Current Courses

Spring 2024

  • MUSC 447-001
    Jazz Ensemble
  • MUSC 1912-001
    Lsns I Non Maj Jazz
  • MUSC 1922-001
    Lsn I Non-Maj 3 Jazz
  • MUSC 1942-001
    Lsns I Maj 1 Jazz
  • MUSC 1992-001
    Lsns I Maj 3 Jazz
  • MUSC 2912-001
    Lsns II Non Maj Jazz
  • MUSC 2922-001
    Lsn II Non-Maj 3 Jazz
  • MUSC 2942-001
    Lsns II Maj 1 Jazz
  • MUSC 2992-001
    Lsns II Maj 3 Jazz
  • MUSC 3912-001
    Lsns III Non Maj Jazz
  • MUSC 3922-001
    Lsn III Non-Maj 3 Jazz
  • MUSC 3942-001
    Lsns III Maj 1 Jazz
  • MUSC 3992-001
    Lsns III Maj 3 Jazz
  • MUSC 4470-001
    Jazz Ensemble
    Location: DGH 272 (DGH 272)
  • MUSC 4475-002
    Jazz Combos
  • MUSC 4570-002
    Jazz Theory
    Location: DGH 416 (DGH 416)
  • MUSC 4912-001
    Lsns IV Non Maj Jazz
  • MUSC 4922-001
    Lsn IV Non-Maj 3 Jazz
  • MUSC 4942-001
    Lsns IV Maj 1 Jazz
  • MUSC 4992-001
    Lsns IV Maj 3 Jazz
  • MUSC 6170-006
    Adv Lessons Nondegree
  • MUSC 6180-006
    Adv Lessons Major 1
  • MUSC 6181-006
    Secondary Lessons Maj I
  • MUSC 6190-006
    Adv Lessons Major 3
  • MUSC 6191-006
    Secondary Lesson Maj
  • MUSC 6470-001
    Jazz Ensemble Masters
  • MUSC 6475-002
    Jazz Combo Masters
  • MUSC 7190-006
    Doctoral Private Lesson
  • MUSC 7191-006
    Doc Secondary Lessons
  • MUSC 7470-001
    Jazz Ensemble Doc

Fall 2023

Professional Organizations

  • Utah Music Educators Association. 08/01/2022 - present. Position : Member/Presenter.
  • International Association of Schools of Jazz. 07/01/2022 - present. Position : Member.
  • Texas Music Educators Association. 07/01/2019 - 05/01/2022. Position : Member/Presenter/Clinician.
  • Jazz Education Network. 01/01/2019 - present. Position : Member/Annual Presenter.

Teaching Philosophy

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Students graduating from the University of Utah programs must be fully equipped to enter a competitive, diverse, and technology-filled global marketplace in which the definition of success is constantly changing. Music students must develop the practical skills, character, mentality, and professional networks necessary to succeed along a challenging but rewarding and meaningful career path. These objectives may be achieved by sustaining a musical community at the university in which students, educators, administrators, and guest artists collaborate to create a culture that values and supports inclusivity, diversity, equity, one-on-one mentorship, personal and professional accountability, artistic exploration, innovation, and the highest standards of musical excellence.

Students should be instilled with the values of professionalism, truth-seeking, creativity, empathy, dignity, tolerance, integrity, communication, citizenship, community, perseverance, and responsibility that will empower them to be forces for positive change in the world. Effective educators teach and lead by example, modeling these values for their students both on and off campus. One way I strive to accomplish this is by having my students fill out guided questionnaires each semester. This practice allows us to map out individualized achievement and growth targets based on each student’s professional and personal needs, aspirations, and abilities. I encourage students to set ambitious goals and standards for themselves, to move toward academic and musical challenges, and to take on as much responsibility as they can in the pursuit of meaningful goals for themselves and their communities.

From an institutional perspective, student success means healthy recruitment, a diverse student/faculty body, and retention and graduation rates at or near 100%. Successful students complete their degrees on time in excellent academic standing with support and encouragement from faculty, administrators, and fellow students. Another sign of success is when students exhibit habits of lifelong learning as they pursue intellectual and musical growth after graduation, including attaining higher academic degrees. Success means that alumni are of the highest caliber and their achievements as professional musicians help sustain the school’s reputation, with graduating students become widely recognized for their artistry and professionalism as they earn awards and honors while producing artistic, intellectual, and cultural contributions regionally, nationally, and internationally. The accomplishments of individual students and of the university’s community will sustain the momentum which will continue to carry the school forward to further prominence and distinction.

