Course: MU541 Jazz Lab

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Subject Area: Music

Type: Standard

Credits: 0.5

Course Information:

The purpose of Jazz Lab is to develop performance skills within the jazz idiom to explore the world of jazz regardless of ability or instrument. Students will study and learn about jazz history, music theory, style, and vocabulary, and they will learn how to improvise and play various styles of jazz in a nurturing learning environment. Students are expected to participate in selected rehearsals and performances outside of the school day, including Marching Band and Pep Band performances and rehearsals. Additional opportunities to perform in the community may occur as well. A master calendar of these required events is provided at the beginning of the school year for student planning purposes.

In addition to the performance aspect of the class, students may complete written work, listening exercises, and reading for the course.

This class may be taken during Fall semester, Spring semester, or both semesters, however it is highly recommended that the class be taken for both semesters due to performance commitments throughout the year.


  • Understand and apply note-reading concepts appropriate for their level of experience

  • Understand and apply rhythm-reading concepts appropriate for their level of experience

  • Understand extensive music vocabulary and apply their meaning to performance and in written work in relationship to the seven elements of music (melody, rhythm, texture, harmony, expression, form, and timbre)

  • Understand the relationship of pitches within major, minor, mixolydian, dorian, and blues/pentatonic scales and modes (whole and half steps) and be able to apply that knowledge to music in any key or mode

  • Experience, in rehearsal and performance, major works by master composers of various cultures and historical eras

  • Perform with appropriate balance, tone and presentation (stage presence/professionalism)

  • Participate in a structured rehearsal demonstrating understanding of each musicianês role and expectations within the rehearsal

  • Perform with appropriate technique and playing position for their instrument(s) in 8 out of 12 major and blues scales, dorian and mixolydian modes, and do so throughout the full range of their instrument

  • Understand and apply a vast array of articulations within music and exercises. Specifically understand and apply how these articulations differ between symphonic and jazz performance. (minimally: slur, staccato, accent, marcato, tenuto)

  • Complete written analysis of a variety of musical selections, performances and musicians

  • Improvise original melodies in variety of styles, and in several keys, over standard chord progressions in the jazz idiom, and do so with a consistent style, meter, and tonality. (example of progressions, 12-Bar Blues, 32-Bar Rhythm Changes, Modal Progressions, etc)

Notes: Audition or recommendation of previous instrumental music instructor.