FOR ADULT LEARNERS ON ANY INSTRUMENT
I currently run two regular jazz improvisation workshops for adult learners (teenagers are welcome if accompanied by an adult). Saturday Jazz Workshop takes place in Orpington on Saturday mornings once per month and Tonbridge Jazz Workshop takes place in Tonbridge on Monday evenings once per month.
These workshops are for adults of any age, on any instrument, interested in developing their improvising skills and musicianship. It is a practical, performance-based approach to learning in a supportive, inclusive and nurturing group. Through the playing and study of standard jazz repertoire, we cover some of the essential requirements for improvising including ear training, rhythmic skills, developing your harmonic understanding and knowledge, learning transcriptions of some classic recordings and building a jazz vocabulary.
By better understanding of the process of playing jazz and your role in the group and by using a variety of different practice methods and approaches you can gain confidence in your improvising and musicianship skills. We also have fun! It is a great chance to play in a group and meet other like-minded people.
Each session is self-contained and we work on one tune per session. This means that it is possible to attend individual sessions and not feel like you are at a disadvantage to the rest of the group. But if you sign up for the whole term's classes (4-5 sessions) in advance then there is a considerable discount on the fees.
Numbers are limited, to ensure that everyone gets plenty of chance to play in every session and enrollment is by application (forms can be downloaded below). Whilst anyone is welcome to come and observe a session (by prior arrangement), these workshops are not a "turn up and blow" event like some jam sessions or workshops. Places must be booked and paid for in advance so that we can prepare the necessary handouts and sheet music for the various instruments. Please email me for availability.
Please see the FAQs at the bottom of the page.
TONBRIDGE JAZZ WORKSHOP
Tonbridge Jazz Workshop takes place in the music department at The Weald of Kent Grammar School in Tonbridge. Please click HERE for a google map link. There is plenty of parking available in the school. Please be ready to play at 7:30pm. We must vacate the room by 9:30pm.
SPRING 2020 DATES
Monday 13 January - Little Sunflower
Monday 10 February - I Got Rhythm
Monday 16 March - One Note Samba
We do not work from "Real Book" lead sheets. We focus on specific recordings of each piece and it is very important you are familiar with that particular recording before attending the workshop.
to jump to the full list of workshop repertoire where you can download the specific recording for each tune.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is there parking available?
Yes, you can park in the school car park.
Do I need to bring my instrument with me?
There is one piano and one drum kit and a bass amp and keyboard amp available for our use (please check with me first), as well as a PA system. Other than that everyone needs to bring their own instruments and amplifiers, if required.
Do I need to bring a music stand?
No, music stands are available.
What else should I bring?
All sheet music will be supplied for tunes that we are playing, but some manuscript paper and a pencil is always useful to make notes with. A recording device can also be very helpful.
Is the workshop open to singers?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate singers.
Is the workshop open to under 18s?
Yes, the workshop is open to all ages, although it is intended for and focussed on adult learning. Some teenagers have attended in the past and it has worked fine with them, but it is not suitable for young children. Young children are very well catered for at the classes I run at BYMT Jazz School and should enquire at
I'm only a beginner. Will it be suitable for me?
The workshop will naturally include a "mixed ability" group and shall attempt to offer something for most levels. However, it is not suitable for complete beginners (ie: someone who only just bought their first instrument last week) and the classes do not include any instrumental tuition. As a minimum requirement you should be able to play a chromatic scale on the full range of your instrument and know your major scales. As a very rough guide, grade 3-4 equivalent standard is recommended as a minimum, although no certificates will be required.
I've never improvised before, will this be a problem?
Not if you are willing to give it a go. You will be given different concepts and strategies for improvising on the material presented in the session.