 

Courses I Teach

  • MUSC (Course Number Varies by Lesson Level) - Jazz Lessons
    Private applied jazz lessons will meet once weekly for a 30-minute or one-hour (depending on number of credits), one-on-one lesson. Topics covered and pacing will be tailored to your individual needs and goals. In order to help me understand your needs and goals, you will complete an introductory questionnaire/survey (attached to this syllabus), which will help us chart our course for the semester. The general topics we cover will include (but not be limited to): jazz scale/chord theory, memorization of standard jazz vocabulary and repertoire, ear training, sight-reading, and jazz compositional techniques. The prerequisites for lessons include a passion for jazz and learning, a strong work ethic, and an open mind.
  • MUSC 1570 - Introduction to Jazz Theory
    Intro to Jazz Theory covers fundamental elements of jazz theory. The focus of this class will be learning theory through playing an instrument. Progressive playing exercises will be used to help students internalize each concept. This includes harmony, modality, and chord/scale relationships. Another way to think about this course is as “practice techniques for jazz musicians.” This is therefore not a traditional theory class. This course introduces students to the foundational vocabulary, concepts, and analytical techniques of jazz theory. Students will learn the fundamental skills necessary to improvise fluently and creatively within traditional jazz styles, including swing, bebop, modal, and post-bop/hard bop. Class meetings will incorporate lectures, demonstrations, discussions, assessments, and in-class music listening. This course combines written theory, outside reading/practicing, ear training, transcription, analysis, and basic keyboard (piano) skills. The prerequisites for this course include a passion for jazz and learning, a strong work ethic, and an open mind.
  • MUSC 3350 - Jazz Improvisation I
    Jazz Improvisation I covers fundamental elements of jazz improvisation. The focus of this class will be learning improvisation through playing an instrument and analyzing/transcribing jazz solos. Progressive playing exercises will be used to help students internalize each concept. This includes harmony, modality, and chord/scale relationships. Another way to think about this course is as “practice techniques for jazz musicians.” This course introduces students to the foundational vocabulary, concepts, and analytical techniques of jazz improvisation. Students will learn the fundamental skills necessary to improvise fluently and creatively within traditional jazz styles, including swing, bebop, modal, and post-bop/hard bop. Class meetings will incorporate lectures, demonstrations, discussions, assessments, and in-class music listening. This course combines written theory, outside reading/practicing, ear training, transcription, analysis, and basic keyboard (piano) skills. The prerequisites for this course include a passion for jazz and learning, a strong work ethic, and an open mind.
  • MUSC 3351 - Jazz Improvisation II
    Jazz Improvisation II covers fundamental elements of jazz improvisation. The focus of this class will be learning improvisation through playing an instrument and analyzing/transcribing jazz solos. Progressive playing exercises will be used to help students internalize each concept. This includes harmony, modality, and chord/scale relationships. Another way to think about this course is as “practice techniques for jazz musicians.” This course introduces students to the foundational vocabulary, concepts, and analytical techniques of jazz improvisation. Students will learn the fundamental skills necessary to improvise fluently and creatively within traditional jazz styles, including swing, bebop, modal, and post-bop/hard bop. Class meetings will incorporate lectures, demonstrations, discussions, assessments, and in-class music listening. This course combines written theory, outside reading/practicing, ear training, transcription, analysis, and basic keyboard (piano) skills. The prerequisites for this course include a passion for jazz and learning, a strong work ethic, and an open mind.
  • MUSC 3670 - History of Jazz
    A historical analysis of the development of jazz from various pre-jazz influences through contemporary approaches, including the study of individual artists, particularly those whose work has effected important stylistic change. Special emphasis will be placed on the aural analysis of course topics.
  • MUSC 4350 - Jazz Improvisation III
