Vocal Workshops


Vocal Workshops

Jazzschool-Online Technical Requirements for Vocal Workshops:

Required equipment:

  1. Computer to host Zoom workshop.
  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.


Lorin Benedict

An Expansive Approach to Vocal Improvisation: Focus on the Ears
with Lorin Benedict
Explore ways to increase your expressive potential when vocally improvising in the context of musical forms possessing one or more of the following elements: chordal progressions, rhythmic ostinato figures, and composed melodic lines. This includes–– but is not limited to!––”jazz standards” and other familiar song forms. Throughout the workshop, we will stress: (1) an ears first approach, wherein we glean as much as we can about a musical form and how we might negotiate it before and/or instead of engaging with any instrument (e.g. a piano); and (2) the importance of listening very closely to the works of great improvisers, using what they provide for both inspiration and detailed information. The full class will be conducted in two parts, although it is possible for students to take only one of the two modules. Part 2 is designed for those who have also taken part 1, either as part of this series or in a previous quarter.

Part 1: September 27, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
After a short introductory solo improvisation by the instructor (in which key topics are briefly illustrated/discussed), we will focus on detailed pitch relationship exercises, including the negotiation of common chord progressions exhibiting tension followed by resolution. This is followed by rhythmic exercises, where improvising with drum patterns (e.g., clave) is examined. These concepts are then combined. If there is time, we close with an in-depth discussion of the solo of a master improviser in the jazz tradition.

Part 2: October 4 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Prior to the class, each student is encouraged to bring in a musical form with which they would like to work on improvising (this can be ANYTHING; it can be a traditional “song,” but it needn’t be!) In turn, we will each demonstrate where we are with improvising on the forms of our choosing; constructive feedback and suggestions will be given for how we might further our efforts. The instructor will suggest additional listening assignments that may be helpful. We then all work with the SAME simple form (suggested by the instructor, during the class), and examine a multitude of strategies for improvising within it, with everyone participating. If time permits, this is then repeated with another very different musical form, and additional listening assignments are given to the students, in conjunction with feedback given.

Sunday, September 27 and October 4, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$40 advance, $55 day of workshop for each section
$75 for both sections advance,
$90 for both sections day of workshop
Lorin Benedict

American Songbook Composer Workshop Series: It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing: The Music of Duke Ellington
with Maye Cavallaro
Duke Ellington is best remembered for the over 3000 songs that he composed during his lifetime. His best known titles include; It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing, Sophisticated Lady, Mood Indigo, Solitude, In a Mellow Tone, and Satin Doll. In this workshop we’ll explore and sing some of Ellington’s great songs, some known and some lesser known. We’ll also listen to how some jazz greats have interpreted these songs and get ideas for our own arrangements. Students are provided with 10 lead sheets for songs including practice-backing tracks. We’ll learn songs together as a group and share our ideas by video recordings. Students will need 2 devices such as a mobile phone and a tablet, a laptop and a phone, in order to play the backing track and record the video simultaneously. Lots of singing and sharing. Open to all!

3 Sundays, September 27, October 11 & October 18, Noon – 3:00 pm
$300 advance, $315 day of workshop
Maye Cavallaro

Amy D.

LIKE YOU: Building A World Around Your Music
with Amy D.
We create music for emotional healing and the freedom that comes with it, and by sharing, we extend that to others as well. Most often, the music comes from a place that is pure and inviting. Then, suddenly, we’re asked to define our music in a way that’s marketable and easily understood in a 30-second elevator pitch. What’s the musical style? What playlist does your music fit into? Who else do you sound like? What’s your “story” and how does that define your artistic expression? Yes, it’s important to be able to answer these questions, but it’s even more important to build a world around your music that’s an authentic and deeply personal expression of your own. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to create an engaging and meaningful approach to artistic expression that is uniquely yours. With the tools and approaches presented, participants will find a renewed sense of freedom, knowing that their power lies in the truth…there is no other LIKE YOU. Students are welcome to bring an example of their music or style, either in a recording or to be demonstrated live, for feedback and discussion.

Sunday, October 11, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$60 advance, $75 day of workshop
Amy D.

