Jazz harmony, ear training and ensembles: advanced

Course Dates: 20/09/19 - 03/07/20
Time: 10:45 - 15:45
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Della Rhodes

Focus on ensemble playing, developing jazz improvisation, applying theoretical understanding to practical situations and performance. We will learn and study jazz standards and unusual repertoire. This is musicianship training at a high level. Entry by audition or recommendation. Please apply to della.rhodes@citylit.ac.uk to arrange assessment. Audition date: Saturday 7 Sep 2019.


What is the course about?

Develop your ability to hear, play and understand melody, harmonic progression, style and time feel in the jazz idiom. Detailed study of jazz standards will be supported by listening, singing activities and playing as a group.
Develop your ability to improvise well. Play in a small and large ensemble. Learn challenging repertoire. Perform.

What will we cover?

- Exercises will develop transcription skills and explore and practise approaches to improvising
- Improvising with the voice, notating chord progressions, guide tone lines, exploring scale choice and tensions
- Practice routines will be established for ear training skills
- Explore tools and devices like forward motion, double time feel, backing riffs, guide tones, enclosures
- Look at aspects of ensemble playing such as leading, instant arranging, dynamics, presentation
- focus on listening and responding in the ensemble
- We hope to provide the opportunity to play in public at least once a term.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Recognise simple & compound intervals, natural and altered tensions over chords
- Develop short-term memory for motif, pattern, etc.
- Sing, write and use modes of major, harmonic minor, melodic minor scales, altered and diminished sounds
- Transcribe single lines and chord progressions quickly and accurately
- have mastered some challenging jazz repertoire
- Invent solo and backing ideas by ear
- Demonstrate good practice when playing in an ensemble (rhythm section or front line)
- Improve your response in playing situations
- Lead a small jazz ensemble
- show greater expertise in matters of writing/arranging.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You should have good working knowledge of aural and academic harmony, recognition of intervals and the basic chord types (major, minor 7, dominant and half-diminished) and minor and modal harmony. You need to be accustomed to reading, playing, and improvising in jazz and Latin styles. You should have already learned some or all of the tunes cited for the Tuesday jazz course (please see the outline for MG602).

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Almost all practical, lots of singing, transcribing musical ideas, and playing exercises and jazz standards together. Weekly practice of improvising solos. You will also rehearse for gigs, and there may be the opportunity to arrange a tune for players in the group.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring manuscript paper, a course file, your instrument and you may also want to buy CDs or download tracks for study.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Big Bands. Your own musical projects,
You may also join Jazz Woodshedding and Jazz repertoire short courses.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 1 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

This is an outstanding course with a top class teacher. It is demanding and very engaging, but the musical payoff is great if you persist. The course requirement is to read music well. I cannot read well and so it was quite tough to keep up with the pace of other students who were better trained in the past. there was support for this, but still be aware that the course will be a challenge for weak readers of music. The ensemble work was brilliantly well lead and organised and the experience of playing in small groups with other students and the tutor [who can play everything!] was a priceless, wonderful experience.
Course Rating
Review by Paddy / (Posted on 13/07/2015)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Check your level

Course Code: MG603

Fri, day, 20 Sep - 03 Jul '20

Duration: 33 sessions (over 42 weeks)

Full fee: £959.00
Senior fee: £767.00
Concession: £585.00

Before booking on this course, we'll need you to log in or register with us if you're new. Please then contact us for a chat with our team to check that this course is the right level for you.
Why do I need an advice session?

Any questions? music@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2630

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.