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Jazz Piano Workshops

25% Off Early Bird Special until June 16th
Come explore the intricate world of jazz piano! Piano students ages 10 to adult are invited to attend our Summer Jazz Workshop Series with Joyful Academy of Music teacher Karin Larsen. Come for one workshop or the whole series to deepen and develop your understanding of music through jazz! Space is limited so sign up soon!

Joyful Academy of Music has been offering Summer Music Camps for 10+ years!

Tuition: $60 per workshop if registered before June 16th. Normal tuition is $80 per workshop.

Time: Mondays 5:30-7:30pm, occasional Saturdays from 1:00-3:00pm


  • Monday, July 1st from 5:30-7:30pm 

Three-note chords, or triads, are the basic building blocks of playing lead sheets for pop, rock, and jazz. In this workshop, Teacher Karin will teach students how to build major and minor triads using whole and half steps, and how to read lead sheets.

Appropriate for students ages 10 and up who are comfortable with basic rhythm reading, including whole, half, dotted half, and quarter notes. Students who also read 8th notes will have a greater variety of pieces available to them. By the end of class, students will be able to build major and minor chords in any key. Many students will also be able to accompany someone (or themselves!) singing a simple folk song.



  • Monday, July 8th from 5:30-7:30pm and

  • Saturday, August 10th from 1:00-3:00pm

Blues play an important role in American history as well as music history. The blues scale is usually the first tool new jazz players use to develop improvised solos. This workshop with Teacher Karin introduces the history of the blues; the chords & structure of basic 12-bar blues; and the scale that is used most often to compose, play, and improvise in the blues. 

Appropriate for piano students who can already identify and play basic major triads. Students will develop a working knowledge of the structure of 12-bar blues and blues scales; be able to play dominant 7th chords and blues scales in at least one major key; and be able to improvise or accompany a 12-bar solo in at least one major key.



  • Monday, July 15th from 5:30-7:30pm and

  • Saturday, August 17th from 1:00-3:00pm

Herbie Mann was a pioneering jazz flutist. While his career has not had the same long-term impact as some of his colleagues’, he was among the musicians who utilized rock, funk, motown, global music, and jazz to create jazz fusion. This workshop with Teacher Karin will introduce students to the dominant 7th chords and the Mixolydian mode and blues scale used in Herbie Mann’s song “Memphis Underground,” as well as to 8th-note syncopation.

Appropriate for elementary-level students comfortable reading 8th-note rhythms. Prior experience finding major triads and scales is helpful but not necessary. Students who attend the 12-bar blues workshop will immediately incorporate their prior knowledge. All students will learn the structure of C7 and C Mixolydian mode, and explore basic improvisation. Students will also learn to count the rhythm of the “Memphis Underground” melody. (More advanced students will supplement the workshop with other songs that utilize dominant 7 chords and mixolydian modes.)



  • Monday, July 22nd from 5:30-7:30pm

Miles Davis was at the forefront of jazz, especially starting in the late 1950s. Through his work, we can see the rise of modal jazz, a connection between jazz and social liberation movements, and using simple compositional concepts to create both intellectually and emotionally interesting music. In this workshop, Teacher Karin will guide students into counting & playing swung 8th notes; minor 7th chords; the Dorian mode; and improvisation, all using the famous jazz standard “So What” by Miles Davis.

Appropriate for students with a working knowledge of minor triads and inversions. All students will learn the structure of minor seventh chords and develop a working knowledge of both D Dorian mode and the black-key pentatonic scale. Students will learn the term “trading 8s.” (More advanced students will also develop a working knowledge of Eb Dorian, and may explore the use of Dorian and m7 chords in other jazz standards.)



  • Monday, August 19th 5:30-7:30pm


WHAT: Using a famous jazz standard, introduce the circle of 5ths and four types of 7th chords. Unlike the other songs, this one focuses primarily on chords rather than scales or modes.


WHO: Appropriate for students with a comfortable knowledge of major and minor triads.



  • History: “Autumn Leaves” is a jazz standards used in jazz curricula all over the world. Hundreds of recordings exist. Because the melody itself is comprised of quarter, half, and whole notes, it is an excellent introductory piece.

  • Theory & History: The Circle of Fifths is a useful piece of music theory that helps organize scales, chords, and more. It has been used by famous composers to arrange important works (such as Chopin’s Preludes).

  • Chords 201: “Autumn Leaves” reinforces students’ existing knowledge of chords, and will likely add to it. This song allows students to explore four types of 7th chords: Major, Dominant, Minor, and Minor7b5 (Half-Diminished).


GOAL: All students will learn the structure of the Circle of Fifths, the melody of “Autumn Leaves,” and how to build four types of 7th chords. Students will be able to play Major and Minor triads on the Circle of Fifths.

More advanced students may be able to play the chords in the left hand and the melody in the right. Advanced students may be able to play inversions to keep the melody at the top of chords in the right hand.

25% Off Early Bird Special until June 16th

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