This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores a Key of F Major Melodic Workout (F Major Modes, Inverted Melodic Arpeggios, and Rhythmic Melodic Lines).
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Every JazzPianoSkills weekly podcast episode introduces aspiring jazz pianists to essential Jazz Piano Skills. Each Podcast episode explores a specific Jazz Piano Skill in depth. Today you will discover, learn, playa Key of F Major Melodic Workout. In this Jazz Piano Lesson you will:
A Key of F Major Melodic Workout
How to "think" within the Key of F Major, Melodically
The Modes of the Key of F Major plus Inverted Melodic Arpeggios from various entry points (Root, 3rd, 5th, 7th).
You are going to play Melodic lines using various Whole Note, Half Note, and Quarter Note Rhythms played over the II-V-I Progression.
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Dr. Bob Lawrence
President, The Dallas School of Music
Dr. Bob Lawrence 0:32
Welcome to jazz piano skills. I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence. It's time to discover, learn and play jazz piano. Last week we tackled the key of F major, focusing on harmonic development. Well, based on last month's experience, you know exactly what's next and extensive workout in the key of F major melodically. So today you are going to discover a key of F major melodic workout, you're going to learn how to think within the key of F major melodically and you are going to play the modes of the key of F major using ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion launching from various entry points, the root, third, fifth, seventh, and on top of all that, you are going to play melodic lines using various home note, half note and quarter note rhythms played over the 251 progression. So as I always like to say regardless of where you are in your jazz journey, a beginner an intermediate player, an advanced player, or even if you are an experienced professional, you will find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson exploring a key of F major melodic workout to be very beneficial. If you are a new listener to the jazz panel skills podcast if you're new to jazz piano skills, I want to personally invite you to become a jazz piano skills member. Visit jazz piano skills.com To learn more about all of the jazz educational resources, the materials, the services that are available to help you become an accomplished jazz pianist. For example, as a jazz panel skills member, you have access to all of the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets, the
play alongs that I developed I produce and make available for each and every podcast episode each and every week. These are invaluable tools that you want to have at your fingertips when listening to the podcast episode. And of course, you want to have at your fingertips while practicing at the piano as well. You also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the sequential jazz piano curriculum, which is loaded with comprehensive courses. All of them using a self-paced format their educational talks to enjoy interactive media, video demonstrations of the jazz piano skill and all 12 keys, play alongs and much much more. As a jazz piano skills member. On top of that, you also have access to the online weekly master classes you have a reserved seat, which these masterclasses in essence are one-hour online lesson with me each and every week. You also have access to the jazz piano skills private community, which hosts a variety of engaging forums, podcast-specific forums, course-specific forums, and of course, just general jazz piano forums as well. And last but certainly not least, as a jazz panel skills member. You can enjoy unlimited private, personal and professional educational support with me, provided by me whenever and as often as you need it. So again, take a few minutes to visit jazz panels skills.com To learn more about all the educational opportunities that await you and how to easily activate your membership. There are several plans to choose from so I'm confident there's going to be one that's perfect for you. So if you have any questions once you look everything over if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and let me know. I'm always happy to help you spend some time with you and help in any way that I possibly can. Okay, let's discover learn and play jazz piano Let's get after this key of F major melodic workout. Okay now after completing the harmonic workout for the key of C major last month and the key of F major last week leak, you now know that our harmonic workouts thoroughly explore four types of voicings, our blocks, traditional shells, contemporary shells, and classic two-handed structures. We utilize various exercises. In both of those workout workouts, we utilize various exercises to help us gain a functional command of these essential shapes and sounds for each chord of the key, right, so seven chords in all, the one major seven, the two minor seven, three minor seven, the four major seven, five dominant seven, six, minor, seven, and seven half-diminished. Well, this format will remain the same for all of our harmonic workouts throughout the entire year. 12 Total right, one for each of our major keys. But as you discovered last week, I will always be adding a new twist to each harmonic workout that incorporates the application of rhythm. Why? Well, because without the application of rhythm to our harmonic structures, chords, and without the application of rhythm to our melodic structures, scales, and arpeggios, then our harmony and melody simply remain sound. They never become music. It's funny, jazz educators, me included, always like to talk about harmony, chords, voicing, melody, scales, and arpeggios, and their relationship. But rarely do we talk about rhythm. I'm not sure why this is because the reality is, as I just stated harmony and melody. Without rhythm remains sound, just sound. They never become music. I've said this before in previous podcast episodes that if rhythm could speak if rhythm could talk, it would say to melody and harmony. You both know it. I know it and you know that y'all desperately need me.
