J a z z  F i d d l e  W i z a r d





The Author


Jazz  Wizard Junior book 1
(middle school)
Jazz  Wizard Junior book 2
(upper middle/high school)
Jazz Fiddle Wizard

Stringin' the Blues
(grade 3.5)
Swing on a String
(grade 3)
Swing There, Done That
(grade 2.5)

STRING QUARTET MUSIC: Jammin' Jazz Standards


Syllabus 1
Syllabus 2

Seifert Interview



The following is the syllabus I use with all my individual "commercial" violin students at Belmont. Jazz Fiddle Wizard is the main text book for the Freshman year. Later on I move towards advanced Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass and other "commercial" styles but keep the same structure in lessons and for juries. Three student's progress are charted here.

Belmont University School of Music
Course Syllabus


MUBG 111 - 411 Applied Commercial Violin Instruction
3 Hrs Credit
Fall 2000
Martin Norgaard, Instructor; MPA 2;
Time TBA

1) Course Description & Overview

The main goal of this course is to teach the student to play within the jazz tradition. This goal is reached through three main areas of study:

a) Exercises on common chords and progressions are practiced in all keys. The "semester lick" is one example of an exercise.

b) Solos from the history of jazz are transcribed, analyzed and learned.

c) Tunes are analyzed and memorized. Licks from the exercises and solos are applied to the tunes.

2) Schedule

The student will receive a 55-minute applied lesson weekly TBA with the teacher.

week 1

Review. Semester goals. Pick Tune 1 & Solo 1.

week 8

Pick Tune 5 & Solo 2. Analysis.

week 2

Tune 1 due. Pick Semester Lick 1 & Tune 2.

week 9

Tune 5 due. Pick Semester Lick 2 & Tune 6.

week 3

Solo 1 due written. Tune 2 analysis.

week 10

Solo 2 due written. Tune 6 analysis.

week 4

Tune 2 due. Semester Lick 1 six keys. Tune 3.

week 11

Tune 6 due. Semester Lick 2 six keys. Tune 7.

week 5

Solo 1 due played. Tune 3 analysis. Pick Tune 4.

week 12

Solo 2 due played. Tune 7 analysis. Tune 8.

week 6

Tune 3 due. Tune 4 analysis.

week 13

Tune 7 due. Tune 8 analysis.

week 7

Tune 4 due. Semester Lick 1 all keys. Review.

week 14

Tune 8 due. Semester Lick 2 all keys.

MIDTERM: Tune 1-4. Solo 1. Semester Lick 1.

week 15

Jury preparation. Review.


3) Objectives & Requirements

a) BINDER: Because each student have different histories and abilities, the three areas of study mentioned above are not always approached in the same sequential fashion. For that reason, each student needs an individual ring binder in which appropriate exercises in the various categories will be noted. This binder must include blank music paper and is always brought to the lesson.

b) TAPE: Each student must purchase a cassette tape that is used for music minus one selections recorded by the instructor. This tape is used in every lesson and while practicing.

c) TECHNIQUE: Technique refers in this course to the technical elements of applying jazz phrasing to a string instrument. Regular technical issues such as violin hold is primarily left to the students classical instructor to avoid conflicts.

d) THEORY: Each students level of theoretical knowledge is determined at the beginning of the semester. Thereafter a specific goal is outlined and translated into usable form as exemplified by one or more "semester licks". The semester lick must be presented in all keys in jury.

e) TRANSCRIPTION: A solo is selected for each student. The solo will exemplify specific areas such as rhythm, phrasing, use of arpeggios etc. that will be analyzed. This will be translated into exercises and transferred to the students repertoire of tunes. The solo is transcribed by the student and must be played from memory as part of jury.

f) REPERTOIRE OF TUNES: Tunes are selected according to the students technical and theoretical level. All tunes are memorized and all elements from the exercises and the solo transcription applied. At the end of the semester this repertoire of tunes are performed before the commercial faculty, evaluated and graded. This is called a jury.

g) PRACTICING: Disciplined, consistent practice is necessary for making adequate progress in commercial violin study. The minimum goal established for practice hours are:

3credit hours (55min. lesson) - 8hrs. weekly.

The maximum result will be achieved by daily practice even if that practice at times is short. Each lesson will serve as an example of how to structure each practice session by including each of the three elements mentioned in the course description.

h) PERFORMANCES: Each student is required to do some kind of public performance each semester with the exemption of students who are on their first semester at Belmont. Selections from the repertoire of tunes are chosen in collaboration between Mr. Norgaard and the student and accompaniment arranged.

i) ABSENCES & TARDINESS: Any lessons missed by Mr. Norgaard will be made up before the end of the semester. If the student is ill or for some reason wants to change their lesson time, it is requested that the student try to exchange their lesson time with someone else. Last-minute announcement of lesson cancellation means a loss of the lesson. Tardiness beyond 10 minutes will be considered a no-show.

4) Evaluation Criteria

Grades are determined by several factors including musicianship, progress, amount of work, and amount of literature covered. Each lesson time will be spent equally on exercises, transcription and development of the repertoire of tunes. A very good indication of progress is in the amount of tunes covered with successful application of theoretical elements from exercises and solo.

A+, A or A- a grade of distinction requiring consistent work and a high degree of talent, musicianship, and progress.
B+, B or B- above average with some of the above areas needing improvement.
C+, C or C- average work with areas of weakness in musicianship, progress, and literature.
D+, D or D- below average with severe lack of progress in the above areas.
F, failure None of the above criteria met.

Your semester studio grade will count 75% of your final grade and your jury grade 25% .

A+ 4.0 quality points for each hour of credit
A 4.0 quality points for each hour of credit
A- 3.7 quality points for each hour of credit
B+ 3.3 quality points for each hour of credit
B 3.0 quality points for each hour of credit
B- 2.7 quality points for each hour of credit
C+ 2.3 quality points for each hour of credit
C 2.0 quality points for each hour of credit
C- 1.7 quality points for each hour of credit
D+ 1.3 quality points for each hour of credit
D 1.0 quality points for each hour of credit
D- 0.7 quality points for each hour of credit
F 0 quality points for each hour of credit

5) Texts

Norgaard, Martin. 2000. Jazz Fiddle Wizard, Pacific: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.

References Related to Course:

Aebersold, Jamey. 1974. Vol. 3 The II/V7/I Progression, New Albany: Jamey Aebersold Jazz, Inc.

Barnett, Anthony. 1995. Desert Sands, The Recordings and Performances of Stuff Smith, East Sussex: Allardyce book. (available in the library)


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Copyright 2004 Martin Norgaard. All Rights Reserved.