Managing Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety for Vocalists
with Amanda Addleman
Tips and tools to help singers combat one of the most difficult aspects of the performing arts: stage fright and performance anxiety. Learn methods for overcoming performance anxiety and get specific, personalized coaching on how to manage the symptoms of performance anxiety. Topics covered include managing breath, vocal placement, stage presence and banter as well as tips for leading a healthy performing life outside of the performance hall. Please be prepared to sing a song of your choice from memory.

2 Sundays, October 11 and 18, Noon – 3:00 pm
$100 advance, $115 day of workshop
Amanda Addleman

Kate McGarry

How to Get Your Voice to Work Better So You Can Sing What You Want!
with Kate McGarry
Come to the voice gym for this 2-Part vocal work out and seminar in vocal technique from the Somatic Voicework™ Lovetri Method perspective. Bring a song you are working on and experience how these techniques will help you achieve your creative ideas! Bring a bottle of water. Open to all!

2 Sundays, October 18 and 25, Noon – 3:00 pm
$125 advance, $140 day of workshop
Kate McGarry

Pyeng Threadgill

The Embodied Artist
with Pyeng Threadgill
How do you access your full, authentic voice so that you can really sing from your heart? In this voice and movement workshop you will learn a series of breath and body explorations to develop deeper self-connection for authentic singing. Pulling from modalities such as the Alexander Technique, Qi Gong, Yoga, Somatic Voicework, the LoVetri Method and more, you will learn to better listen to your own artistic impulses. Through writing, movement and sound play, you will further your self-expression for live performing/recording in a way that truly FEELS good for you as well as your audience! Finish the experience by learning several approaches to incorporate movement into your interpretation of a song. All levels welcome. Please bring a yoga mat, notebook or journal, something to write with, meditation cushion or pillow, clothing comfortable for moving and an open and curious mind:).

Saturday, October 24, Noon – 3:00 pm
$60 advance, $75 day of workshop
Pyeng Threadgill

American Songbook Composer Workshop Series: “Over the Rainbow” – Focus on Harold Arlen
with Maye Cavallaro

Choosing material, developing arrangements, programing a set, and writing and delivering interesting patter are all skills advanced singers need to master to grow their audience. In this class, we’ll focus on the music of Harold Arlen. Working together, we’ll put together a video performance including songs and stories about this creative composer, known for his bluesy and harmonically sophisticated tunes including Stormy Weather, That Old Black Magic, and the musical The Wizard of Oz. Each student will choose two tunes from the Arlen catalog and we’ll concentrate on creating arrangements, developing stage patter and video stage presence, and end with a video combining all of our performances. Students will need two devices (such as a mobile phone and a tablet, a laptop and a phone), in order to play the backing track and record the video simultaneously. For intermediate to advanced singers. Prerequisites: consent of instructor; consultation required. Please email mcavallaro@cjc.edu

4 Sundays, November 1, November 15, November 29, & December 6, Noon – 3:00 pm
$350 advance, $375 day of workshop
Maye Cavallaro

Danielle Wertz

Strengthening and Caring for Your Voice
with Danielle Wertz
In this three-hour workshop, you will learn how to take good care of the voice through an introduction to vocal anatomy, vocal registers, and daily healthy habits. Next, we will explore various vocal exercises that gently condition and strengthen your instrument. Technical elements covered include breath support and breath management, understanding how to hear and make dark vs. bright vowels, learning how each of our own unique bodies can feel supported by adjustments to alignment and posture, and learning how to identify, strengthen and balance vocal registers. After our group exploration, students will have the opportunity to sing one song and receive feedback as to how to best integrate these technical practices and healthy approaches into their selection. Applicable to all contemporary vocal styles; no experience necessary!

Sunday, November 8, Noon – 3:00 pm
$60 advance, $75 day of workshop
Danielle Wertz

Jimmy Kraft

Jazz Style for Non-Jazz Singers
with Jimmy Kraft

If you’ve ever felt awed by the scatting of Ella Fitzgerald, humbled by the expressive range of Sarah Vaughan, or soothed by the mellow timbre of Chet Baker, then perhaps you’d like to learn how they do what they do! In this workshop, we’ll examine these artists and many more to discover what really characterizes a “jazz” vocalist. Whether you’re an experienced singer, a hobbyist, or haven’t sung a thing in your life, this workshop is designed to help you understand what goes into creating the perfect vocal jazz vibe. Even if you’re not a performer yourself, the content of this session can help you understand what you’re hearing when you listen to the greats. Whatever your background, you can look forward to a deep dive into the wonderfully wide world of jazz style!

