instruments in most any ensemble context.

Having the opportunity to reach private students at this level of their training, I am primarily trying to teach students to play their instruments well by getting the fundamentals ingrained. I want my students to know their scales, know how to count rhythms and be exposed to representative literature on their instruments.

My job is to primarily help a student find their weakness and assist toward making them strong. I also want those students who do leave my studio after high school and go on to college to be able to start doing college-level studies from their first semester in a professor’s studio.

And, I don’t want any student leaving my studio whom I didn’t diagnose weaknesses and provide a coherent process for them to be corrected. My position is that this entire private instruction process is actually about what is best for the musical growth and development of each individual student.
– Chris Burnett, [Teaching Philosophy: 1983 – present]

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Mr. Burnett’s Private Teaching Studio Practice is always based upon a progressive syllabus that includes studies toward superior technical development and the focused study of both, classical and jazz literature.

  • This studio is reserved for primarily saxophone students who are committed to their own musical development through individual practice away from private lesson meetings and the inherent school ensemble class meetings.
  • There are only a limited number of student spaces available. And, although sincere inquiries are always welcomed, exceptions to this limit are extremely rare due to Mr. Burnett’s limited availability at this point in his career.

Private Teaching Practice Philosophy

Mr. Burnett always focuses his private teaching practice upon mentoring students toward mastering essential practical factors of music. The combination of his diverse educational background and professional experiences as both, a musician and teacher, has allowed him to effectively provide high-quality music instruction to a relatively broad demographic of individuals ranging from beginners, intermediate and advanced students; to working with fellow professionals on specific musical issues.

Recent Private Teaching Practice History

Until August 2012, Mr. Burnett had taught a medium-sized studio of 30-40 woodwind instrumentalists each week at The Tune Shop, Inc. in Leavenworth, Kansas since moving back home to the Kansas City metro area in February 2001.

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(Grant funding is available for some clinics*)
o Form and Analysis for Applied Performance
o Jazz Improvisation
o Jazz Theory
o Jazz Technique
o Jazz Ensembles (combo/big band)
o Woodwind Fundamentals
o Wind Ensemble Performance Strategies for the Instrumentalist
o Technical Competencies for the Instrumental Musician

*OFFICIAL CONN-SELMER PERFORMING ARTIST AND CLINICIAN – contact us (913.250.5141) about having Chris Burnett visit your band or organization for a master class and/or music clinic.  Selmer sponsorships are available as well.

Competency Sample
@Honors Jazz Band Clinic Matrix


AUDIO: complete track

PDF1 SCORE: “Side Effects” by Neil Slater

 CLINIC: Analytical Rehearsal Matrix of “Side Effects” by Neil Slater that was developed for use with KMEA Honors Jazz Ensemble

FEEDBACK: Personal note from Neil Slater

Publisher’s Note: Written for and recorded by the famous University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, this brilliant swing chart is a masterpiece of textures and colors. The straight ahead groove is the perfect setting for both the soloists and the ensemble work. A “must” for medium advanced groups.
 Duration 5:34


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Formal Classroom Instruction

Leavenworth USD 453 – Teaching Assistant Band Director (Woodwinds and Jazz)

Metropolitan Community College – Adjunct Professor (Woodwinds)

Jazz Ensemble Director, Missouri Science & Technology

Metropolitan Jazz Workshop – KC Woodwind Instructor

Metropolitan Jazz Workshop – KC Saturday Combo Lab Instructor

2013 Jazz Band Instructor Residency, Lansing High School

Kansas City Youth Jazz Woodwind Instructor

Kansas City Youth Jazz Saturday Combo Lab Instructor

2009 KCYJ Jazz Camp Theory Instructor

2009 KCYJ Jazz Camp Woodwind Instructor

as Clinician/Conductor/Guest Soloist

Kansas City Early College Academy NGJF Group – Clinician

Southeast KMEA District Jazz Ensemble

Northeast KMEA District Jazz Ensemble

Kansas Bandmasters Association Convention

MCC Penn Valley/18th & Vine Jazz Festival

American Jazz Museum

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra/KCKCC Music Scholars Program

KCKCC Jazz Workshop Adjudicator and Clinician (Kansas City)

KCYJ Summer Jazz Camp Faculty (Kansas City)

Northwest Missouri State University Jazz Festival

Leavenworth High School Jazz Band

Lansing High School Jazz Band

Pleasant Ridge High School Band

Montessori School NATO Base, Naples, Italy

US Army Bands Career Program

Armed Forces School of Music Faculty Jazz Ensemble

Armed Forces School of Music Faculty Wind Ensemble


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Former private lessons alto saxophone students, Morgan and Houston, with a current private lessons alto saxophone student, Atzin at KC Area Youth Jazz session, July 2019
Richard Warren Middle School Jazz Band Residency with a former clarinet student, Samantha, and RWMS band director, Jaye George, spring 2016
Festival Guest Artist, Masterclass and Concert


With Professor Bob Kehle, Jazz Director at Pittsburg State University and former UMR Jazz Student, Eric Golden.
T after the All-District Band Concert
After rehearsing the All-District Jazz Band
Rehearsing the Southeast Kansas All-District Honors Jazz Band

Kansas City Youth Jazz – subbed for Prof Smith on 9 February 2013. KCYJ Intensive Clinic on “Black Orpheus” arr. by Paul Murtha (Sunset Band) and “Recordame” arr by Dr. Eric Richards (Reno Band) |

Kansas City Youth Jazz – Jazz Theory Class
Kansas City Youth Jazz – Jazz Camp Combo
Rehearsing the Southeast Kansas All-District Honor Jazz Band

Visit: BurnettMusic.BIZ