Theory, Improv, Musicianship Classes

THE JAZZSCHOOL AT CJC

Theory, Improv, Musicianship Classes

Jazzschool-Online Technical Notes
All Jazzschool-Online classes meet online via Zoom. Technical requirements include: computer, tablet or phone with a reliable internet connection. Computer (laptop or desktop) is preferred, but a tablet or phone is also possible, with somewhat limited functionality. Optional for improved sound quality: external microphone, either connected via USB or XLR cable to audio interface. For a budget USB mic option, we recommend the Samson Go, currently retailing for around $50 new. Additional technical requirements are listed for specific classes below.

10-WEEK FALL QUARTER / SEP 21 – DEC 6 / ALL CLASSES VIA ZOOM / ALL TIMES PACIFIC

Music Theory Fundamentals 1
This two-term sequence of courses covers the basic skills needed to begin any serious study of music. It is an ideal course-set to develop a basic understanding of music theory and harmony, as well as prepare the student for beginning studies in improvisation. Part 1 topics include: Music notation, Time signatures, Key signatures, Rhythmic training, Major scales, Intervals, Chord structure. Prerequisites: none, open to all. Required Text: Practical Theory Complete, by Sandy Feldstein from your preferred online retailer.

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Jason Levis, $395

Jason Levis

Music Theory Fundamentals 2 NEW!
This two-term sequence of courses covers the basic skills needed to begin any serious study of music. It is an ideal course-set to develop a basic understanding of music theory and harmony as well as prepare the student for beginning studies in improvisation. Part 2 topics include: Harmonic progressions, Scales and modes, Harmonic analysis, an introduction to musical form, beginning composition techniques. Prerequisites: Music Theory Fundamentals 1. Required Text: Contemporary Music Theory – Level One by Mark Harrison from your preferred online retailer.

Tuesdays, 7:45 – 9:15 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Jason Levis, $395

Rhythmic Studies 1: Basic / Intermediate (Fall) NEW!
This class series, open to music students of any instrument, provides a wide variety of concepts & exercises for rhythmic study. Part 1 focuses on the basics, including reading, counting, understanding meter and subdivision, syncopation, swung rhythms, simple polyrhythms, and much more. In addition to explanations of these fundamental concepts, listening examples will allow students to hear how certain rhythmic patterns sound with musical context, and lay the groundwork for one’s advancement towards a more sophisticated rhythmic fluency. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Rhythmic Studies 2: Intermediate / Advanced  (Winter) NEW!
This class series, open to music students of any instrument, provides a wide variety of concepts and exercises for rhythmic study. Part 2 builds on several of the concepts from the previous class, and introduces a progression of new areas of rhythmic study: applied polyrhythms, polymeter, displacement, odd/compound time signatures, metric modulation, stacked/nested rhythms, and other advanced tools that can be used to navigate rhythmically complex music, as well as to internalize one’s sense of rhythm in general & allow for greater freedom in all areas of playing. Prerequisites: Rhythmic Studies 1; also open to all musicians with a strong rhythmic foundation.

Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9/24 – 12/3 (10 weeks) no class 11/26
Jon Arkin, $395

Keith Ganz

Holistic Harmony
Jazz is an idiosyncratic language but every question does have an answer! This is a workshop-style class that aims to impart a comprehensive understanding of standard jazz harmony and a non scale-based approach to playing over chord changes. Bring your instrument and your questions and fill in the cracks of your understanding of jazz harmony and melody once and for all! Topics include: Creating melodies and connecting chord changes with chord tones, color tones and passing tones (not scales); How, when and why similar chords behave differently at different times; Substituting, reducing and/or adding harmonic movement as desired; Connecting to motivic development (right brain) and liberating yourself from thinking in scales (left brain). Prerequisites: some knowledge of jazz harmony.

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

Brazilian Harmony NEW!
Learn the nuts and bolts of functional harmony as applied to Brazilian music. Develop theoretical understanding as well as the ability to hear chord progressions. Learn to correctly relate scales to chords. Analyze songs in various styles of Brazilian music, bossa nova, choro, samba, baião and others. We will look at and listen to music by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Chico Buarque, Djavan, João Bosco, Pixinguinha, Caetano Veloso and others. All instruments welcome. Prerequisites: some knowledge of triads and 7th chords and diatonic harmony.

