Classes for Instrumentalists


Brazilian Music Ensemble

Study and perform classic Brazilian songs and styles, including Samba, Bossa Nova, Frevo, Maracatu and Baiao. For piano, guitar, bass, drumset, percussion, horn and vocals. Intermediate to Advanced level suggested. Suggested prerequisite for vocalists: Jobim parts 1 and 2. Suggested prerequisite for percussionists: Brazilian Percussion.

Cuban Music Ensemble – A 12-Week Course

A class offering the foundations of both contemporary and folkloric Cuban music styles, with historic perspectives. This is a hands-on workshop where the players will become familiar with playing salsa in the tradition. For all instruments. Intermediate level required. Suggested prerequisites for percussionists: Nothing But the Conga and Cuban Percussion.Suggested prerequisite for pianists: Latin Piano

Ensemble Master Class – Special Topics

In this class, the instructor will focus on a particular style, period, or music associated with a particular artist to be announced. Advanced level suggested.

Guitar Ensemble

Study and perform standards arranged for multiple guitars by Mundell Lowe, Lloyd Wells, and others. In this class, students will learn to play in a group setting and will gain reading skills as well as experience in comping and improvisation. The ensemble will perform at the end of the six-week session. Intermediate to Advanced level Read More

Introduction to Ensemble Playing

This is a beginning ensemble open to all instrumentalists. Students will explore standard and jazz standard repertoire, focusing on the concepts of group playing, including feel, basic improvisation, blues, forms and listening.

Jazz Fusion Ensemble – A 12-Week Course

This is a great class for the contemporary jazz student who wants to learn about groove, concepts of time, and a variety of tunes associated with contemporary modern jazz. For all horns and rhythm section. Intermediate to Advanced level suggested.

New Orleans Brass Band Ensemble

This performance-driven class covers historic and contemporary performance practices of the New Orleans Brass Band. Students will study musical artists, including Louis Armstrong, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Trombone Shorty and others. For trumpet, sax, clarinet, trombone, piano, banjo or guitar, bass or tuba, and drums. Intermediate to Advanced level suggested.

Small Ensemble

This intermediate to advanced ensemble is open to all instrumentalists. Students will cover more advanced concepts of literature, including intros, endings, styles, tempos and comping. The ensemble will perform at the end of the six-week session.

Soul Jazz Ensemble

Study and perform compositions from artists such as Ramsey Lewis, Eddie Harris, Les McCann, Herbie Hancock & Stanley Turrentine. This class will emphasize groove and communication. Students will explore tunes including “Cold Duck Time,” “The In Crowd,” “Cantaloupe Island,” “Freedom Jazz Dance” and more. For trumpet, tenor, and rhythm section. Intermediate to Advanced level suggested.

Standard Repertoire for Instrumentalists

This is a great class for players looking to start and develop their jazz repertoire by focusing on standards commonly played and called in performance situations. Additional focus will be given to standard forms, chord progressions, intros and endings, modulations, and performance practices found in a number of jazz standards. For all instruments.


Advanced Improvisation

A class covering complex harmonic structures, transcription and analysis of jazz solos. Application to bebop and modal style of tunes.

Bebop Scales and Patterns

The Bebop scale began to appear in the 1950’s and ’60’s as a way to enhance the flexibility of the major scale/mixolydian scale and create a more melodic and complex sound. Students will learn these scales, along with interesting patterns that will make them sound like pros.

Beginning Jazz Improvisation

This class focuses on the study of chords, scales, modes, simple patterns, and harmonic structure. For all instruments.

Blues Improvisation

As an introduction to the blues for the musician, this class is a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis and technique. Students will learn various ways to improvise over standard changes and substitutions, including a look at Minor blues.

Charlie Parker Improvisation Styles

In this class, students will learn the tunes and solos of one of the greatest saxophone players in history, with an emphasis on transcription and technical execution of the tunes. This is a 2-part class, with part 2 focusing on performance. Part 2 students will write a bebop head in the style of Charlie Parker. Read More

Contemporary Improvisation for Jazz Guitar

Students in this intermediate-to-advanced level class will gain an overview of prominent contemporary guitarists and their techniques, including alternate picking, legato, and economy picking, as well as intervallic improvisation, outside playing, three note voicings, quartal harmony, and quintal harmony.

Exploring Dominants

This advanced improvisation class will explore the six various dominant-seventh chord types from a theoretical standpoint to help students understand when each is most commonly used in jazz. Students will learn to play scales, modes, and licks over each dominant type, as well as learning how to decipher chord extensions and alterations when none are Read More

ii-V-I’s for Guitar

This class will focus on locating ii-V-I cadences within jazz and pop tunes. To learn to improvise melodically over these progressions, students will explore chord voicings, comping ideas, and the use of scales, arpeggios, and guide tones.

Instrumental – Special Topics

This class is designed to advance students toward a greater sense of artistry and depth in jazz performance. Special topics will depend on the instructor and session.

