CJC E-News
* Email  

Sign Up

 

Support

Support

You can help the Jazzschool grow and keep its fees affordable for all. Please visit our Support page to learn about the many ways to help sustain America's indigenous art form!

 

DONATE NOW

 

Self Accompaniment for Vocalists

jennifer jolly

New-diamond_06

Overview

This course is a great option for singers who want to accompany themselves on the piano. Nuts-and-bolts topics include basic musicianship, practical theory (such as how to pick the right key), and a wide variety of accompaniment styles. The instructor covers song forms, intros, endings, fills and other essential arranging skills. Class members receive (and offer) constructive feedback while developing a song apiece to perform in concert at the end of the quarter. Handouts provided. Prerequisites: familiarity with basic chords and scales; ability to read standard keyboard notation.

Tuesdays 8:15 – 9:45 pm
1/10 – 3/14 (10 weeks)
Jennifer Jolly • $395

Registration

DEPARTMENT: Piano

COURSE TITLE:

SELF-ACCOMPANIMENT FOR VOCALISTS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course is a great option for singers who want to accompany themselves on the piano. Nuts-and-bolts topics include basic musicianship, practical theory (such as how to pick the right key), and a wide variety of accompaniment styles. The instructor covers song forms, intros, endings, fills and other essential arranging skills. Class members receive (and offer) constructive feedback while developing a song apiece to perform in concert at
the end of the quarter. Handouts provided.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

For vocalists to learn the basics of arranging and self-accompaniment at the piano, to develop an arrangement of a tune and prepare it for performance at the end of the quarter, to receive and offer constructive feedback from instructor and fellow students, to gain confidence in simultaneous singing and playing and in performing.

COURSE PREREQUISITES:

Basic to intermediate piano proficiency; ability to read standard keyboard notation; familiarity with major scales, major and minor chords. Ability to prepare a lead sheet in student’s key (some coaching provided). Willingness and time to practice outside of class, to play for others in class, and to participate in the class performance.

REQUIRED READING/MATERIALS:

Metronome and digital recorder or app.

Audio files will be posted in a dedicated class Dropbox folder. Written class materials and readings will be provided by instructor in class and/or posted in Dropbox.

Performance tune must be approved by instructor.


RECOMMENDED READING/MATERIALS:

Jazz Piano Handbook and Jazz Singer’s Handbook by Michele Weir (Alfred, 2005 and 2008)

Piano for Singers: Learn to Accompany Yourself and Others by Jeffrey Deutsch (Hal Leonard, 2009)

Hal Leonard Keyboard Style Series (various authors and styles)

Additional recommended “toolkit” items will be discussed in class.

COURSE OUTLINE:

NOTE: Subject matter, pacing, and sequencing may vary from the syllabus depending on students’ experience levels and progress.

Week 1

Class overview and introductions; initial handouts and Dropbox; performance anxiety (“stage fright”) in class and guidelines for constructive feedback; theory review as needed; functions of accompaniment; solo self-accompaniment vs. band vs. solo piano arrangement; vocal register/ambitus/tessitura; choosing the “right” key; begin survey of common accompaniment styles; begin basics of arranging; begin song forms; recommended self-accompanist’s “toolkit” and additional resources; focused excerpt listening.

Week 2

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion; survey of common accompaniment styles, cont’d.; basics of arranging, cont’d.; song forms, cont’d.; excerpt listening, cont’d.; how to develop an accompaniment groove/style; begin vetting possible performance tunes and choosing keys.

Week 3

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion; survey of common accompaniment styles, cont’d.; basics of arranging, cont’d.; developing an accompaniment groove/style, cont’d.; excerpt listening, cont’d.; pedal technique (with “field trip” to acoustic piano if one is available during class time); vetting of possible performance tunes and choosing keys; round-robin workshopping and feedback (students play/sing their arrangements-in-progress and exchange constructive feedback).

Week 4

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion; survey of common accompaniment styles, cont’d.; basics of arranging, cont’d.; developing an accompaniment groove/style, cont’d.; excerpt listening, cont’d.; pedal technique, cont’d. (with “field trip” if possible); intros and endings; vetting of possible performance tunes and choosing keys; workshopping and feedback.

Week 5

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion; survey of common accompaniment styles, cont’d.; basics of arranging, cont’d.; deadline for choosing performance tune and key; coaching on lead sheet preparation as needed; instrumental interludes and/or solos, fills; workshopping and feedback.

Week 6

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion; deadline for lead sheet of performance tune; dynamics and expression; develop arrangements; workshopping and feedback.

Week 7

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion; stage presence and performance anxiety (“stage fright”); develop arrangements; workshopping and feedback.

Week 8

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion; stage presence and “stage fright,” cont’d.; singing with a boom mic stand while self-accompanying at the keyboard; song introductions; develop arrangements; workshopping and feedback.

Week 9

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion; more practice singing with a boom mic stand while self-accompanying at the keyboard; deadline for final arrangements;  workshopping with feedback focused on presentation.

Week 10

“Dress rehearsal” with boom mic stand; class may take place in a CJC classroom equipped with an acoustic piano, if one is available; course wrap-up; course feedback.

Jennifer Jolly (piano, keyboards)

Performer, educator, choral/musical theater accompanist. Specialist in American roots styles (New Orleans & Louisiana, blues, boogie-woogie, country), funk, R&B, and Caribbean and African music. Currently performing with Kotoja, Zulu Spear, Big B & His Snakeoil Saviors, The Jolly Gibsons, and several other Bay Area groups. Frequent guest performer with Tom Rigney & Flambeau. Previous performance credits include Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), Barbara Dane, Hot Links. Faculty instructor at Cazadero Family Camp since 1999. B.A., UC Berkeley.

JCMS Spring Catalog
The Word

The Jazzschool is unique…I love it!

— Eric Siegel