Jazz harmony, ear training and ensembles: advanced

Course Dates: 28/09/18 - 28/06/19
Time: 10:45 - 15:45
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: 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. Musicianship training at a high level. Entry by audition or recommendation. Practical assessment is via group audition mornings held in mid-July and early September. Contact the Music Department to register your interest.


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 small and large ensembles. 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 repertoire e.g. Blue in green, Stella by starlight, bossa nova classics
- 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 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 basic chord types (major, minor 7, dominant and half-diminished) and minor and altered harmony. You need to be adept at 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).
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English and staff notation.

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

All practical, lots of singing, transcribing musical ideas, and playing exercises and jazz standards together. You will also rehearse for gigs, and have 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 Band, your own musical projects, Higher Education.
You may also be interetsed in taking part in City Lit's 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)

This course has now started

Course Code: MG603

Full Fri, day, 28 Sep - 28 Jun '19

Duration: 33 sessions (over 40 weeks)

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

Call us to check your level, see if you can still join the course or to discuss other suitable courses

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.