MJI ONLINE 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 - Book 1, authored by MJI artistic director Mark Davis, and adapts the material for all instruments. Levels are offered in a cycle throughout the year. Click here for details on the course format, textbook, and what to expect after your pay.

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LEVEL ONE

Online Class (8 sessions)
Tuesdays, 7:45 - 8:45 PM (CST)
Starts March 29, 2022

Prerequisite: Basic proficiency on an instrument and basic music reading skills are recommended.
Instructor: Eric Jacobson
Cost: $150 for the 8-week course

If you have any questions prior to signing up, please contact us.

Upgrade: For an additional $80, you will receive temporary access to a video recording of each class viewable until one week after the course ends. (Temporary video access for a single class session is available for $20 for registrants who did not upgrade. Contact MJI to purchase.) 

 

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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LEVEL TWO

Online Class (8 sessions)
Tuesdays, 7:45 - 8:45 PM (CST)
Starts June 7, 2022

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

If you have any questions prior to signing up, please contact us.

Upgrade: For an additional $80, you will receive temporary access to a video recording of each class viewable until one week after the course ends. (Temporary video access for a single class session is available for $20 for registrants who did not upgrade. Contact MJI to purchase.) 

 

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 THREE

Online Class (8 sessions)
Tuesdays, 7:45 - 8:45 PM (CST)
Starts January 18, 2022

Prerequisite: MJI Jazz Theory: Level One and MJI Jazz Theory: Level Two or an understanding of the topics covered in those courses.

Instructor: Eric Jacobson
Cost: $150 for the 8-week course

If you have any questions prior to signing up, please contact us.

Upgrade: For an additional $80, you will receive temporary access to a video recording of each class viewable until one week after the course ends. (Temporary video access for a single class session is available for $20 for registrants who did not upgrade. Contact MJI to purchase.) 

 

Topics Covered in Jazz Theory: Level Three

WEEK 1

  • Shell Voicings

  • Application of Shell Voicings to iim7-V7-Imaj7

  • Application of Shell Voicings to the Blues

  • Upper Extensions

WEEK 2

  • Altered Dominant Extensions

  • Four-Note Voicings

  • Application of Four-Note Voicings to the Jazz Blues

WEEK 3

  • The Harmonic Minor Scale

  • The Jewish or Spanish Scale

  • Improvising over the Jazz Blues

WEEK 4

  • Minor II-V-I

  • The Locrian Mode

  • The Jazz Melodic Minor Scale

WEEK 5

  • Improvising with the Jazz Melodic Minor Scale

  • Improvising over the Minor II-V-I

 

WEEK 6

  • The Altered Scale

  • “Cry Me a River” Lick

  • Four-Note Altered Licks

 

WEEK 7

  • The Diminished Scale

  • Improvising with the Whole Tone Scale

WEEK 8

  • Improvising over “What Is This Thing Called Love?”

TEXTBOOK AND DETAILS

 
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Required Textbook for Jazz Theory Levels One, Two, and Three
Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Method - Book 1

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

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

Class Format: Classes are held online via Zoom. Students will generally be on video and unmuted for class discussions and when asking questions. The syllabus shows which pages in the textbook summarize the content of each session, allowing a student to miss a class due to an unavoidable conflict but not fall behind in the course. We encourage participation, discussion, and an interactive class dynamic.

After You Pay for the Course: You'll receive a receipt by email (check your spam/junk folder if you do not receive it). You will receive a link to a short online form to complete your registration. Once the form is completed, you will receive the syllabus for the course. On the day of the first class, you will receive the Zoom link for the course.