Saturday, November 14, Noon – 2:00 pm
$60 advance, $75 day of workshop
Jimmy Kraft

Jay Clayton

Free Sing
with Jay Clayton
This workshop is designed for exploring and developing your personal soloing vocabulary through free improvisation exercises, poetry “sing/say” and working on original compositions by Jay. A rare opportunity to study with one of the pioneers of vocal music on the free jazz scene. Jay Clayton developed one of the first systems for teaching improvised vocal music. Come ready to sing! Open to all.

Saturday, December 5, Noon – 3:00 pm
$75 advance, $90 day of workshop
Jay Clayton

Rhythm Studio
with Keith Terry
In this informative and entertaining workshop, we will identify cultural and historical connections while exploring a variety of rhythmic systems and concepts from around the world, including polyrhythms, crosspulses, polymeters, phasing, half time/double time, additive/divisive, syncopation and more. Hands-on, no instruments needed. We will step, clap and vocalize simple patterns and rhythmic games as a way to internalize these tools, which enhance the development of time, timing, phrasing, listening skills, independence, coordination and ensemble awareness. This knowledge can then be applied to musical instruments, the voice, plus other vehicles of expression, in composition and improvisation. A useful resource for musicians, dancers and movers of all kinds, actors, DJs, beat-makers, and film editors anyone interested in deepening their skills and broadening rhythmic horizons.

Saturday, October 17, 11 am – 1 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Keith Terry

Check Out These Short-Term Music Business Workshops:

Music in the Digital Age NEW!
with Dmitri Matheny
Dmitri Matheny shares dozens of secrets, strategies, tips and tricks for not only surviving––but thriving––in the contemporary music business. Topics covered include: cultivating a creative and entrepreneurial mindset, booking successful tours, effective use of social media, publicity, acquiring fans and selling music online, creating a record label and publishing company, licensing compositions for use in films, video games and beyond, contract negotiation and much more.

Sunday, September 27, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Dmitri Matheny

The Art of the Interview NEW!
with Andy Gilbert
A two-part workshop exploring how to approach interviewing musicians (or other artists). In the first two-hour session, we’ll talk about research, goals, and strategies for drawing out artists about their life experience, training, and creative goals. The session will also cover techniques for setting a good tone at the start of a conversation, techniques for directing a conversation, and knowing when to follow rather than lead. We’ll also talk about the best way to document interviews. The homework assignment is to interview an artist. Students are welcome to share their questions and game plan with Andy before the interview. For the second session, students will share a page or two from the interview, and we’ll do an extensive debriefing, covering what worked, what didn’t work, what could have been done differently, and possible follow-up questions.

2 Sundays, October 4 and 18, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$120 advance, $135 day of workshop
Andy Gilbert

Building Your Digital Presence NEW!
with Sheryl Lynn Thomas
Building a fan base online can feel overwhelming, but we live in an age with social and promotional platforms at our fingertips, so let’s take advantage of them! It’s important to concentrate on the digital promotion of your band/yourself, new release, tour dates and/or special event. By doing so, you’ll invite more and more opportunities to engage your current fans and create new fans, while simultaneously building a ‘brand’ around your music. In this workshop, we’ll focus on ways to establish a digital presence and develop an engaging flow of content, while building an email list that works with your website, targeting and engaging your audience and establishing your brand across all digital platforms. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions or topics they would like to discuss in advance. Contact Sheryl Lynn at sheryllynn@cjc.edu to submit questions.

Sunday, November 15, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$45 advance, $60 day of workshop
Sheryl Lynn Thomas

Home Recording Crash Course NEW!
with Joe Bagale
Musicians have been recording from home for years, and in this time it’s become increasingly popular, perhaps even essential. Multi-instrumentalist/recording engineer/producer Joe Bagale (aka Otis McDonald) has many years of experience recording in both home studio and high-end commercial recording studio environments. In this workshop, Joe will help you think through the process of setting up a home studio including gear, room set up, recording techniques, plus best practices for remote collaborations and more. Whether you’re just starting out with recording or if you’ve already been doing so for some time and want to take your studio set up to the next level, Joe will be able to offer guidance in getting you where you want to be! Attendee questions welcome and encouraged.

Saturday, November 7, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
$50 advance, $65 day of workshop
Joe Bagale