Curriculum & Methodology


There are three equally important goals for Jazz Night School combos—playing music with others and improving as a musician. The priority for each combo is to find an appropriate balance of these two primary goals while growing understanding of Black American musical traditions. This requires strategies for transforming the rehearsal room into the classroom and vice versa. The appropriate balance of the two will always depend on the level of the combo, the proximity to the performance, and the goals of the individual students. 

We find that it is important to get students playing together as QUICKLY as possible. Students should expect to be playing on the first day and typically there is little to no discussion of theory or improvisation techniques prior to the establishment of a groove. Students should come ready to use their eyes AND EARS to learn and engage in making music with others. While the majority of instructors will provide lead sheets for students, the ability to read music is not required. Utilizing "old school" methods, whenever possible students at Jazz Night School learn music aurally.

  • Level 1 Combos - goals and repertoire (includes each instrument list)
    • Level 1 Rehearsal Exercises
  • Level 2 Combos
  • Level 3 Combos


Big Bands