MJI JAZZ THEORY COURSES

Open to high school and adult musicians of all instruments who want to learn the essential melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic practices of jazz music. The online courses use the Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Method, authored by MJI artistic director Mark Davis, and adapts the material for all instruments. Each course level is offered several times a year.

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LEVEL TWO

Online Class (8 sessions)

Tuesdays, 7:45 - 8:45 PM (CDT)

March 30 - May 18

Prerequisite: MJI Jazz Theory: Level One or an understanding of the topics covered in that course.
Instructor: Eric Jacobson
Cost: $150 for the 8-week course

Those that pay for the term will receive a follow-up questionnaire from MJI. If you have any questions prior to signing up, please contact us.

Topics Covered in Jazz Theory: Level Two

WEEK 1

  • The Dominant Bebop Scale

  • Application of Bebop Scale Over iim7 – V7

  • Descending from All Degrees

WEEK 2

  • Dominant Arpeggios

  • Resolution to the Third

  • Creating Melodic Lines

WEEK 3

  • Application to the Blues

  • Scale Connections

WEEK 4

  • More Dominant Ideas

  • More About Accents

  • Rhythmic Variations

  • Phrasing

WEEK 5

  • Major Scale Improvisation

  • The Major Bebop Scale

  • Descending from All Degrees of the Major Scale

  • Resolution to the Third and Fifth of the Major Scale

  • Arpeggios

 

WEEK 6

  • More Major Melodic Ideas

  • Rhythmic Variations

 

WEEK 7

  • Improvising Over iim7 – V7 – Imaj7

  • Improvising Over Imaj7 – vim7 – iim7 – V7

  • Improvising Over iiim7 – vim7 – iim7 – V7

WEEK 8

  • Application to “Afternoon in Paris”

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LEVEL ONE

8-Week Online Course

Check back for the fall schedule

Prerequisite: Basic proficiency on an instrument and basic music reading skills are recommended.

 

Topics Covered in Jazz Theory: Level One

WEEK 1

  • Developing Your Ear

  • Form and Structure of Typical Jazz Performances

  • Chromatic Scale

  • Whole Tone Scale​​

WEEK 2

  • The Major Scale

  • Intervals

  • The Cycle

  • Swing Eighth Notes

WEEK 3

  • Triads

  • Four-Note Chords

WEEK 4

  • Diatonic Chords

  • IIm7 – V7 – Imaj7 Progression

  • Basic Voice Leading (Guide Tones)

WEEK 5

  • Interpreting a Lead Sheet

  • The Blues Progression

  • The Blues Scale

 

WEEK 6

  • Improvising with Chord Tones

  • Modes of the Major Scale

 

WEEK 7

  • Improvising with the Mixolydian Mode​

WEEK 8

  • Improvising with the Dorian Mode

 
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Required Textbook for Jazz Theory Levels One and Two
Hal Leonard Piano Method

The book is available through your local music store or Amazon. Click here to purchase on Amazon

Content from the book will be adapted for all instruments. See above for the weekly schedule of topics that will be covered.

The class is held online via Zoom, and students will generally be on video and unmuted for class discussions and when asking questions. The classes are not recorded. The instructor will review weekly which pages in the textbook summarize the content of each session. This allows a student to occasionally miss a class due to an unavoidable conflict but not fall behind in the course. We want to encourage participation, discussion, and develop a class dynamic.

TEXTBOOK AND DETAILS