Saturdays, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
9/26 – 12/5 (10 weeks) no class 11/28
Ricardo Peixoto, $395

Intro to Jazz Improvisation
This introductory course in jazz improvisation follows a step-by-step method to build the foundational skills necessary to confidently play improvised solos over common jazz chord progressions. Starting with learning to play swinging phrases derived from the blues scale, we gradually add additional tools, developing the ability to construct convincing improvised solos in major and minor keys and in modal settings, as applied to jazz standards. Prepares students for participation in intro level jazz ensembles and similar settings. Prerequisites: knowledge of major and minor scales; major, minor and dominant 7th chords. Required Text: Aebersold Play-Along Vol. 54 “Maiden Voyage” from your preferred online retailer.

Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
9/24 – 12/3 (10 weeks) no class 11/26
Rob Ewing, $395

Lyle Link

Intro to Bebop Language NEW!
The term “bebop” and the names Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and Dizzy Gillespie can be intimidating to aspiring jazz players due to the association with speed and harmonic complexity. But the “textbook” nature of bebop vocabulary and language, with its clarity of line and syntax, makes for an excellent study for musicians at any level. This course leads students through an approach to developing “lines” over chord progressions in the style of the masters noted above, at a manageable tempo. Once you understand the principles of connecting eighth-note lines to an underlying chord progression, it’s just a matter of diligent practice to work things up to speed. Prerequisites: intermediate facility on an instrument; knowledge of major and minor scales; knowledge of basic jazz harmony (7th chords and diatonic chord progressions).

Tuesdays, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Lyle Link, $395

Intermediate Jazz Improvisation
This course gives students a strong foundation in the Great American Songbook repertoire and the ability to improvise over chord progressions with correct notes and good phrasing. Several compositions will be used as vehicles to study basic chord structures, scale structures and non-diatonic neighboring tones. Emphasis is placed
on utilization of basic harmonic concepts, thereby turning exercises into melody. A step-by-step conceptual approach is used and a new concept is added with each new tune. Prerequisites: some previous jazz improvisation experience and knowledge of basic jazz harmony.

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

Ian Carey

Modern Jazz Improvisation
Ready to take your improvisational toolkit beyond bebop licks, modes, and blues scales and into the sonic worlds opened up by artists like McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, and Woody Shaw? This course will look into three different approaches for developing melodically compelling ideas for use in a wide variety of harmonic situations. Beginning with the applications of pentatonic scales, the course will progress to the simple technique of combining pairs of major triads (and the six-note scales that result), and finally, intervallic pairs, in each case examining their use in major, minor, and sus chords, a variety of dominant chords and ii-V-I progressions, and modal or chromatic contexts. Finally we will explore methods to integrate these new ideas into the student’s existing language in a natural and non-contrived way. Prerequisites: basic knowledge of jazz harmony required.

Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Ian Carey, $395

Melodic Shapes for Creative Jazz Improvisation NEW!
Having trouble hitting all the changes? Or maybe you’re just tired of playing the same old stuff in your solos and are feeling trapped by your vocabulary. This class will teach you new, creative and flexible melodic shapes that effortlessly hit all the chord changes, without resorting to played out “licks.” Melodic Shapes is also an excellent method at any stage in the development of your Improvisation skills, helping you to flexibly address the most important notes in each chord, and stay totally creative in the process. Prerequisites: ability to play all major scales. Required Text: Inside Improvisation Series Vol. 1, Melodic Structures by Jerry Bergonzi from your preferred online retailer.

Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9/23 – 12/2 (10 weeks) no class 11/25
Tony Peebles, $395

Pentatonics for Jazz Improvisation
Many modern jazz players make extensive use of pentatonics in their solos, and often the complicated-sounding, long lines that sound so hip and modern are simply pentatonic patterns or altered pentatonics. This class takes a deep dive into the use of pentatonics in jazz improvisation, from early traditional music to the most modern jazz applications. Prerequisites: ability to play all major scales. Required Text: Inside Improvisation Series Vol. 2, Pentatonics by Jerry Bergonzi from your preferred online retailer.

