Vocal Performance Classes


Vocal Performance Classes

Jazzschool-Online Technical Requirements for Vocal Classes

Required equipment:

  1. Computer to host Zoom class meetings.
  2. A second device (computer, phone or tablet) with an external speaker (wired or Bluetooth) to play accompaniment tracks. It’s important to have an external speaker, rather than just playing tracks from your phone, in order to make the tracks audible to other class members and instructors. It is not recommended to play accompaniment tracks on the same device as your Zoom meeting.
  3. Please also purchase and download the iReal Pro app to install on your playback device. 

Recommended but not required equipment:

  1. External microphone (USB mic plugged directly into the computer, or standard vocal mic plugged into an audio interface. The internal microphone on your computer is acceptable, but an external microphone will sound better.
  2. Wired internet connection (ethernet) for increased connection stability. 

Recommended internet connection speed to avoid lag and dropouts: Minimum 5 Mbps upload. Visit speedtest.net to check your connection. 

For users with some technical savvy, there are other options you may be interested in exploring, including use of loopback software and/or an audio mixer/interface with USB capabilities to mix vocal and track signal before sending to Zoom. This is not required.



Jazz Singing Basics
Learn the basics of vocal jazz performance or enhance your current skills. Topics will include selecting the best key, counting off songs, choosing repertoire, understanding various rhythmic feels, song form, intros and endings, ear training exercises, introduction to improvisation, communicating with a jazz rhythm section, phrasing and interpretation. Singers will learn a few common jazz songs and will perform at least one song in class using an accompaniment track. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Wednesdays, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Ellen Johnson, $395

Azure McCall

The Improvising Jazz Singer
Singing a standard as written is the first step when learning a tune but to be a jazz performer, a singer must improvise! Improvisation can be everything from creative phrasing to interpreting the lyric in a personal way. In this class, you’ll be coached on improvising with the lyrics and/or soloing like a horn. This is a fun, encouraging, and informative class to work on songs of your choice in preparation for an online, in-class performance at the end of the term. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Tuesdays 1:00 – 2:30 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Azure McCall, $395

Improvising with the Lyric
Do you write your own material or have you always wanted to take a classic jazz song and learn to build in creativity, while rockin’ the band and singing three or more choruses? In the history of storytelling, blues and jazz, master singers Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Ella Fitzgerald blazed the trail for all of us. Phrasing, telling a story, experimenting with shapes and colors while singing the lyrics is fun for the singer and entertaining for the audience. Learn to loosen up and take your audience on a creative ride!

Thursdays, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
9/24 – 12/3 (10 weeks) no class 11/26
Roseanna Vitro, $395

Mikki Boyd

The Soulful Side of Jazz NEW!
Focus on interpretation, style, phrasing, and improvisation as applied to standard jazz repertoire with a soulful twist! Vocal technique and musicianship exercises are incorporated throughout the term, helping students gain confidence and develop more interesting creative choices. Students may draw from their own repertoire and/or receive instructor recommendations. Each singer will work individually with accompaniment tracks. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Wednesdays, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Mikki Boyd, $395

The Music of Thelonious Monk: A Vocal View
with Andrea Claburn
One of the giants of modern jazz, Thelonious Monk’s compositions are standards in every sense of the word. Vocalists are often drawn to Monk by his beautiful ballads (“Ruby My Dear,” “Reflections”), but there are many other gems that few singers explore. This online class will focus exclusively on the music of Thelonious Monk in a vocal context, using lyrics by Jon Hendricks, Abbey Lincoln, Mike Ferro, and others. Charts in each singer’s key will be provided, and a professional accompanist will record backing track(s) – individually arranged as part of the class curriculum for a final online in-class performance. Class requirements include iRealPro and access to a Zoom account. Open to all.

Mondays, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
9/21 – 11/30 (10 weeks) no class 11/23 
Andrea Claburn
, $395

Clif Payne

Songs of the Harlem Renaissance
The 1920s saw a tremendous flourishing of African American art and expression known as the Harlem Renaissance and no aspect of that period shaped American and world culture more than the work of the great jazz musicians and composers of the day. Instructor Clif Payne provides historical information about the era and highlights the artists and composers who defined this great body of work, including songs by Fats Waller, Eubie Blake, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and more. Students are encouraged to bring in their favorite songs by these composers for instruction on interpretation, technique, and phrasing. The ability to read music is not required. Students sing with accompaniment tracks for a final online, in-class performance. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Thursdays, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
9/24 – 12/3 (10 weeks) no class 11/26
Clif Payne, $395

Pamela Rose

Blues Vocal Funshop
Blues is the grandmother of most jazz, R&B and funk music, and singing it is more fun than you can possibly imagine. Learn all about the 12-bar blues form, while opening up your voice to these earthy, deep-rooted songs. You’ll learn a lot about basic music theory in this class while singing your heart out. Prerequisites: Students should feel comfortable singing with a backing track without getting lost. Instructor will contact students before the first class to coordinate tech requirements and how to use backing tracks.

