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The Summer Jazz Workshop curriculum is designed to support a wide range of instrumental development in jazz performance. The core program is comprised of Instructional Classes and a selection of Special Topics in Jazz Performance. At the end of the program, students will have gained a deeper insight to key aspects of playing jazz and applicable tools to further their progress.

Master Class

An advanced session that discusses and demonstrates specific techniques of any given style including solo learning with analysis of texture, form, and meaning. Taught by listening, asking questions that require deeper knowledge and playing.

Big Band

Ensembles will explore a selected repertoire from the large ensemble works of Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Mary Lou Williams, Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman, to the pieces we write today.


Small Ensemble

Combos will study and perform music of all eras. Students will be able to play together in less formal settings, but be provided a training ground around the format and value of this time honored jazz tradition.

Instrument Studio

These group lessons will focus on instrumental pedagogy from a foundational and jazz standpoint. All aspects of technique will be covered with an emphasis on breathing, tone, attack, flexibility, velocity, range, phrasing, control, special effects, reading, and expressing different emotions.

Jazz Language

A dedicated session to developing how the language of jazz is learned through playing, listening, and the understanding of theoretical elements. Students will participate on their instruments as the instructors guide them through key concepts.

Special Topics in Jazz Performance

These classes are designed to address elements of jazz performance that are crucial to the development of performance skills. Students will select three courses to take during the week-long program.


Composition & Arranging: The ability to make new music and arrange for different size ensembles is an important aspect of being a complete performing musician. During these classes the students will learn basic techniques for composing new songs and making arrangements for different sized ensembles. 

Applied Transcription: There are many ways to approach jazz improvisation, and one method proven among jazz musicians for generations is the practice of transcription. In this class the instructor will guide students through the process of learning improvised solos by ear and how to apply that material to their own playing.

Jazz Theory: An in-depth focus on the unique theoretical applications of jazz will be analyzed and discussed in the context of seminal recordings, original jazz compositions, and landmark instrumental solos.

Tunes by Ear: Another key aspect to learning jazz vocabulary is garnering a solid foundation of typical jazz tunes. Learning essential jazz repertoire is a necessary piece to understanding how jazz is performed and learning those songs aurally – as opposed to from reading – will improve anyone’s overall musicianship and playing ability. During these interactive sessions instructors will guide students through the process of building their jazz repertoire through learning entire songs solely by ear.

Guided Listening: During these structured listening sessions, instructors will guide students through selected recordings and discuss how the music was developed and how those musical elements remain active strategies in playing jazz today. Listening to music collectively will expand anyone’s perception and interpretation of recorded music to better inform how they approach playing their own instrument.


Jazz Masters: Students will be guided through important moments in the development of jazz music in history. Key figures will be identified along with their significant contributions to the art form still in practice today.

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