welcome to JAZZ SCHOOL UK!
Hi! I'm Nick Weldon, jazz musician and teacher, and together with my partner Andra Sparks and a team of top players and teachers, I'm inviting you to join the innovative programme of jazz learning we have created at the inspiring Shoefactory venue in Rushden, Northamptonshire, England.
Once upon a time it was only by giving up everything to go to college that you could be sure of sustained development in your playing. This is still a great thing to do (if you can afford the time and £9,000 plus per year tuition fees), and we successfully prepare players for college auditions every year. But we know that for many of you, players of all standards from beginner to professional level, this route is impossible, and you are stuck with a frustrating, piecemeal programme of your own invention - backing tracks, lessons here and there with a local player, aimless jam sesssions and hodge-podge recreational summer schools where expectations are sometimes low.
Now there is an alternative - Jazz School UK! All our teaching is of conservatoire quality (and backed by long and varied playing experience). Our focus is on the practical requirements and specific skills of jazz playing, and for this reason we guarantee that when learning with us you will always come away with some insight into your own playing, and, most importantly, with goals to achieve and things to practise. And here's our promise. If you're serious about your playing, we're serious about your learning, whether you're a jazz beginner or a seasoned gigster.
Learning at Jazz School UK is centred around the internalisation and understanding of jazz repertoire. (Why? Because if you asked good jazz musicians through history what they practise, they have usually said 'mostly we just learn tunes'!) So we learn tunes.
But as we learn the tunes together we also have two more very important aims. One is to pass on the 'feeling' of jazz - we are passionate about the music and believe this 'feeling' to be part of a magic sound connection with the world that lies deep at the heart of our humanity. The other aim is more straightforward - through a lifetime of playing, studying and teaching we have worked out a specific set of skills (and related conceptual areas) needed for jazz small group playing, and we are determined to pass them on to you!
We offer short courses, regular ensembles and individual lessons throughout the year. For our 2016-17 season we are running the following:
• Theory Shed (beginner/improver)
• Tutor Band (intermediate/advanced)
• Repertoire Day (improver/intermediate/advanced)
• Easter BIMP (beginner/improver)
• Big Band Weekend (improver/intermediate/advanced)
• Jeff Clyne Improvisation Day (improver/intermediate/advanced)
• Summer BIMP (beginner/improver)
• Summer School Short (improver/intermediate/advanced)
• Summer School Long Weekend (improver/intermediate/advanced)
• Jazz Singers & Accompanists Weekend (improver/intermediate)
• jazz foundation (beginner)
• gollum 2 (beginner/improver)
• mordor 1 (improver/intermediate)
• mordor 2 (improver/intermediate)
• mordor 3 (improver/intermediate)
• bilbo 1 (intermediate)
• bilbo 2 (intermediate)
• gandalf (intermediate/advanced)
• jazz singers & accompanists (improver/intermediate)
• guitar improvers (improver)
• jazz piano, jazz singing, vocal technique, improvisation, audition preparation, double bass, theory, jazz drums - by arrangement (all levels)
HOW TO JOIN US
There are a number of different ways for you to take part:
occasional member - just buy in the separate course days or individual lessons as and when you like.
regular member - this means joining one of our ensembles that meet regularly (generally monthly) through the year. Regular members can buy in extra course days and/or lessons as they like, at a member discount.
pathway member - beginning in 2017-18 we will be offering a Jazz School UK diploma programme. This is a structured pathway through 4 skill levels, involving a combination of ensemble(s), 121 tutorials, course days and guided personal study, with a certificate awarded for each level, and a diploma awarded for the completion of all 4 certificates.
You can find out more details about different member options, courses, ensembles, lessons and the diploma programme by clicking on the links in the text above or in the main menu at the top of the page.
If you would like to book any course days or individual lessons, or register interest in our ensemble or diploma programme, please go to our booking page.
Not sure what's best for you? Head over to our advice page for some of our suggestions, or email us at Jazz School UK.
Thanks for reading! If you're new to Jazz School UK, we hope to see you soon. And of course, we very much look forward to welcoming back all our regular players for the 2016-17 season. Thank you for such warm feedback about your playing and learning experience with us (see the sidebar testimonials) - we also appreciate the hard work and commitment you have made both in your own musical journey and in helping us to create a jazz family here.