All classes at the Tucson School of Music give students the opportunity to work with the best young musicians in the Tucson area! Having your child surrounded by students of the same or greater levels of ability can inspire and motivate them to practice. Through this process students will elevate their performance skills and raise their self esteem. Classes are taught by accomplished professionals in an environment that fosters team work and requires a serious work ethic. FUN prevails while students make new friends that love music!
Jazz Big Band
There are multiple levels of big band classes to accommodate the varying levels of experience. All levels expose students to numerous styles and emphasize proper phrasing, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, dynamics, and many other important elements necessary to make a band perform to its full potential. Much focus is placed on listening and blending with others. The cooperation and teamwork learned in the big band setting will certainly last a lifetime. Big band also affords plenty of opportunity for soloists to use their improvisation skills (see Combo). If you love or want to learn more about the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Thad Jones, and others, the big band class is for you. The top Ellington and Basie Big Bands require more rehearsal time and have an expanded calendar schedule due to a high level of performance opportunities in Tucson and competitions across the country.
Soloing and improvisation comprise the most substantial part of jazz -- the primary focus of the combo class. There are multiple levels of combo classes to accommodate the varying levels of improvising experience. All combos play blues, jazz standards, and other important jazz compositions taken from many eras of jazz history. Advanced students have the opportunity to present original compositions to their group for playing and/or performance. Playing in a combo will greatly enhance a student's overall understanding, performance and appreciation of jazz!
NEW Drum Workshop
This workshop (taught by Tucson's most swinging drummer, Pete Swan) is designed to present the fundamentals for being a jazz drummer. This class will accelerate your ability to participate and get the maximum experience in the TJI combos. The class will be in a group setting that emphasizes developing these essential skills in a positive and fun way that utilizes a supportive teaching style. The course will be focused on a hands on approach where the students practice the skills presented in the class setting: basic time keeping, the fundamental jazz ride pattern, brush playing, patterns for use behind soloists and melodies, syncopation and coordination exercises, fundamental rhythm reading and swinging eighth notes, introduction to soloing concepts, understand the form of jazz tunes to help you play better, and history of jazz drumming.
NEW Guitar Workshop
TSM is pleased to have the versatile and highly accomplished Tucson jazz guitarist Matt Mitchell teaching our weekly 2 hour jazz guitar workshop. Focus will be on jazz voicings, jazz "comping," and jazz solos and improvisation. The class will feature instruction tailored to each student in the class. Music will include jazz standards, blues, and classic jazz compositions. Students will play as an ensemble and each student will have an opportunity to solo. This is a great opportunity for all Tucson guitar players to work with the best.
NEW Jazz Strings
Learn to play jazz music for strings with Tucson Symphony member and jazz violin virtuoso Michael Fan. String players will get to learn swing phrasing and improvisation! This will be like playing in a big band for string players. All strings are welcome!
Vocal Jazz Ensembles
If you are looking to become a professional singer, a recording artist, the lead singer of your own band or just want more confidence in front of the microphone, TJI Vocal Jazz Ensemble is the perfect addition to your vocal training. The ensemble is for ALL voice parts. The techniques and coaching from our professional faculty will take the already learned lessons from other choir and voice teachers, expand on them and apply the new skills learned to being on stage as a soloist or ensemble member. Subjects of focus include forming a solid vocal technique, daily exercises for range improvement, and beginning through advanced ear training and sight-singing using exciting and challenging repertoire.