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Jazz Ensemble – MUS24 (Section .004)
Drew University

Students are required to attend, and entitled to receive, a minimum of twelve one-hour rehearsals. If you must miss a rehearsal, you need to let me know ahead of time (preferably 24-hour notice), either via email or telephone. Since this is an ensemble, it is of the most importance that everyone is present. The student is allotted two absences (if need be) – if you miss more than two rehearsals, you will fail the course.

The jazz ensemble will be performing at least once this semester, with the possibility for additional events. Any student who misses a concert automatically fails for the semester.


A. Repertoire

B. Reading development

  • Sight-reading
  • Rhythm studies

C. Technique development

  • Scales and intervals
  • Chord/Scale relationships
  • Diatonic triads/seventh chords

D. The “language” of jazz

  • Transcribed solos
  • Patterns

E. Improvisation/Ensemble interaction

F. Ear Training

Required Tools

  • A metronome
  • Manuscript paper
  • Pencil/Eraser

Required Texts

  • The New Real Book, Sher Music Co.
  • Creative Beginnings: An Introduction to Jazz Improvisation (Second Edition), Scott D. Reeves, Prentice Hall.
    (Both books may be purchased from

Recommended Texts

  • Patterns For Jazz, Jerry Coker/Jimmy Casale/Gary Campbell/Jerry Greene, Warner Bros.
  • Zen in the Art of Archery, Eugen Herrigel, Random House.
  • Effortless Mastery - Liberating the Master Musician Within, Kenny Werner, Jamey Aebersold Jazz.
  • The Inner Game of Music, Barry Green with W. Timothy Gallwey, Doubleday.



  • Check out the “masters”
  • Touch on all the style periods
  • Listen for differences in interpretation between players and styles

Music outside of jazz

  • Bach Cello Suites
  • Important 20th century works
  • Solo piano music of Ravel and Debussy
  • Classical music of North India

In addition, you are required to attend two live jazz concerts this semester, and give me a short, written review of the performance.

The Jazz Ensemble is a 1-credit course, Pass/Fail. Attendance, completion of weekly assignments, preparation of music, and overall progress will all be taken into consideration for your final grade.

Words of Wisdom…
“Don’t be in a hurry to improve. To paraphrase an old Zen parable: if you’re in a hurry and practice 2 hours a day, it may take 5 years to learn something. If you’re in a hurry and practice 5 hours a day, it may take 10 years to learn something. If you’re in a hurry and practice 10 hours a day, you may never learn anything! Being in a hurry means your mind is in the future. Regardless of how much you practice, you’ll never retain enough to learn something if your mind is not where the learning takes place – in the present.” – Hal Crook