121 lessons

Individual lessons are an important element in any player's development. They give you a chance to focus more directly on particular issues, be they technical, theoretical or conceptual, and to develop practice routines to take your jazz playing forward.

This works at all levels - from jazz beginners wanting some basic information to get started, perhaps with a view to trying some group playing - right up to aspiring professionals preparing for auditions at the country's elite conservatoires.

Nick Weldon, one of the most experienced jazz teachers in the UK, offers individual lessons in jazz piano, double bass and theory, and also coaches all instrumentalists, including singers, in performance, composition, improvisation, repertoire and artistic development. Andra Sparks gives individual lessons in jazz singing and vocal technique. Drum lessons can also be arranged with Trevor Tomkins (London) or Clark Tracey (Northamptonshire). As mentioned above, we also offer consultation lessons and audition preparation for prospective College students.

 

jazz piano

For the skills needed for solo playing, ensemble playing and developing your own compositions, whether you are an experienced player or a novice. We look at: comping, jazz harmony, rhythm section function, playing solo, left-hand voicings, jazz feel, jazz repertoire, playing with bass and drums, developing improvisation and composition skills, audition preparation, and much more.

double bass

For the skills needed for solo playing, ensemble playing, both jazz and classical, and developing your double bass technique, whether you are an experienced player or a novice. We look at: jazz pizzicato, jazz harmony, rhythm section function, learning to improvise, walking bass lines, jazz feel, jazz repertoire, arco technique, developing hand strength, good posture, introduction to orchestral playing and much more.

jazz singing and vocal technique

Andra Sparks teaches many things besides the specifics of jazz singing. She says:

"No matter what style of singing you are drawn to - classical, jazz or contemporary - certain elements, skills which are vital for good health and a grounded approach to life, are common to all. These are:

GOOD POSTURE

BREATH CONTROL

QUALITY OF SOUND

I offer a practical approach to good singing with the emphasis on creativity and fun... Each of you has a unique voice that is yours to develop in the musical area of your choice. You might prefer to sing with others or want to learn about your own sound. Whatever your needs, I can help you find YOUR individual voice and support your growing confidence and self-awareness as your skills and musical knowledge increase. These skills are useful in ALL areas of your life. And as you tap into your emotions and experience the sheer pleasure of singing comfortably - LIFE ALWAYS SEEMS BETTER!"

jazz improvisation and theory

Jazz is a sort of musical conversation we have when playing with others. That's why our Jazz School UK learning programme is based around workshops - real, practical playing situations in which we learn how to improvise better TOGETHER. However, sometimes there are areas of the music that you may need to discuss at more length - perhaps there are some background theory gaps that need filling in, or perhaps there is a particular improvising technique that you would like to try out, or maybe the very idea of improvisation is terrifying and you need a teacher to help you make the first few steps - in such cases 121 lessons are often very helpful!

jazz drums

"So many drummers - so little time!" the saying goes - because there is a lot more to playing jazz than hours of rudiment pracice and flawless technique (though these will certainly be useful - I'm not knocking them!) Swinging, playing with power and lightness, playing with other people, playing THE MUSIC - these are the goals of the jazz drummer - and to help you achieve them, I thoroughly recommend some individual lessons with either (or both) of the two drum legends who teach with us - Trevor Tomkins and Clark Tracey.

If you play a different instrument, it could be said that your goal as a jazz musician is to allow the drums to speak through you. For this reason, I urge all of you to set yourself up with a basic kit and learn to play a bit. You will come to understand so much more about the music. 121 drum lessons are for you as well..

audition preparation

Many players wanting to go to college to study jazz (for some thoughts about whether this might or might not be a good idea, please have a look on our advice page) have unrealistic beliefs about the standard required. Excellent instrumental technique, a list of grades passed and a facility with the blues scale will not be enough. Successful applicants usually have considerable small group improvising experience, a sound understanding of the theoretical background, and a passion for jazz that they have been pursuing for a few years. Moreover, audition panels tend to be looking not so much for musical potential (there is oodles of this about!) but at specific indicators of jazz experience, aptitude, and seriouness of intent. it is vital to have a consultation lesson with a player/teacher who knows what these indicators are, and who can point you towards any areas in your playing where improvement is needed. But please, if you can, don't wait until 2 months before the auditions start! A year before would be better...

 

prices

  • jazz piano £50 (£40) per hour, £70 (£56) per 90mins, £90 (£72) per 2 hours
  • double bass (jazz and instrumental technique) - prices as above
  • jazz singing and vocal technique £40 per hour
  • theory and improvisation (all instruments) - prices as above
  • jazz drums - prices by arrangement
  • consultation lesson for prospective college students (£70)
  • Prices in brackets show 20% reductions for existing Jazz School UK members, and any players aged under 18.

    what, now?

    Are you interested in jazz lessons? Don't delay...


    register here →

    FAQ

    Q Where do the lessons take place?

    A The venue is the Shoefactory at Rushden, a beautiful Victorian building (with a grand piano in all three playing spaces), which is also the home of Jazz School UK founders Nick Weldon and Andra Sparks. More details, maps and links can be found on our About Us page.

    Q How do I sign up?

    A If you would like 121 lessons, or need advice about jazz study, use our general enquiry form to register your interest, or contact

    nick weldon at the Shoefactory

    NICK WELDON

    Jazz School UK, The Shoefactory, 23b Fitzwilliam Street, Rushden, Northants NN10 9YW

    home: 01933 313969

    mobile: 07971 409596

    or by email.

     

    If you would like to give a jazz lesson to a friend as a present (what an excellent idea!) you can buy a gift voucher from The Jazz Shop

     

    Thanks for reading!