You guys may get all all the attention. Everyone loves to talk about the two of you. Like all the time, it's noisy. But you both know that without me. You're nothing too funny, right? And yet, so true. So last week, I added a rhythm challenge to the harmonic workout that utilizes simple but yet incredibly important. Home note, half note, and quarter note rhythms that you needed to use when playing the voicings over the 251 progression. Now, I also stressed the importance of doing the entire workout and not just simply jumping to the rhythm exercises, right. In other words, you have to have a functional command voicings before you can begin applying rhythm to them. As I like to say, you have to bake a cake before you decorate the cake. So don't jump into decorating the voicings, with rhythm before you've baked your voicings long enough through the exercises so that you can actually play them. Okay, so all of this harmonic talk, because you're probably thinking, Wait, man, I thought this was a melodic workout. But all of this harmonic talk is simply my preface to the main event for today, which is of course, our key F F major melodic workout. So just as I did last, with last week's episode on the harmonic workout for the key of F, I am adding a rhythmic dimension to our melodic workout today. And just like last week, our rhythms will remain simple using only whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes. But before we jump to the melodic lines, we will be playing over the 251 progression. I want to stress the importance of doing the entire
workout all 20 24 exercises, right? Bake the cake before you decorate the cake. So you will find in your lead sheets podcast packet, as you did last month with our key of C major melodic workout. All 24 exercises laid out for you in the key of F. So let's just do a quick review of these 24 exercises. Exercises one through four modes, ascending root position, plus the first second, and third inversions. Okay, exercises five through eight modes again descending from root position, plus first, second, and third inversion exercises nine through 12 arpeggios ascending root position, plus the first second third inversion and exercises 13 through 16 arpeggios descending, and reposition from root position and first second third inversion exercise 17 to five one ascending scale motion exercise 18 to five one descending scale motion exercise 19 ascending arpeggio motion exercise 20 251 descending arpeggio motion, then exercise 21 and 22 explored the two five I'm sorry 36251 progression ascending and descending using scale motion and exercises 23 and 24 explored the 36251 progression using ascending and descending arpeggio motion. So 24 very thorough exercises. To explore the modes of the key write the the modes of the key using ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. So after you have thoroughly completed your workout of these 24 exercises, which may take several days or heck, it may take several weeks. Then you can turn your attention to plain exercise 25 which is now included in your packet, your lead sheets packet, which challenges you with 12 melodic lines using fundamental whole half and quarter note rhythms. So the educational agenda for today is as follows number one, we are going to explore the key of F major melodically number two we are going to play 12 melodic ideas using ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion number three all melodic ideas will be applied to the 251 progression in the key of F major G minor seven to C dominant seven to F major seven all melodic ideas number four all melodic ideas will be played using the same relaxed Basa grew from last week's harmonic workout and that was a temple of 110 Number five all melodic lines will be played using five treatments, harmonic treatments or melodic treatments and those five are single note
number two Unison Unison octaves, right hand with added fourth or fifth kind of a red garland style traditional lock hand style like George Shearing style and contemporary choral shapes, which would be like a Herbie Hancock style. Now, you do not and I repeat you do not have to play these melodic lines using all five treatments in fact, focus primarily on the single note treatment the very first one, it is by far the most important of them all. I am simply presenting the other four treatments for all of the listeners who are overachievers and for all the listeners who already have some pretty advanced skills, so do not freak out. Stick with the single note treatment of the melodic lines. But if you are curious and want to know more about how to treat melodic lines in each of the five ways that I am going to demonstrate that I'm going to play today then check out the podcast episodes I did back on August 18 25th And September 1 and eighth of 2020 I go through Each of these treatment types for minor dominant and major chords, plus the 251 progression. So check them out, check out those episodes again, August 18, August 25, September 1, September 8 of 2020. Okay, before we go any further, if you are a jazz piano skills member, I
want you to hit the pause button. Right now take a few minutes to download and print the podcast packets, the illustrations, and the lead sheets. You have access again you as jazz panel skills member you have access to all of these podcast packets, and you should absolutely be using them and referencing them when listening to this podcast. And of course, you should be using them when practicing as well. So if you are listening to this podcast on any other popular podcast directories such as Spotify, iHeart, radio, Pandora, Apple, Google, Amazon, and so on, then be sure to go to jazz panel skills podcast.com go directly to the jazz panel skills podcast website, and you will find the download links in the show notes. Okay. And one final but extremely, very important note that if you're thinking if you're listening right now, and you're thinking that the key of F major melodic workout, and the various skills that we are about to discover, learn and play. If you think all of this is over your head, then I would say to you sit back, relax, and continue to listen continue to grow your jazz piano skills intellectually by listening to this podcast episode, all skills or overheads when first introduce and that is precisely why the very first step we need to take in order to improve our musicianship is to simply listen. Do not shy away from conversations, discussing foreign topics or using unfamiliar terms. Stepping outside of our musical comfort zone spawns significant growth. As you all have heard me say a million times, all musical growth begins upstairs mentally conceptually, before it can come out downstairs physically in your hands. So listen to this podcast, listen now to discover and learn. Right, the play as always, will come in time, I guarantee you. Okay, so hopefully you have exercise 25 in front of you, from your podcast packets, the lead sheets, exercise 25. And you'll notice there right away, there are 12 melodic ideas that we're going to explore today played over the 251 progression and played using a simple whole note, half note, and quarter note rhythms. And you'll notice to the the 12 melodic ideas are labeled using letters A through L. And we're going to go just through each one of these and I'm going to play each one again each one is a four measure length four measures in length of two-chord for one measure the five chord for one measure and the major chord the one chord for two measures just the same format that we use last week with the harmonic workout and we're gonna use the same groove to write the bossa nova groove at 110. So look at melody letter A. And pretty simple right, whole note G.