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Tony Peebles, $395

Darren Johnston

The Art of Practice
Whether we can afford 5 minutes or 5 hours a day, we want to be able to walk away from any practice session feeling more relaxed and focused than before we began. This course will present ways in which we can do just that, by creating flexible routines that methodically improve our ears, tone, time, intonation, range, repertoire, vocabulary, and creativity. With the proper intentions and attention, our practice sessions can become not only a path towards improved facility and creative exploration, but also that moment in our days when we can leave our worries and stress behind, if only for a few delicious minutes. Using selected jazz tunes as vehicles, we’ll go through the process of developing effective, inspiring and personalized practice routines. This course is open to players of any pitched instrument and is particularly well suited for wind players. A willingness to focus on the breath is also required. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Mondays, 7:45 – 9:15 pm
9/21 – 11/30 (10 weeks) no class 11/23
Darren Johnston, $395

Solo Improvisation

Saxophonist Phillip Greenlief has built a four-decade career as a performer, composer, and music educator with a deep focus on free improvisation, jazz, and new forms of composition, exploring the intersections where these traditions converge and depart. In this course, students will discover how playing solo can expand the musician’s conception of their instrument, developing a wider sound palette and growing attuned to the myriad sources of inspiration already present in our daily lives. Our study will include readings, score studies, listening examples, and plenty of time for everyone to play in each class session. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Tuesdays, 5:45 – 7:15 pm
9/22 – 12/1 (10 weeks) no class 11/24
Phillip Greenlief, $395

Ben Goldberg

Melody NEW!
Drawing on decades of personal practice and research at the forefront of creative music, clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg leads this new course investigating one of the core elements of music––melody. Working from the basic materials of tonality and harmony, the class will take a hands-on approach to the process of melodic discovery, applicable to all genres of music in composed and/or improvised settings. Prerequisites: none, open to all.

Mondays, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
9/21 – 11/30 (10 weeks) no class 11/23
Ben Goldberg, $395

Check Out These Short-Term Workshops:

Playing Bluesy over Jazz Harmony NEW!
with Anton Schwartz

On the 75th Anniversary of Charlie Parker’s first recording session

The jazz masters play blues-based phrases that soar over jazz harmony, seemingly at one with the harmony and simultaneously expressing and obeying an entirely separate logic. The ease of players like Charlie Parker, Kenny Burrell, Oscar Peterson and Stanley Turrentine is deceptive. Perhaps you’ve tried to use the same blues scale that one of them used over a chord progression and found it sounded nowhere as good. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use the power of the blues idiom in your jazz playing. We’ll look at the general principles as well as the specific harmonic tricks necessary to make the blues idiom work over: major chords, “jazz blues” chord changes, turnarounds and other common jazz progressions—developing our musical “intuitions” through exercises we can practice to develop crucial sounds in our ears (and our fingers).Prerequisites: Understanding of basic jazz chord-scale harmony. Familiarity with advanced harmony including altered and diminished chords will be helpful but not required. Instruments recommended (optional)

Saturday, September 26, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
$60 advance, $75 day of workshop
Anton Schwartz

Free Improvisation: Extending Your Musical Vocabulary NEW!
with Thea Farhadian
Are you interested in improvising more freely, and adding more sounds and approaches to your improvising? In this workshop we will focus on abstract improvisation, and experiment with musical structures and “games” to open up playing and fresh avenues for creative music making. We will work with graphic scores, gesture conducting, extended technique, and more – there’s plenty of room for bringing your own musical genre, and merging it with the class material. We will work together as a larger group, and also smaller groups of trios and duos.

Saturday, October 10, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Thea Farhadian

The Metronome is Your Friend
with Paul Mehling
Returning with his popular workshop for musicians and singers of all levels, Mehling demonstrates a range of practice techniques making creative use of the metronome. Improve your productivity and increase your musicianship! Open to all.

Sunday, November 1, 1:00 –  3:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Paul Mehling

10-WEEK FALL QUARTER / SEP 21 – DEC 6 / ALL CLASSES VIA ZOOM / ALL TIMES PACIFIC

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