A range of online music courses available through Jazz Music Institute, a place where everyone can study jazz! These courses are delivered by Brent Stanton from New York City. The platform focuses on specific study techniques and practice systems to further performance skills. There are several formats, depending on level of interactivity. It is also a valuable resource for music teachers to tap into and pass along to their own students interested in jazz.
Although Jazz is generally best performed in an in-person environment, much can be studied and practiced from almost anywhere in the world!
You can target specific musical elements that you would like to focus on, and you get to shape your learning journey. You can schedule lessons when it’s convenient for you in your time zone, time frame from wherever you have an internet connection.
There are additional resources beyond the lesson, such as tailored “Practice With Me” videos and other supporting materials.
We offer a range of courses that are available in either one-on-one or group lessons. You can choose individual lessons for personal attention, or group sessions with your friends or ensemble members.
There are several learning “Tracks” to choose from, each containing 3 levels and approaches – Setting Out, Building On and Moving Forward, depending on your comfort level or desired focus.
Theory, Listening, Ear Training
How musicians in Jazz learn and practice their craft!
Transcribing and Applying to Your Playing
Taking the Listening and application to another level.
The Standard Jazz Repertoire and Arranging
Exploring Tunes most jazz musicians seem to know along with their History and Treatment
Learning the Language of Bebop
Exploring the language and practicing Bebop, in both classic and contemporary fashions
Piano/Keyboard for Everyone (non-pianists especially!)
Navigating the Keyboard and using it for your study and teaching.
Preparation for a BMus Degree Program at JMI
What you need to know entering a JMI In-person program
The Music Teachers’ Room
Resources and Practice systems and ideas for Music Teachers to take to their students.
Players interested in a jazz focus or for woodwind doublers.
Brent Stanton is a NYC based musician with a long experience as a jazz and “commercial” musician with a varied career in performing and teaching, who can teach instrumentalists and vocalists of all ages, levels and experience. He will formulate and target the content to the individual, group or ensemble. You can read more about Brent’s musical journey and thoughts on education and performance here.
Each course at JMI Remote is delivered online an a highly focused and individualised setting. Each module will include 4 intensive direct lessons with Brent for at least 1-1.5 hours each. Lessons can be held as frequently as each student prefers, with lesson times arranged in a flexible manner according to your availability.
Each block of 4 lessons costs $440 incl GST with 3 different payment options (full payment, 2 payments or 4 payments).
To register for a JMI Remote course, simply complete the online registration form here. We will be in contact within 2 working days to get you started towards your learning journey with JMI Remote!
Why do we need to learn theory?
Jazz improvisation can often demand unique and sometimes what can seem complex skills. You can most certainly improvise completely by ear, and there have been many jazz artists who have spent their entire careers doing just that – and very successfully. It doesn’t seem to work so well though, if all you are doing is reading or memorizing the music and not really hearing or understanding it at some level.
It’s my belief that in jazz improvisation, where we most often “depart from the melody” that deep relationships can be formed between our senses. It’s all a complex and cyclic relationship – listening can lead to knowledge, listening can lead us trying things on our instrument, or knowledge can also lead to trying things to our instrument, but it will all lead back to growing our ability to hear and sharpen our instincts.
At some point though, the relationship leads to us to needing to bravely trying stuff out – and sometimes failing – privately and even publicly! That’s actually OK! It’s very much like learning any new language, and it can often mean a lot or repetition. The repetition though is what allows us to play more instinctively and with purpose, and tap in to our spirit.
This intense experiential relationship then, can truly stimulate and reflect our human experience!
In this module, basically we’ll learn how to listen and hear, understand what we are hearing better, and how to apply it effectively in our own Jazz Improvisation. If you are a teacher, I would hope that you would take all this to your own students.
How’s it going to work?
I will be encouraging you to sing a lot – with me! (And I’m no singer), but I use my voice a lot. We’ll also look at the piano keyboard as a visual learning device. You can literally see and hear melody and harmony before your eyes!
You will need access to a keyboard or piano. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a 4 octave keyboard with regular size keys will do the trick. And you will need blank music paper and a pen!
Take a look at some of the subjects covered, but know also that I will add elements here and there as this course progress, based on what may be requested or what I’m seeing a need for.
This level is for those who have little or no music theory knowledge of for those who would like to a fresh look at it all. Before you begin, it would be good to take the time to learn or refresh yourself with the notes on a piano keyboard.
– Major Scale
– Minor Scales
– Tertiary Triads – Major and Minor
– Cycle 4
– The Diminished Triad
– Non-Tertiary Triads – fundamental
– Harmonic Regions
– Basic Songs and their Harmony
– Basic 4-Note Chords 7ths
– Hearing R,3,5,7/6 Chord Tones in context
– Keyboard – Playing 7th chords in all keys!
– Playing through the Chords of a Song
– Left Hand Chords / Right Hand Melody on Keyboard
– Scale of 7th Chords
– Look at 7th Chords in Song Forms
– Playing Songs by Ear
– Playing Songs by Ear in any key!