Intermediate Improvisation

A class concentrating on patterns, playing in different keys, call and response, chord alterations, tempos, and group participation. Application to bebop and straight ahead swing tunes.

Minor ii-V’s and Diminished Patterns

Through a blend of ear training and analysis, this class covers the minor ii7b5-V7b9-I6 progression, emphasizing diminished scales, their purpose, and the patterns that will work over this progression.

Modal Approach to Altered Chords

This class covers the scales and modes that can be used over altered chords and will include chord study and the analysis of tunes.

Rhythm Changes

With a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis, and technique, this class introduces the musician to the standard ‘I Got Rhythm’ chord changes. Students will learn various ways to improvise over these changes.

Solo Transcription

This class covers the techniques involved in the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic transcription of improvised solos from recordings.

The ii-V-I Progression

This class introduces the musician to the most important chord progression in jazz through a blend of patterns, ear training, analysis, and technique.

Thelonious Monk/Bud Powell Improvisation Styles

Students will examine important works by each composer, first by analyzing the pieces and studying the recordings made by Monk and Powell, and then by identifying and practicing specific techniques for improvisation over each piece.

Instrumental Styles and Technique

Get In The Pocket

This is an essential class for the intermediate to advanced vocalist or instrumentalist. With a drummer as the only accompanist, the student will gain a deeper sense of rhythmic timing which is the core of swing. In addition, students will have the opportunity to sit behind the drumset, learning swing patterns that will help them Read More

Rhythm Section Grooves for Instrumentalists

An important class for rhythm section players, this course explains the different rhythmic grooves or styles that a instrumentalist should know how to play: slow swing, ballad, medium swing, fast swing, straight ballad, swing ballad, jazz waltz, bossa nova, samba, mambo, cha-cha, bolero, rhumba funk, straight 8ths, straight 16ths, etc. Students will learn to recognize Read More

Rhythm Section Lab

This class will concentrate on how to play as a group. You will learn how to improve your sound, tighten your groove and define the pocket! For Piano, Bass, Drums, Guitar, Vibes and Percussion.

The Art of the Duo

In this basic class on how to play as a duo, students will work together on creative arrangements and will learn how to communicate song literature. Instrumentalists must be able to comp and play bass lines, improvise, and provide the melodic bed to support the soloist. For vocalists, guitarists, and pianists.

Individual Instruments

Bass Classes

There are currently no courses that match that description.

Drum Classes

Brazilian Percussion

Students in this class will learn the major styles of Brazilian music along with their associated instruments and techniques. Instruments include the Pandeiro, Ganza, Caxixi, Chekere, Surdo, Tamborim, Timbau, Repinique, Agogo, Caixa (Snare Drum), Berimbau, Atabaque, and Quica. This class is the suggested prerequisite for the Brazilian Music Ensemble.

Cuban Percussion

This 6-week class will focus on all the instruments of the Cuban rhythm section: conga, bongo, timbales, guiro, maracas, and shekere. Students will learn how clave functions in Cuban music and how all percussion parts fit together in clave. The students will also learn how songs in Cuban music and Salsa are constructed, including breaks, Read More

Drumming With Your Hands

Taught by legendary Nashville drummer Kenny Malone, this class will teach Malone’s system of hand-drumming in simple terms, covering such fundamentals as ranges: low to high tones, open and muffled sounds, strong and weak beats, and long and short sounds, as well as dynamics, establishing the dance, and communicating with other musicians in the moment.

Drumset Improvisation

This class covers the concepts and techniques needed to create “musical vehicles,” such as 4’s, 8’s, and full choruses. Students will compose and play their own solos.

It’s About Time

For drummers and bassists, this class is designed to center the player’s time by focusing on the role of drums and bass as timekeepers. Class work will include metronome and time studies.

Jazz Drumset Essentials

This class will introduce the beginning jazz drummer to basic ride patterns, simple Latin patterns, comping, song forms, and brushwork.

Latin Drumset

For the intermediate to advanced drumset player who wants to learn Brazilian and Cuban styles, this class includes an introduction to Samba, Bossa-Nova, Mambo, Cha-Cha, Rhumba, Bolero, and 6/8 Afro-Cuban. Suggested Prerequisites: Jazz Drumset Essentials and The Essence of Brushwork

Nothing But The Conga

This 6-week class is designed to provide students with the knowledge of conga technique, which is essential for playing Cuban music convincingly. Without this understanding of the conga drum, also known as the tumbadoras, it is not possible to play the other percussion instruments convincingly. It is strongly recommended that students own a conga drum.

Pandeiro Fundamentals

The Pandeiro has earned a prominent place in the musical culture of Brazil because of its pervasive use and historic significance in Brazilian music. With a focus on fundamental sounds, this class will provide exercises designed to keep your hands and arms healthy and strong. Students will learn essential styles and patterns, including Sambas, Partido Read More

The Essence of Brushwork

In this class, students will focus on the time-keeping patterns that drummers need to know, with an emphasis on sound and its purpose. Students will learn new and useful brush techniques to help with time and solo work.