    Jazz Improvisation III covers advanced elements of jazz improvisation and jazz repertoire memorization. The focus of this class will be learning improvisation through playing an instrument and analyzing/transcribing jazz solos. Progressive playing exercises will be used to help students internalize each concept. This includes harmony, modality, and chord/scale relationships. Another way to think about this course is as “practice techniques for jazz musicians.” This course introduces students to the foundational vocabulary, concepts, and analytical techniques of jazz improvisation. Students will learn the fundamental skills necessary to improvise fluently and creatively within traditional jazz styles, including swing, bebop, modal, and post-bop/hard bop. Class meetings will incorporate lectures, demonstrations, discussions, assessments, and in-class music listening. This course combines written theory, outside reading/practicing, ear training, transcription, analysis, and basic keyboard (piano) skills. The prerequisites for this course include a passion for jazz and learning, a strong work ethic, and an open mind.
  • MUSC 4470 - Jazz Ensemble
    The Jazz Ensemble is the University of Utah’s flagship large jazz ensemble. This big band provides students with the experiences necessary to learn the fundamental techniques of large ensemble jazz performance. Admission to the ensemble is by audition only. Audition dates, times, requirements, and sign-up information will be posted on the official University of Utah School of Music Ensemble Auditions Page, found here: https://music.utah.edu/ensembles/index.php#jazz There are no officially required prerequisite courses for this ensemble, however, a knowledge of jazz theory and harmony will help students benefit most from the course, and therefore Jazz Theory and Jazz Improvisation courses will be advantageous for students to complete as prerequisites. Additionally, students should have a passion for jazz and learning, a strong work ethic, and an open mind. University of Utah jazz ensembles typically perform twice per semester on campus. Attendance and participation at all on-campus concerts is required for all ensemble participants. In a case where a student cannot attend a rehearsal or performance due to a bona fide emergency such as a medical issue, the affected student will be required to arrange for a substitute musician of equal or greater ability to cover their parts for the rehearsal(s) and/or performance(s) the student must miss. There may be occasional opportunities for the ensemble to perform off campus, including but not limited to at local all-ages music venues, private events, and/or collegiate jazz festivals. All information regarding off-campus concerts will be distributed to students well beforehand to allow for planning. The official University of Utah School of Music calendar listing all on-campus concerts (including all required on-campus Jazz Area ensemble performances) can be viewed here: https://music.utah.edu/events/
  • MUSC 4475 - Jazz Combos
    The University of Utah Jazz Combo program includes multiple small jazz ensembles. These jazz combos provide students with the experiences necessary to learn the fundamental techniques of small ensemble jazz performance and improvisation. Admission to the jazz combo program as well as specific, individual ensemble assignments are determined by audition only. Audition dates, times, requirements, and sign-up information will be posted on the official University of Utah School of Music Ensemble Auditions Page, found here: https://music.utah.edu/ensembles/index.php#jazz There will be weekly workshop-style rehearsals, culminating in at least one major public semesterly performance. Ensemble meetings will include song memorization, sight-reading, and detailed rehearsals of great works from the jazz canon as well as full-group, sectional, and individual ear-training, rhythmic, listening, and improvisation exercises. The focus of jazz combos is on the development of the repertoire and skills necessary to perform at a professional level in the small jazz ensemble idiom in mainstream jazz styles. There are no officially required prerequisite courses for this ensemble, however, a knowledge of jazz theory and harmony will help students benefit most from the course, and therefore Jazz Theory and Jazz Improvisation courses will be advantageous for students to complete as prerequisites. Additionally, students should have a passion for jazz and learning, a strong work ethic, and an open mind. University of Utah jazz ensembles typically perform twice per semester on campus. Attendance and participation at all on-campus concerts is required for all ensemble participants. In a case where a student cannot attend a rehearsal or performance due to a bona fide emergency such as a medical issue, the affected student will be required to arrange for a substitute musician of equal or greater ability to cover their parts for the rehearsal(s) and/or performance(s) the student must miss. There may be occasional opportunities for the ensemble to perform off campus, including but not limited to at local all-ages music venues, private events, and/or collegiate jazz festivals. All information regarding off-campus concerts will be distributed to students well beforehand to allow for planning. The official University of Utah School of Music calendar listing all on-campus concerts (including all required on-campus Jazz Area ensemble performances) can be viewed here: https://music.utah.edu/events/