– Hearing R, 3, 5, 7/6 Chord Tones through ii-V-I (Major)
– Hearing R,3,5,7/6 Chord tones through ii-V-i (Minor)
– Beyond the Melody
– The 2nd, 4th, 6th
– Hearing the Natural 9th (2nd)
– The b9
– Diminished 7th applied to the V7
– The 11th (4th)
– The 13th (6th)
– 6th Diminished Fundamentals
– Scale Outlines – Playing and Singing
– Starting Tones Study Through Song Form
– Scales with Added Notes
– The Chromatic Scale for every tonality
– Upper Structure Scales with Added Notes
– 4-Note Chord Studies
– Further Chord Studies – Upper Structure
– Diminished Theory
– More Diminished Family Exploration
– Melodic Minor Theory
– Quartatonic Study
– Pentatonic Study
– Hexatonic Study
– Non-Tertiary Triad Pairs
It’s a fundamental skill that many great jazz players have used to learn the Jazz Language.
Players throughout the history of jazz have analyzed jazz masters, either by playing along or writing down solos, or both, to help them learn the language and complexities. Why not utilize a tried and tested learning device!
Much wisdom has come before us. We can speed our learning process by studying our heroes.
Transcribing not only helps our understanding of the history, it is also a superior ear training system for our “ears to voice” and “ears-to-fingers” relationships.
If Transcribing is “copying to sound like someone else” how can it help me develop my own sound and style?
Once we have transcribed and can play along with others playing music that is attractive to us, we can begin to shape the content and use it to develop our own style.
We can take a transcription and “work backwards” to contemplate what a player may have practiced in order to play what can often seem effortless. We can then use the concept to shape and further our own goal of self expression.
Do I need to write out transcriptions or can I just play along with them?
It depends on your learning style. It’s not always necessary to write solos out. Players have used both approaches over the years. Writing can help by bringing a visual learning component in to the mix, but is not a “mandatory” requirement.
How will this course work?
At each level, we’ll listen to a variety of soloists and determine what they’re playing. We’ll replicate the content and explore what they might have possibly practiced in order to play what they play.
We’ll begin to weave the content in to our playing and feed it in to our own individual style.
We’ll go deeper into other more complex elements, such as time feel and groove and even history, to find out how we might utilize a transcription to inspire our own spirit.
What if I have never done this before, or tried and struggled with Transcribing?
We’ll start at a fundamental level where you can succeed and work from there. There are techniques and methods that can help develop the listening process. It’s an effortful process, but definitely one that can be learned!
Why Learn Standards?
Jazz Standards tend to be the backbone of studying and performing jazz. They contain a wealth of information and creativity and they’re most often just well-constructed! (They’re standards for a reason!).
More questions for you!
When you play song melodies, do you know the lyrics, whether you are a singer – or not! Lyrics are the key to phrasing and melodic know-how and valuable for everyone to know.
Do you know any of the jazz history that comes with the songs or standards? Would you be ready if you got up on a bandstand and the band played chord changes or arrangements from a particular era from the jazz collective history? By knowing some of the the history, I don’t always feel so thrown by these surprises!
Have you decided on the set of chord changes you are going to play over a song? Are you planning to arrange the song for your band, and you would like to borrow or be inspired by classic versions of the song?
Can you play songs in different keys – and relatively comfortably? Are you ready when a band or vocalist announce the song you thought you knew well in a different key? Are you a transposing instrumentalist who is given a concert lead sheet on a bandstand! That’s happened to me! We’ll look at all this.
Most of the institutional knowledge has been gained by generations of jazz musicians studying what might be considered a standard or common list of tunes everyone seems to know. It’s likely, that you’ll need to know a bunch of songs, standards or bebop heads, and to have them readily available when you play with other musicians, or be ready to play them on demand when you sit in! Do you feel prepared for that?
How’s it going to work?
At each session, we’ll take a look at different tunes, different versions, listen and analyze the structures. We’ll also take look at how they were arranged, and what arranging techniques were used.
Creating classic Bebop improvised lines from scratch – or How to Bop instead of Beep!
The bebop approach to jazz builds on a centuries-old wisdom of creating strong rhythmic and harmonic based melodies. Pioneer teachers of jazz like Barry Harris, Lennie Tristano and Charlie Banacos have codified much of the language used by composers and players past and present. We have assembled practice systems based on their teaching which we think you will find invaluable.
Much of the language is found in Bebop tunes themselves. We’ll analyze melodic and rhythmic content but also how they are played
Once we depart from the melody, we’ll begin to look inside the form. We begin with basic chord tones – Root, 3rd, 5th, 7th. Chord tones allow us to begin to experience the inner harmony of a form. I’ll show you ways of practicing and using them creatively on song forms.
Triads and 7th Chords
The next step is to combine the chord tones in to tertiary triads and 7th Chords.