Guitar Classes

Blues and Swing Guitar

This is a class for the intermediate to advanced guitarist who wants to focus on the Blues and Swing style. The course will cover Chicago Blues, Gospel, Jazz Blues, and Minor Blues as students focus on slide techniques, finger and chordal style, and rhythm playing.

Charlie Christian and the Swing Era Jazz Guitar Style

This 6-week class will focus on the single-line soloing style of Charlie Christian and other prominent late Swing Era guitarists. Topics will include developing ideas through the use of chord grips and arpeggios, chord substitution practices, incorporating blues elements, phrasing, and comping.

Intro to Chord Melodies for Guitar

This class is designed to create your own arrangements for solo guitar. Students will study chord voicings, bass line movement, chord substitution, and key placement, while covering styles that include ballads, Latin, jazz waltz, and swing.

Introduction to Brazilian Guitar

In this 6-week study of Brazilian guitar and its function in Bossa-Nova and Samba, students will learn the authentic voicings, rhythms, and comping patterns essential to this style.

Introduction to Jazz Guitar

This class is designed for beginning jazz guitarists, advanced beginners, and players versed in other styles who want to make the transition to jazz. Students will focus on the simple chord shapes and rhythms that create a jazz sound, as well as chord voicings, comping rhythms, and guide tones.

Jazz Guitar Comping

Specifically geared for the beginning to intermediate guitarist, this class covers many comping concepts, including Drop 2, Drop 3, and pianistic voicings as they pertain to standards, specifically the ii/V/I progression. Students will learn harmonization techniques, including the Wes Montgomery block-chord style and the Joe Pass walking bass line style. Rhythmic devices and beginning tension Read More

Jimmy Raney Guitar Style

Jimmy Raney was best known for his small ensemble work with artists like Stan Getz and Buddy Defranco. He was able to blend his style with any venue, while also distinguishing himself as an individual artist and soloist. This class will focus on Jimmy’s repertoire, technique, chord voicings, improvisations, and transcriptions.

Nashville Guitar Cats

Some of Nashville’s most famous and most frequently recorded guitarists will be guest artists in this 6 -week class. Each week, a different guitarist will talk about their careers, play recordings that they made famous, and share tip and tricks with students. Anyone can take this class with these legends who put Nashville on the Read More

Solo Jazz Guitar

In this class, students will learn how to combine solo jazz guitar, melody, comping, and bass lines to make music using the entire guitar.

Wes Montgomery Guitar Style

Wes Montgomery was one of the greatest and most influential jazz guitarists in history. This class will focus on Wes’s repertoire, technique, chord voicings, improvisation, and transcriptions.

Piano Classes

Advanced Keyboard Voicings

This class emphasizes right and left hand voicings as well as how to voice lead. Students will explore when to use tritone substitutions, alternate voicings, and more advanced comping patterns.

Comping for Pianists and Guitarists

Being a good rhythm player is just as important as being a good soloist. An art form in its own right, rhythm comping behind a soloist is the most important job of a pianist and/or guitarist. By exploring patterns and rhythmic figures that are important when accompanying a soloist, students will learn to provide a Read More

How To Accompany A Soloist

A pianist or guitarist must be able to support the soloist, whether that soloist is a vocalist or another instrumentalist. This class will emphasize comping, bass lines, voicings, intros, and endings. It’s a great class for the working musician. Advanced level suggested.

Introduction to Solo Piano

Students will work on composing their own arrangements of standard repertoire and will learn how to execute them in a solo format. Components discussed will include stride, Shearing voicings, stylistic considerations, tempo vs. rubato, intros or endings, soloing, bass lines, harmonic movement, and time.

Intros and Endings

In this class, students will learn and play the most famous standard intros and endings for jazz tunes. Students will also research and write their own intros and endings to share with the class. This is an essential course for the performing instrumentalist.

Jazz Keyboard Voicings 1

This class provides a beginning look at 4 note chords and their inversions. It then moves to upper structures, such as 9, 11 and 13 chords and their alterations. Students will learn to play these in several positions. The emphasis will be on ii-V-I’s and their inversions.

Jazz Piano Master Class

This class is open to pianists who are at an intermediate to advanced level. Students will prepare a solo piano piece to play each week. These performances will serve as a springboard for discussions that will cover examples of what and how to practice. Topics will include harmonization techniques, voicings and textures, melodic phrasing, improvisation, Read More

Latin Piano

This class is an overview of Salsa, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian piano, including montunos, Latin bass lines, comping patterns for Bossa Nova and Samba, and percussion rhythms. Learning how these fit together and relate to the clave, students will gain a deeper awareness of rhythm.Intermediate level suggested.

New Orleans Piano Styles

This class is a retrospective of New Orleans piano styles, including the songs and piano playing styles of Jelly Roll Morton, Albert Ammons, Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, and others. Instruction will include written scores as well as CDs and videos. Topics include 12 and 16 bar blues forms, boogie and stride left hand Read More