Q: I've been playing for years, my reading is good, but I feel like my ability to improvise and knowledge about it is way behind compared to my reading. Which ensemble should I register for?
A: No problem! If you'd like to focus on learning how to improvise and continually work on it, you should register for Level 1 - Foundations Jazz, or Level 2 - Junior Jazz. While the reading will be easy, your improv skills, ear training and Jazz theory knowledge will thank you for the workout! If you want a reading challange and not be included much in soloing, then Level 3 - Intermediate Jazz could be a good fit, but we hope you are joining us because you want to work on your improvising abilties!
Q: I've been improvising and playing by ear for quite sometime, but I think it's time I learned what all those chord symbols mean. I feel a bit stuck with what I'm doing - is there room for someone like me?
A: Absolutely! Level 2 - Junior Jazz would be suitable depending on your reading abilities. Digesting Jazz theory and harmony takes time, so you want to be comfortable building a solid foundation. Eventually all of the “intellectual information” just becomes “stuff you can hear and play” (just like being comfortable with the Blues Scale) and you're back to playing by ear - yet being able to understand the chords and outline the harmony.
Q: Do you accept enrollment after a term has started?
A: Yes! Please send us a message and we will figure out a plan for you.
Q: Will we receive handouts for the theory and ear training componants?
A: For sure! Printed handouts or emailed PDF's will be provided throughout the term.
Q: How does the curriculum work? Does the class restart it's material each term?
A: While there are three terms per year (Fall, Winter, Spring) for registration and payment purposes, the repertoire and curriculum is spread out over the entire school year (September to June), so each term will not be a repeat of the previous term. Building musical skills and aquiring knowledge takes time, and you'll be amazed at your progress over a 10-month period!
Q: I'm going on vacation for two weeks in the middle of the term, can I just get a refund for those weeks?
A: Unfortunately we do not offer refunds for missed classes, as group classes cannot be rescheduled like a private lesson. If you have to miss any for extenuating circumstances, please contact us so we can discuss on a case-by-case basis and .
Q: What music do we play?
A: A diverse collection of Jazz (and sub-generes of Jazz) arrangements that span from the 1920's to today! Arrangements and lead sheets are provided, and as the year progresses, the arrangements continue to become more customized to the individual players.
Q: I like playing music... but I don't really like to practice much, are these ensembles going to require a lot of practice?
A: It all depends on your current skill set and what you want to get out of this experience. We expect students to practice regularly in order to improve on the skills and knowledge we are developing throughout the year, but every student is different. Perhaps we can work with you and together develop a solid practice routine? Consistency is more important that sitting down once a week for a few hours. If you are having a difficult time scheduling in regular practice sessions due to a variety of life circumstances, let's figure out a solution together?
Q: What performance opportunities are there?
A: We perform an end-of-year-recital, open to supporters, family, and friends. In addition, we will be scheduling additional playing opportunites for the ensembles to occur througout the school year!
Q: Do I need to bring music stands, amps, or gear?
A: No! :) All music stands, amps, chairs, piano/keyboard, drum set are provided at both locations. Just bring your instrument, music, and anything else related to your personal gear (ie: saxophone stand, drum sticks, patch cord) that you may need. Some students may find bringing a stand light helps their eyes and reading depending on the lighting at each location.