Musicians Movement Blue Springs
Career Music Educators Serving School Musicians, Music Directors and Driven Performers
Specializing in Performance Driven, Technology Based Music Instruction

Jazz Piano I- introduction to jazz theory, jazz chord structures, and jazz forms. Students will learn the relationships between harmony that create the “jazz” sound and the primary chord progression; the ii-V-I, that jazz music is based on.  In order to pass proficiency students must memorize the ii-V-I progression in all keys. This study will explore particular elements of jazz that give it such a distinct sound and learn how to reproduce melodies that are characteristic of jazz phrasing and articulations.  The lab comes equipped with the latest software aids designed to reinforce these basic concepts through entertaining age/skill appropriate activities.  Learners are supplied with full size, fully weighted 88 key Roland keyboards, a computer, monitor, headphones, and connection to the Yamaha MLA-100 conference system for communication with the instructor and other students. Certain activities and projects will promote students to work together.  Jazz Piano I participants will not be required to perform recitals or public concerts until the next phase of jazz study.  Pre-requisites include Piano Lab II or equivalent former study.

Jazz Piano II- this is where it all “comes together”.  Learners will be taught and expected to memorize hybrid jazz scales and arpeggios.  As they do they will begin to develop a “jazz vocabulary” based from experimental improvisations built from these scales and particular jazz patterns.  They will also investigate “root” or bass movements, patterns, and walking bass lines that accompany jazz chords learned from Jazz Piano I.  As their skills develop they will be encouraged to participate in small group combos allowing them to try new improvisations and the art of melodic communication between musicians.  Students will also be encouraged to listen and become familiar with the music of past and current jazz greats.  They will study these artists by learning the art of “transcription” – note for note matching of a melodic phrase.  Lastly, study will include different styles of jazz music, such as be-bop, swing, latin-jazz, and jazz music derived from other countries. The lab comes equipped with the latest software aids designed to reinforce advanced concepts and ear training through entertaining age/skill appropriate activities.  Learners are supplied with full size, fully weighted 88 key Roland keyboards, a computer, monitor, headphones, and connection to the Yamaha MLA-100 conference system for communication with the instructor and other students. Certain activities and projects will promote students to work together.  Jazz Piano II participants are required to perform recitals and give public performances.  Pre-requisites include Piano Lab II, Jazz Piano I, or a demonstration of efficient improvisational abilities.

 Jazz Improvisation- an intense study designed for jazz and other musical styles of instrumentalists.  The instructor serves more of a guide to participants rather than a trainer since improvisation is derived from the player’s perspective.  The majority of time is spent experimenting with the ideas of other players and concepts learned from the Jazz Piano / Jazz Studies II course.  A secondary source of time is spent transcribing the solos of other artists and implementing them into the jazz language, vocabulary, and performance “bag” of the learner.  Pre-requisites include Piano II, Jazz II or a demonstration of higher knowledge.  Wind Instrumentalists, Vocalists, Bassists, and Guitarists supply their own instruments, while drummers and pianists have supplied gear.  The lab is equipped with loud speakers, computer technology, audio playback equipment and other modern tools used by improvisers.  A portion of the course may allow for instrumentalists to become familiar with these modern advances in music technology.  ALL participants are required to participate in recitals and or public performance.