Right, that's that simple. And now you're going to hear me play that melody a couple times using just a single melodic single-note melodic line. Then you'll hear me double it up in octaves kind of like an Oscar Peterson style right now play that a couple of times. Then the octave in the right hand with the fifth or fourth in the middle kind of like Red Garland. Very pretty, then traditional block treatment like George Shearing would do. And then I'm going to harmonize or treat that melody using chordal type voicings that would sound something like this
right all them very pretty as I mentioned earlier. The first one is the most important one right the single note treatment. So If that's where you are, that is 100% Fine. If you like I mentioned if you're a little more advanced and you want to apply some of these other ways to treat the malady, it's a great way to build that into your practicing as well. So here we go, let's bring the ensemble in. And let's check this out. melodic line letter, a simple whole note, half note, quarter note rhythms here we go check it out.
I love it. So what just happened there, right. whole note for the two chord literally a whole note off of the off the root don't check, my eyes are going bad man. So yes, a whole note off the root. And then scale motion on the five chord scale motion on the five chord starting from the sixth of the sound all the way up to the ninth and then resolving to a whole note on the F major seven. Just that simple and it's a beautiful little melody right. So now let's look at letter B. Again, we start with a whole note on our two chord and we're going to use arpeggio motion straight our pitch and watch coming down that C down and a seven and then resolve it to the six of the F major. Again, another very pretty melody, and we're just using whole notes and quarter notes. We don't we're not even using half notes in the first two in the first two rhythmic melodic lines. So let's bring the ensemble back and let's check it out and see what we think here we go.
Not too shabby right. And it just goes to show that melodic lines, using simple rhythms can be very beautiful. Now when you're playing these melodic lines and these ideas, you should play them beautifully. Right? Play them musically, it's music. These are legit musical ideas that one could either compose or improvise, right. So with letter C, we move on letter C, we have scale motion coming down our G minor, starting from the fifth of the sound and we're going to continue descending using arpeggio motion that's like a C dominant seven in third inversion and then continue to resolve that right down to the third of the F major seven. So it sounds like this
lovely. So let's bring the ensemble back in Let's place this in a musical context and let's see what we think here we go.
Okay, on to melodic idea number four letter D. Here's what it sounds like.
Okay, now, so what's happening here we have scale motion on our G minor, A to B flat, straight scale motion of it's a half note on that a followed by a quarter rest followed by a quarter note with the B flat. But nevertheless, those two notes I want you to see those two notes of scale motion. We continue our scale motion on our C dominant with our C, or D and our E, even though there's a quarter rest on count three, separating those notes, followed by arpeggio motion, our F major seven, utilizing first inversion. And that's really how I want you to look at each of these exercises. Looking at each measure and deciphering whether we have scale motion and measure one we're gonna scale motion and measure to look at descending arpeggio motion first inversion and measure three once you start seeing these melodic lines as the as the scales and arpeggios that you've been practicing. Alright, so let's bring the ensemble, and let's check it out. Let's see what we think of this beautiful melodic line when placed into a musical context into a musical setting. Here we go check it out.
beautiful, absolutely beautiful. All right, let's look at melodic line letter E. And just by a glance right just looking at that line, you can see it's descending scale motion all the way through our 251 progression. We have some ties in there to deal with in each of those measures. But it's descending scale motion, and it sounds like this
beautiful. So let's Let's place this into our bossa nova context. And let's see what we think. And I want you to follow along and listen and hear that cascading or that descending scale motion, starting from the fifth of our G minor, working all the way through that the scale all the way through the scale. Okay, here we go check it out.
