Jazz music lessons in Sydney - collage of scenes

Jazz Improvisation Lessons

Private jazz improvisation lessons are available at JWA. These can be perfect if you want to join one of our groups but feel you need extra support, or if coming into the program late and want to catch up quickly. The one-on-one classes are also very helpful for anyone wishing to audition for a university or school jazz program. The improvisation lessons can be in-person at our studio in St Leonards (recommended) or online.

Improvisation lessons for children & young people

Jazz Improvisation lessons for young musicians (up to university entrance) are available with JWA principal Dr Saul Richardson, a specialist in teaching jazz to young musicians, or one of the JWA faculty. Your child’s improvisation teacher doesn’t need to play the same instrument as the student, although that’s an option. The focus of the lessons is on concepts and skills rather than how to play the instrument. It’s your choice, though and depends on what each student needs.

Improvisation lessons for adult beginners

Adult beginners are welcome: we can get you started with improvising whether its as preparation to join a band, just out of interest, or any other reason. Whatever you goals are, we’ll teach you and help you reach them.

Advanced improvisation coaching for experienced players

If you are an experienced or established jazz player, you can elect to study with your choice of teacher at the Jazz Workshop. Our faculty includes acclaimed players with distinctive creative voices and fresh insights. You can enrol in ongoing or occasional coaching/mentoring sessions.

Why take jazz improvisation lessons?

Playing jazz fluently involves knowledge and skills that can be taught and learnt. However, these are not enough on their own.  Success in jazz playing also requires the development of an ear for sound and style that must be cultivated over time mainly through prolonged exposure to the music in lessons, at home, and in ensemble rehearsals.  These things are reflected  the approach used in the lessons. What doesn’t really matter is just “having ‘it'”, being “born into a musical family” or any similar things that are often said about musicians (usually by musicians or publicists). Jazz improvisation is a craft that can be learnt, not magic.

Improvisation lessons should be in addition to regular instrumental lessons. They deal with theory, technique, sound, style, and so on. They aren’t intended to teach instrumental technique. For the aspiring or developing jazz player, however, they can make a huge difference. Just as the kids who do swimming squad or little athletics are nearly always the ones who win races at school swimming and athletics carnivals, the kids who take impro lessons are the ones who “win” in the jazz race!