The Teen/Adult Session, from Mon. July 6 to Fri. July 10, is the week where motivated high school, college students come together with adult amateur and pro musicians in the interest of having fun and learning more about America's music, Jazz.
Students from any background, with any amount of experience may attend the workshop. Advanced students are paired together in groups, as are beginners and everyone in between. Multiple level classes ensure all students are in the best location, where they can learn comfortably. All instruments (including voice) are accepted, whether they are "traditional" jazz ones or orchestral ones, or otherwise. Being able to read music on a basic level and being able to play your instrument is encouraged but you don't need any prior experience in jazz to enroll. Vocalists do not need any reading experience.
The workshop is divided into three sections over its 10am-5pm days:
In the morning, jazz theory and elective classes provide a chance for beginners to get their feet wet in discovering what goes behind improvisation and tune creation, while more advanced students will be able to improve their skills. There are four levels of each subject.
After lunch, students will play in improvisation clinics and attend master-classes by both faculty and guest clinicians. Guest clinicians are chosen from the best talent in the region. (see Guest Artist page for details). Clinics and master-classes cover many subjects; they are a mix of practical and jazz subjects, with classes aimed at all levels. "How to practice jazz", "How to use your ear better", and "Playing odd time signatures" are all examples of recent clinics. Guest master-clinicians bring their own subject matter and provide Q&A for interested students.
In mid-afternoon, students rehearse in groups of like-experienced musicians, preparing combo music for their end of the week concert at Cliff Bells on Sunday.
They will play original arrangements of jazz and traditional standards and have an opportunity to improvise and interact on a much more personal level than a large jazz band or orchestra. All of the combos are expertly coached by faculty members.
Vocalists, who up to this point are right in the mix of the workshop, are able to split off to a vocal jazz workshop. Improvisation, technique, vocalese, etc... are all things that are worked on with the vocal director and various special guests, unique to the vocal workshop. Vocal students perform solo pieces at the concert.
Besides being able to come together at the workshop, we offer students the chance to play with each other and the faculty at an optional evening jam session on Wednesday. The feature performance, however, is the combo performance at Cliff Bells Jazz Club in downtown Detroit. Family and friends are invited to attend and have a good time. It's a great celebration to mark the end of an educational, fun week of learning jazz.
After sending in your application and reservation fee (you can do both on site), your place will be reserved. At your convenience, send your audition tape to place you into the best possible combo or vocal group. Weeks before the workshop you'll receive a workshop packet with all of important information. At registration on Monday the 12th, you'll arrive with your instrument and tuition check. After a short meeting the workshop will begin. You're responsible for your own for lunch, except on Friday when we have a pizza lunch to accompany the group photo session. There are plenty of lunch choices including vending machines and restaurants in walking distance, and a Q-LINE train stop a block away on Woodward.
The facilities at the MSU Center are perfect for our needs. Besides having multiple classrooms with grand and upright pianos, modern supplemental teaching facilities are offered. It is a great place to study music.
An average day during Session I runs from 10am to 5pm.
Schedule: (subject to change)
Monday, July 6
10am- Welcome Meeting
10:30-12pm- Jazz Instrument Class
Tuesday, July 7 to Friday, July 10
10am-12pm Jazz Theory/Jazz Elective
1-4pm Clinics and Master-classes
4-5pm Combo rehearsals
The DJW High School / Adult Session is well-supervised, having an engaged faculty, mentors, and staff to ensure that every student is able to enjoy what the workshop has to offer. By the end of the week, you will be a better musician, with greater knowledge in how to play jazz music and appreciate this unique American art-form.
Students of all levels are accepted, but space is limited. At a certain point when instrument capacity is filled, students will be assigned to a waiting list. First come, first serve. Submit your application early and reserve your (or your student's) spot in this great summer musical experience.