It's funny, right. You can play straight scale motion, but apply rhythmic patterns to that scale and all of a sudden, doesn't sound so much like a scale anymore, does it? But I want you to see it that way. See it for what it really is. Okay, so let's move on to melodic line letter F. Let me play it for you first.
That's it. So let's, let's do a little quick analysis. First of all, I want you to notice you don't come in on count one, you don't come in on count two, your melodic line actually starts on count three of the measure. And right away by just looking at it, you can see that we have scale motion, again, starting from our root descending to the F to the seventh of the scale, or the sound, and then to the C dominant, what's going on there. That's arpeggio motion, C dominant arpeggio motion in second inversion. Right? It's a second invert version of C dominant seven. Then we're right into scale motion using half notes, descending half notes on our F major seven, from the third to the ninth to the root to the seventh. So let's place this into our bossa nova context. Let's take a listen and see what we think. Here we go.
Okay, we've completed six of our melodic ideas for today. So let's move on to letter G melodic line, letter G. Here's how it sounds
okay, so what's, what's happening here? Well, first of all, you can look at a two chord. And you can see right away scale motion, G, A to B flat followed by arpeggio motion from the B flat to the D. It's like a little minor fragment from a minor pentatonic scale, which is a combination of scale pentatonic scales or combinations of scale and arpeggio motion. And here's a perfect example of it. We have scale motion on counts, one, two, and three, followed by arpeggio motion from three to count four. Now what's happening on our C dominant seven and our F major seven, check this out. This is scale motion scale, a descending scale motion using thirds or arpeggios, right so it sounds like this so the sound really is this we're dropping those thirds and they're coming down through the scale in thirds it's beautiful. So let's bring the ensemble back in let's listen to this melodic line liturgy in a bossa nova context and see what we think you we go check it out.
You know what so far so good. Every single one of these melodic ideas everyone every single one of these melodic lines. Sounds fantastic, especially when you place it into a musical setting a musical context you play it with the proper feel the proper articulation in time. The sound fantastic and again, we're just using whole notes and half notes and quarter notes, no syncopation, no eight notes, no dotted rhythms, no approach towns, no encircling, no neighboring tones, nothing fancy schmancy, right, this is whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and you're finding out can create a lot of melodic, you can create a lot of music with these with these rhythms, right. So look at letter H melodic line letter H can't get much simpler than this folks, right half notes all the way through the 251 progression
you cannot get simpler than that. We're starting on literally starting on the seventh of the G minor and we're coming right down right using the way I'm seeing that is is just in thirds, right these are just thirds going all the way down right through the final results. So let's bring the ensemble and let's check out this beautiful very simple descending melodic idea beautiful check it out.
Beautiful I love it so simple yet so beautiful, right? All right, let's move on to melodic line letter. I this a little bit trickier right we have some counting some serious counting we have to do you can see there's quite a bit of use of quarter rest in this melodic line we have our quarter notes half notes, no notes but we don't come in to account for of measure one on our to court listen to this
nice I like it. So let's bring the ensemble back in. Let's drop this into our bossa nova context and see what we think. Count follow along. Here we go
Okay, three more melodic ideas to explore. So let's move on to melodic line letter J. And here's what it sounds like
nice so what's happening? Well, a lot of scale motion right scale motion and measure one on the two chord, A to G, scale motion on the five chord on the C seven from E to D. And then scale motion along scale, motion line on our one chord started on count two of measure three. All scale motion descending scale motion measures one and two, ascending scale motions, motion on measures three and four. How nice. Now we have to count right, we're not coming in on count one on the two chord or count one on the five chord or count one on the on the one chord right? So pay attention count carefully when you're playing this. Here we go. Let's check it out. Let's see what it sounds like in our musical context, played with a bossa nova group here we go.
Very nice, right. Very nice all scale motion descending ascending scale motion. So now take a look at our melodic line letter K. Now we have all arpeggio motion, right. So look at that G minor the two chord, G minor, and second inversion. Right? Look at nothing's happening on our five chord, we have a melodic idea of melodic note that just sustains through the entire five chord on the on the ninth of the five chord. Then we have descending arpeggio on our F major which is F major in second inversion. So we have a first inversion harmonic shape played melodically for our two chord and a second tie say first second inversion sorry, second inversion melodic shape for our two chord, second inversion melodic shape for our one chord. It's very nice. But you know what's interesting when you place these chords in inversions, you actually end up creating combinations of arpeggio and scale motion. For instance, look at measure one and that two chord from D to F. That's arpeggio motion, f the G scale motion, G to B flat arpeggio motion, but I'm seeing all four of those notes in context in relationship to that G minor seven. So that's a G minor, seven chord in second inversion. And the same goes for F major chord, right, a down to F arpeggio motion, F to E scale motion, E to C arpeggio motion, but I see those four notes as my F major seven chord in second inversion. So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's check this out and see what we think here we go.
