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Teaching jazz appreciation on TELETECHNET, Old Dominion's televised distance learning network, requires a
unique approach. It is this vision and ability of John Toomey, associate professor of music, that the Chronicle of
Education highlights in its July 28 issue.

In "From a Distance, Students Learn the Subtleties of Jazz," Toomey's unusual class is described. Using a
ceiling-mounted camera in his specially equipped classroom, Toomey can focus students' attention on his
hands as they play across the keyboard, a feature not available in traditional music classrooms. This gives
students at remote sites a view as good, if not better, than those in his classroom.

This revolutionary teaching technique earned Toomey an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of
Higher Education for Virginia in March and the TELETECHNET Teacher of the Year Award in 1995, the first
year it was given by the university.

The article also includes a Web site address, http://chronicle.com, where readers can view video footage of Toomey's class.

"Professor Toomey is an incredibly valuable member of the university faculty," said Jo Ann Gora, Old
Dominion's provost and vice president for academic affairs.

"He gives unstintingly of his time and talent to his students and to the university community. His students...rave
about his ability to mentor, coach, encourage and inform. And, as a musician and performer, he brings so much
talent to the stage. He is a delight to work with, to listen to and to learn from."

Toomey also teaches aesthetics of jazz, computers and musical instrument digital interface technology,
recording and electronic music, jazz improvisation, sight singing and applied jazz lessons.

He brings tremendous musical credibility to his work. He is the former musical director for jazz great Maynard
Ferguson and a frequent performer at clubs in Hampton Roads. Toomey has recorded several compact discs
of his jazz works and has performed with Cab Calloway, the Count Basie Band small group, Paul Anka and
Jerry Vale.

This article was posted on: July 25, 2000

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