Jazz Piano

Jazz 100 Fundamentals
Jazz 200 College Entrance Level
Jazz 300 Advanced Level

5

In the British Columbia Conservatory of Music Jazz Piano Program students will learn all the elements of keyboard jazz
performance. They will be given the opportunity to expand their musical creativity and theoretical knowledge of music
through jazz improvisation.

jazz, jazz piano, jazz music, jazz lessonsThe curriculum includes the study of:

Jazz Modes Jazz Keyboard Skills
Jazz Improvisation Techniques
Jazz Piano Chord Progressions
Jazz Chart Reading using chord symbols
Jazz Repertoire – standard & contemporary

Program developed by: Carissa Neufeld

 

Jazz 100 – Fundamentals

Overview

Students will be taught the essentials for creating an improvised solo from a solid understanding of jazz modes, scales and intense ear training. They will develop their rhythmic skills and technical skills as well as learn to read a jazz chart using chord symbols. Students will be exposed to legendary jazz musicians and encouraged to listen to jazz recordings as well as live performances. They will be given various opportunities to perform as a soloist, but also as a member of a jazz ensemble where they can develop their interactive musical skills with professional musicians. Jazz is a very communicative art form; therefore students will be encouraged to play in various ensemble settings and musical styles.

Pre–requisite: Grade 2 Piano

Texts

  • ABRSM Jazz Piano Series method books levels 1 – 3
  • Christopher Norton’s Microjazz series
  • Jazz Hanon
  • Or other grade – appropriate resources

Technique

Students will be exposed to major modes, pentatonic scales and blues scales as well as all major and minor scales. They will be expected to play some dominant 7th chords and minor 7ths as well as arpeggios of certain triads.

Repertoire

Students will play a written arrangement of tunes as well as an improvised solo utilizing applicable modes and chord symbols.

*By the end of Level 5 students will be expected to:

  • have a basic understanding of 12-bar blues form in the keys of F, B flat, C and G
  • Be able to play a tune with LH chords on beat 1 of every bar while playing
  • RH melody and an improvised solo
  • transpose basic LH blues patterns over blues form
  • be able to improvise a solo based on a given mode or simple chord progression
  • be able to play in many different styles including: swing, latin jazz, rock, funk

Listening skills

  • Listening assignments will be given to familiarize students with some of the great Jazz musicians – they will be expected to know who the great musicians are and what instruments they play
  • Ear-Training will include:
    • identifying time signatures from musical excerpts
    • rhythm clap-back exercises
    • identifying melodic intervals
    • identifying basic 7th chords

Jazz 200College Entrance Level

Overview

Students will be given the opportunity to expand their musical creativity and theoretical knowledge through jazz improvisation. They will be taught the essentials for creating an improvised solo from a solid understanding of jazz modes, scales and intense ear training. Students will develop their rhythmic skills and technical skills as well as learn to read a jazz chart using chord symbols. They will be exposed to legendary jazz musicians and encouraged to listen to jazz recordings as well as live performances. They will be given various opportunities to perform as a soloist, but also as a member of a jazz ensemble where they can develop their interactive musical skills with professional musicians. Jazz is a very communicative art form, therefore students will be encouraged to play in various ensemble settings and musical styles.

Pre-Requisite: Grade 7 Piano

Texts

Real Book Vol. 4 & 5
Jamey Aebersold books

Technique

Modes and scales in all 12 keys: H.T., 2 8ves:

  • All major scales
  • All minor scales: harmonic and melodic
  • All major modes: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Phrygian
  • Whole tone scales starting on any note
  • Blues scales starting on any note Seventh chords and inversions: solid and broken, H.T. 2 8ves
  • Maj7, min7, Dom7, dim7 and min7b5 chords Arpeggios of Seventh chords: H.T. 2 8ves
  • Maj7, min7, Dom7, dim7 and min7b5 chords Cycle of 5ths: be able to play any of the above seventh chords through the cycle

Sample Repertoire

Song for my Father, Blue Bossa, Watermelon Man, Maiden Voyage, Autumn Leaves, All the Things You Are, Blue Monk Straight, No Chaser Solar, Mr. P.C., How High the Moon, What is this Thing Called Love, Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise, So What Scrapple from the Apple Groovin’ High. Students will be able to read a basic lead sheet with LH accompaniment using chord symbols and RH melody with improvisation. They will be expected to demonstrate the following skills:

  • reading chord symbols
  • recognition of major II –V– I’s, and minor ii-V-i’s in a tune
  • LH basic II-V-I voicings
  • improvising based on correct modes
  • tritone substitution
  • play a simple bass line with LH while playing melody with R.H.
  • memorizing common jazz forms: Rhythm changes in Bflat and Blues in C, G, F, and Bflat

Listening skills

  • Students will be able to listen to a jazz recording and follow along to the form
  • Listening assignments will be given to “lift” certain solos from legendary jazz musicians
  • Ear-training will include:
  • identification of all intervals above and below
  • identification of 7th chords: Maj7, min7, Dom7, dim7 and min7b5
  • identification of any of the major modes
  • identification of simple chord progressions: ( II-V-I’s)

Ensemble Playing

Students will be given the opportunity to play with a professional bass player and drummer. Recitals will be held regularly to provide students with ensemble experience as well as experience rehearsing as a jazz trio.

Jazz 300Advanced Level

Overview

Students will be given the opportunity to expand their musical creativity and theoretical knowledge through jazz improvisation. They will be taught the essentials for creating an improvised solo from a solid understanding of jazz modes, scales and intense ear training. Students will develop rhythmic skills and technical skills as well as learn to read a jazz chart using chord symbols. They will be exposed to legendary jazz musicians and encouraged to listen to jazz recordings as well as live performances. They will be given various opportunities to perform as a soloist, but also as a member of a jazz ensemble where they can develop their interactive musical skills with professional musicians. Jazz is a very communicative art form; therefore students will be encouraged to play in various ensemble settings and musical styles.

Texts

Charlie Parker Omnibook Selections from Real books 1 – 6
Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine

Technique

Modes and scales in all 12 keys: H.T. 4 8ves

  • All major modes
  • All melodic minor modes
  • Diminished scales starting on any note (half/whole or whole/half)
  • Augmented scales starting on any note Seventh Chords and inversions: solid and broken, H.T. 4 8ves
  • Maj7#5, dom7#11, dom7#5, dim7, min7b5 Arpeggios of Seventh Chords: H.T. 4 8ves
  • Maj7#5, dom7#11, dom7#5, dim7, min7b5 *Be able to play each seventh chord through the cycle of fifths *Be able to play each seventh chord chromatically ascending or descending.

Sample Repertoire

Confirmation Donna Lee Invitation Body and Soul ‘Round Midnight Joyspring

Students will be expected to demonstrate the following skills:

  • be able to play a tune and improvise in odd time signatures
  • voicings with extensions: 2-handed as well as LH only
  • play a LH bass line while improvising with R.H.

Listening Skills

  • Student will be able to “lift” more complicated solos from various jazz recordings
  • Ear–training will include:
    • Identification of all 7th chords with extensions
    • Identification of all minor melodic modes

Ensemble Playing

  • Students will be encouraged to rehearse regularly with a trio
  • Students will perform in regular recitals, playing standard repertoire as well as their own compositions and arrangements.