Register for Jazz Theory and Practice (online course from Conservatory Canada)

Peter Clements, Director of Theoretical Studies and examiner for Conservatory Canada, has developed a unique online course to support students and teachers working with the Contemporary Idioms syllabus, as well as just about anyone who wants to explore various jazz and popular music styles.

Check out the following:

  • Progressive lesson modules explore various jazz “modes” and melodic patterns, hundreds of chord and bass patterns, voicing, etc.
  • Each lesson module introduces new materials, followed by a “play/sing” section to test the materials in a performance setting, and written exercises that can be completed with an easy music-writing program.
  • Completed written exercises can be easily sent by email for assessment and comments.
  • For students working with the CI syllabus, there are many pages of scale patterns, chord-reading, and improvisation exercises that relate directly to the curriculum.  All exercises can be played alone, or as play-along duets with the computer.
  • At the end of each lesson module is a list of recorded musical examples, all available on YouTube.

The recommended music program for the performance and writing parts of the lessons is Finale Songwriter (2010 or later), available online for $50.   There is also a free IPad app Finale Songbook that will display and play lesson materials, but doesn’t allow note input.  For first-time Finale users, instructions for playing and writing music are included in the lesson modules.

A word of caution:  This online theory course assumes that the student already has a thorough knowledge of music fundamentals (rudiments).  For Conservatory Canada students that would mean completion of Theory 4.  If you’re not sure whether your background is sufficient to start the course, there is a free rudiments test (self-corrected) on the website, together with a more extensive introduction to the course, and a sample lesson.  To check out all the free stuff, go to:

Ready for registration? A fee of $49.95 will provide access to the entire course: 7 modules (more than 150 pages of musical examples, both audio and written).

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