J a z z F i d d l e W
i z a r d
EDUCATION - SYLLABUS 1:
The following is the syllabus for the course I teach at Vanderbilt. It showcases how Jazz Fiddle Wizard can be used to teach introduction to string improvisation in a class setting:
Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University
MUSO 132 "Introduction to Jazz Improvising for Strings"
Intro to Jazz Improvising for Strings is planned as an elective. The course is designed to provide the student with an essential understanding of the basic rules of jazz improvising and an appreciation for the history of stringed instruments in jazz. The course includes a short historical overview and a hands-on introduction to the essential tools needed for improvising. These tools include the concept of associating scales with chords, improvising with the chord notes as target notes, incorporating space and rhythms and simple tune analysis. The students will start improvising within a very strict framework of rules. The more advanced the students get the more freedom is allowed. This structured approach appears to be less intimidating to most classically educated players and is therefore more effective.
Intro to Jazz Improvising for Strings will be open to all violin, viola and cello students at Vanderbilt with no or little experience in improvising within the jazz idiom.
Intro to Jazz Improvising for Strings will meet for one hour per week. Performances by individual students will be part of the regular course of study and of midterm and final exams. Individual students may also participate in the year-end concert by the department of fiddling. The specific course of study is as follows:
4) Evaluation Criteria
Grades are determined by general musicianship, participation, preparation for class and individual progress. The midterm and final exams will be conducted as informal performances by each individual student with the rest of the class as audience. The accompaniment will be provided by the instructor.
Norgaard, Martin. Jazz Fiddle Wizard. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, Inc., 2000. (The references to individual lessons in the course schedule above refers to this book)
References Related to Course:
Aebersold, Jamey. The II/V7/I Progression. Vol. 3. New Albany, IN: Jamey Aebersold Jazz, Inc. 1974.
Barnett, Anthony. Desert Sands, The Recordings and Performances of Stuff Smith. Vol. 1. East Sussex, Eng.: Allardyce, Barnett, Publishers, 1995. Up Jumped the Devil. Vol. 2. 1998.
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