• Jazz Improvisation

    Governor Livingston High School


    Block A - Room: 24

    Google Classroom code: u4zhwsg


    Mr. Ellis



    Course Description
    Students in Jazz Improvisation will be exposed to the United States’ most influential and important cultural contribution to music. This exposure will be achieved by listening to influential recordings, watching videos of the greatest giants in jazz performance/composition, regularly transcribing standard melodies and solos, learning about jazz history, mastering jazz theory and harmony, and, most importantly, performing jazz music daily. 

    Student Expectations
    Students in this course are expected to:
    1) Be on time in their chairs with their instruments (In-Person or Remote via Zoom).
    2) Have a pencil (NOT PEN) for marking in their parts.
    3) Practice course material at home.
    4) Check and use e-mail and Google Classroom daily for recordings, announcements, and assignments.
    5) Complete any assignments in a timely fashion.
    6) Attend all course performances.

    Grades are earned based on the following criteria:
    1) Class Participation and Preparedness – (25%) This weekly grade includes participation in the regular Jazz Improvisation block, as well as overall preparedness of course music.
    2) Homework/Projects – (25%) These will be both written and performance-based.
    3) Quizzes – (25%) 
    4) Attendance at Performances – (25%)

    Course Content
    1) Listening – There will be daily listening/viewing of great jazz recordings.
    2) Transcribing – Each student will be expected to complete one transcription assignment per marking period.
    3) History – We will cover significant periods/figures chronologically throughout jazz history.
    4) Theory – Music theory, especially as is germane to jazz performance/ composition, will be an important aspect of this course.
    5) Performance – We will rehearse concert music or read other jazz material each day of class.

    Class attendance and infraction procedures will follow the School Handbook’s attendance policy.

    Required performances for this course will occur in Marking Periods 2 and 4. Planned performance dates are as follows:
    Winter Concert: TBD
    Spring Small Ensembles Concert: TBD
    Additional Performances
    Union County Teen Arts: Spring, TBD

    Parent Portal
    Parents will be able to monitor student attendance and grades via the Parent Portal. If a parent does not have a login and/or password for the Parent Portal, they can obtain one by contacting Mrs. Milos in the Main Office at Extension 2501.