Very nice, all right, we are down to our last melodic line. So look at letter L melodic line letter L. What in the world is happening? You can see a long linear ascending line right through our two through our five through our one. All quarter notes, no half notes, no whole notes, no silence. And the interval looks a little wacky, right? That's because we're not moving into a third. These are all forced, right going G minor, C seven. All force F major. Then we can now resolve it. That's it. We have finally we have rest on accounts three and four though, the last measure. So we're moving in arpeggio motion but not our typical arpeggio motion, right? We're moving in using intervals of a fourth as opposed to the typical use of the third. So let's bring our ensemble in and let's check out let's check this out and see what this what this sounds like as we drop it into our bossa nova context. Here we go. Let's check it out.
Wow 12 Fascinating melodic lines played over 251 progression using whole notes, half notes and quarter notes. Only. It's a great workout. It's a great way to begin developing some improvisational ideas and, and an understanding of how melodic lines are constructed, whether composed or improvised, makes no difference 12 We have packed with those 12 We have unpacked a ton of information, right as we do with each and every podcast episode, and today was certainly no exception as we explored a key of F major melodic workout. And I cannot stress to you enough how important it is that you spend time becoming familiar with the 2424 exercises before this 25th exercise right that deal with all the melodic shapes the scales and arpeggios, the diatonic melodic shapes, scales and arpeggios of the key of F major. And having a command of ascending and descending scale motion within the framework of a key the modes is a huge step towards developing mature improvisational skills and likewise, having a command of ascending and descending arpeggio motion. Outlining the harmonic shapes of a key is equally important. Then being able to easily apply the ascending and descending scale and arpeggio shapes of a key to Common Core progressions within the key such as the 251 progression. It's a big-time jazz panel skill that must be strategically studied and practiced as we did today. If you are serious about becoming an accomplished jazz pianist, now, combine last week's key of F major harmonic workout with this week's key of F major melodic workout. You have something right you have an incredible one-two punch, as I like to say that will have you well on your way to mastering the key of F major. And not only that, it will continue to solidify a practice blueprint, a blueprint that you can use that you can replicate from key to key to key, which is exactly what we are going to do throughout the entire year of 2022. Now I said it last week, and I want to stress it again today. If you hang in there with me this year, you are going to experience a ton of jazz piano growth you will love where you are musically. A year from now that's 100% Certain. And once again, I want to encourage you to use the podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets, and the play alongs to guide you. As you do your workouts harmonically and melodically as you have heard me say over and over and over and over and over and over again conceptual understanding determines your physical development. So spend time studying the podcast packets, the illustrations, and the lead sheets. Right, spend time mapping out the melodic exercise. All the study time away from the instrument pays huge dividends the return on your investment cannot be adequately expressed. And always probably end, and most importantly, quite honestly. Be patient. Developing mature professional jazz piano skills takes time. Begin structuring your practicing utilizing the approaches that I have outlined for you today with this melodic workout last week with the harmonic workout. Begin structuring your practicing accordingly using these demonstrations and exercises that are modeled for you in this podcast episode and you will begin to see you will begin to feel and you will begin to hear your musical progress. Well, I hope you have found this jazz piano skills podcast lesson exploring a key of F major melodic workout to be insightful and of course beneficial. Don't forget if you're a jazz piano skills member I will see you online Thursday evening at jazz piano skills masterclass 8 pm Central time to discuss this podcast episode lesson exploring the key of F major melodic workout in greater detail and of course to answer any question that you may have about the study of jazz in general. Likewise, be sure to use the educational podcast packets, the illustrations the lead sheets to play alongs for this podcast episode, as well as the jazz piano skills courses to maximize your musical growth. Also, make sure that You're an active participant in the jazz piano skills community.
Get out there, get involved, contribute to the various forums, and most importantly, make some new jazz piano friends. Always a great thing to do. As always, you can reach me by phone 972-380-8050 My office extension is 211 by email Dr. Lawrence. That's Dr. Lawrence at jazz panel skills.com or by SpeakPipe, which is a handy little widget found throughout the jazz panels Skills website. While they're there, there's my cue. That's it for now. And until next week, enjoy your key of F major melodic workout. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz Piano
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