Wednesdays, 4:45 – 6:15 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Pamela Rose, $395

Life, Times and Music of Etta James
Dive into the life and work of Etta James with video clips and historical context, while exploring the vocal techniques that made her so unforgettable. Vocalist and music history buff Pamela Rose (known for touring concerts celebrating women in jazz and blues) will work with students on developing their own material, while presenting this specially curated class series. The breadth of Etta James’ repertoire is immense, spanning decades and genres––jazz, country, rock, blues, R&B, gospel, funk. Singing her material opens up a deep, soulful, expressive part of our voices. Prerequisites: Students should feel comfortable singing with a backing track without getting lost. Instructor will contact students before the first class to coordinate tech requirements and how to use backing tracks. With pianist Wayne De La Cruz as accompanist.

Tuesdays, 4:45 – 6:15 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Pamela Rose, $395

Deep in the Blues––For Intermediate and Advanced Students
Now that you’ve mastered the 12-bar blues form, it’s time to really stretch out and dig deep into this genre. Each week we focus on a great blues master vocalist, exploring their history and style, and then move on to songs of your choosing. Prerequisites: students need to have taken the Blues Vocal Funshop at least once. Instructor will contact students before the first class to coordinate tech requirements and how to use backing tracks. With guitarist Danny Caron as accompanist.

Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Pamela Rose, $395

Amanda Addleman

The Contemporary Vocalist
Much of today’s vocal music draws on influences from a variety of genres, which can lead to a personalized, contemporary style and feel. This course helps singers develop a varied repertoire that may include updated jazz standards with unique arrangements and/or jazz-hued popular,R&B, bluegrass, and other contemporary styles. Students will sing with accompaniment tracks as well as with the instructor’s piano accompaniment. All levels welcome.

Mondays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
9/21 – 11/30 (10 weeks) no class 11/23
Amanda Addleman, $395

Canta Brasil
Explore various genres of Brazilian songs, including samba, bossa nova, choro, baião and frevo. Learn a song from each genre along with its historical and regional roots. Study the unique rhythmic feels and phrasing of each genre, incorporating some simple percussion instruments while preparing songs for an in-class, online student performance. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Thursdays, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
9/24 – 12/3 (10 weeks) no class 11/26
Sandy Cressman, $395

GarageBand for Vocalists
Learn how to use the free recording app GarageBand to record vocals, beats, and instrumental tracks. With a focus on neo-soul styles, we’ll learn techniques and stylistic approaches characteristic of the genre. Together, we’ll build a track from scratch and learn how to record vocals. From there, you’ll create your own project – either an original composition or a vocal cover recorded with an imported instrumental track. All students will present the final recorded version of the song to play during the last class meeting. Singers should have some past singing experience and also must have GarageBand (a free app available for both PC and Mac users). Technical Requirements: Must have GarageBand either on desktop computer (Mac or PC) or iPad; must have headphones (nothing fancy even ear buds are fine!). A 10-minute one-on-one Zoom call with the instructor prior to the first class will be required to participate.

Thursdays, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
9/24 – 12/3 (10 weeks) no class 11/26
Lilan Kane, $395

Angie Doctor

Virtual Choir
You’ve seen all the virtual choirs on the internet recently––here’s your chance to be part of one! This is a fun and creative way to sing “with” others while learning how to record music at home. Come sing together while we’re apart! At the end of the session, you’ll have a recording of your own virtual ensemble and will have learned some new ways to create music with others. Students must be independent singers, able to learn and understand the technology, and love to sing in harmony. The song choice will be decided based on the enrollment, the interest of the students, and the teacher’s recommendation. We will create an ensemble recording using Soundtrap, a collaborative, web-based recording program, much like GarageBand, but with chat and video communication available within the program. In combination with Zoom as a meeting space, students contribute to a recording in Soundtrap with coaching and guidance from the teacher. Prerequisites: Open to intermediate to advanced students. Singers who have already participated in the Virtual Choir are welcome to re-enroll. If you are interested in joining the choir, please email Angie for audition guidelines: adoctor@cjc.edu.

Wednesdays, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Angie Doctor, $395