When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Tutor Tim Richards
  • Course Code W22JPMB05A
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

A hands-on course for piano players with some prior experience of jazz who wish to develop their confidence with performing and improvising. Theory is combined with practice and everyone is encouraged to play every week. The course is based on the tutor’s textbook 'Exploring Jazz Piano' Vol. 1 (Schott Music, 2005) and lasts for three terms, of which this is the first.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Play the melody of several standard jazz tunes
  • Improvise in the right hand, with left-hand accompaniment
  • Accompany others by playing bass lines
  • Follow a chord chart
  • Be more confident playing with and in front of others


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee
  • Class format and activities

    The class will be held in a keyboard room; each student has their own digital piano. Two acoustic pianos are also available for those who wish to play duets. In each term you will learn a selection of jazz standards in a variety of styles (swing, latin, blues, modal, funk, ballad, etc), study jazz harmony and chord voicing, and explore a range of improvisation techniques from 'Exploring Jazz Piano' Vol.1. The main emphasis is practical – you will play together and in turn, and perform rhythmic, technical, and chordal exercises suggested by the tutor. Frequent listening to recordings will increase your knowledge and appreciation of the repertoire, and of important jazz pianists. Topics covered this term include:• Major and minor triads and their inversions• Bass lines (two-feel, walking, Latin)• Natural and harmonic minor scales• Pentatonic scales (major and minor)• Technical exercises (scale patterns, arpeggios, broken chords)• On/off rhythms, syncopation and coordination• Swing quavers• The cycle of fifths• Ear training (recognition of intervals).

    Entry requirements

    Some previous jazz experience (e.g.: Jazz Piano 1, Jazz Piano 2 or Blues Piano 1) . Knowledge of major scales in most keys Familiarity with basic chord symbols (triads and sevenths). Time to practise between classes and commitment to attend every week. Some music reading ability.

    What you need to know before you enrol

    Homework will be given every week and students must be prepared to spend time doing the given assignments and preparing tunes for performance in class.

    What you need

    Recommended text: Exploring Jazz Piano Vol. 1, by Tim Richards (Schott Music 2005), available from all good music shops, from the tutor, or in Morley Library. You may also wish to check out the online YouTube videos linked with the book: https://goo.gl/DY7S9v

    What you can do next

    Jazz Piano 3B and 3C, then Jazz Piano 4 (3 terms).