Basic Approach Tones
Approach tones add new rhythmic elements and possibilities
Scales and Scale Outlines
Scales are an essential part of understanding the inner workings of the harmony of a tune. We start simply over song forms, then look at creative ways to apply and expand them.
We transcribe and look at how great players have used scales and other techniques and begin to dig in to scales with added notes.
Scales with Added Notes, Part One
– Adding Notes to Scales to strengthen scalic lines
– Barry Harris ½ step rules
– The Charlie Banacos approach
Writing our own tunes!
So much of the Bebop repertoire is built on the structure of other songs. We can do the same! And we can create original tunes with this knowledge as well.
Bass Line Approach
A Bass Line Study can be invaluable to helping us gain an independence and formulate and solidify our own unique lines and style.
It’s important to gain rhythmic command, as much as harmonic freedom. We’ll look at techniques that can provide a solid foundation.
Upper structure chord tones
We extend the chord tone study and look at how they can be applied to song forms.
Upper Structure chords
Building upon the chord tones, we look at upper structure chords and apply to song forms.
Scales with Added Notes Part Two
We expand on Part One, and look at a wide variety of chord/scale types
Upper Structure Scales
An expanded view of available alternate scales and applying them to song forms.
Fast Moving Song forms!
How to negotiate Giant Steps or Countdown
More Rhythmic Independence
Chromaticism and “Outside” Playing
Are you a vocalist or instrumentalist who feels the need for basic or more advanced harmonic foundation and knowledge in your jazz improvisation and teaching? Keyboard knowledge is the key!
At a fundamental level, the keyboard is a unique vehicle in learning the auditory and visual relationship of melody and harmony. It is your visual and listening teacher and can progress into a great tool for further harmonic learning.
Perhaps you are a singer and you would like to learn to accompany yourself when you sing. If you teach vocalists or instrumentalists individually or in a classroom setting, keyboard knowledge can help immensely when you are passing along your skills or accompanying your students.
Perhaps you would like a bit more technique, or you would like to be quicker at finding voicings and techniques to build upon what you already have.
This level is for those who would like a fresh look at the keyboard!
Basic piano technique
– Strengthening and Agility Exercises
Basic keyboard knowledge
– Basic Melodies, auditory and visual learning
– Scales and Fingering – Major and Minors
– Learning Treble and Bass Clef
– Triads – Major, Minor, Augmented, Diminished
– Basic Harmonic regions and Chord Progressions
– Playing Chords in the left hand, and melodies in the right
– Basic pop accompanying techniques
– 4 Note Chords: Major 6th, Major 7th, Dominant 7th, Minor 7th, min7b5, Diminished 7th
– 3 Note Voicings
– Chromatic Cycle 4
– Playing in All Keys
– More Harmonic Regions
This level is for those who know basic scales, triads, inversions, chord in all keys and have some keyboard facility, but would like to level up and look more closely at jazz applications!
– Learning Chord Changes for Tunes
– Scales used in Jazz
– Analysis of Harmonic Regions and Key Changes found in Tunes
– Axis of 3rd and 7th and Combined Axis over Major Keys
– Combined Axes over Minor Keys
– Chromatic Cycle 4, Major, Minor, Dominant, m7b5
– Diatonic Cycle 4, Major and Minor
– Other Cycles
– Major and Minor 6th Theory and chord voicing application
– Diminished 7th and Dominant 7b9 application
– Playing Basic Solo Piano
– Basic Comping – Solo Keyboard
– Left Hand Bass Line, Comping in Right Hand
– Basic Comping with Bass Player
This level looks at more advanced piano/keyboard skills.
– Chord Movement Diminished Family Study
– “A&B” Voicings – for left and right hand.
– Spread Voicings
– Inner Moving Lines
– Pentatonic Voicings
– Solo Piano
– Comping Solo Piano Style
– Comping with a Bass Player
This Track is designed to help individuals or groups who are interested in applying for a degree program at JMI. We will assess what a student knows already and how they play, and what they would need to know in order to apply and audition for one of the programs. The material itself will be tailored to the level each participant has already attained.
We think this Track will be so beneficial to music teachers of any level and background. It’s for anyone wishing to learn more about Jazz, to further their own skills, or find inspiration and systems they can pass along to their private students, classrooms or band rooms.
Each of the Levels – Setting Out, Building On and Moving On – will cover much of the content that can be found in each of the other Tracks – Theory, Harmony, Rhythm, Repertoire, Piano/Keyboard skills, but tailored more to teaching methods and ideas.
At each level, we will look at some of the joys and demands that Jazz Improvisation can bring to flute players, whether it’s fine points in technique, phrasing, articulation, groove, or in the content itself. We’ll draw upon content found in the other Tracks – Theory, Harmony, Rhythm, Repertoire, Piano/Keyboard skills, but try it all out on the flute! For those who are woodwind doublers playing the flute, we’ll look at some of the special skills necessary to accomplish that!