Jazz 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Jazz

Designed for jazz fans, the Jazz 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Jazz course is an interactive and engaging guide to the icons and innovators.

Through multimedia lectures, listening, demonstration, and discussion, you’ll learn from JAZZ.FM91’s jazz experts and gain a basic understanding of jazz music.

You’ll discover the most important musicians in jazz, listen to classic recordings by jazz legends, learn about jazz’s illustrious history and develop the skills to become a better listener. You’ll interact with a live jazz group as they perform and answer your questions.

Taking place at JAZZ.FM91 in Liberty Village, this 6-session course meets for two hours each week. JAZZ.FM91 donors are offered discounted course fees.

The course will be taught by Tim Shia, a musician, educator, jazz historian – and host of the new Saturday morning program Jazz is What? – who joined the JAZZ.FM91 education team in 2015.

Our listening audience is a hybrid of jazz connoisseurs and jazz newcomers who share one special thing in common, a love of JAZZ.FM91.Whether or not you’re well versed on the genre, Jazz 101: The Beginners Guide to Jazz has something for everyone. Our goal is to make listening more compelling by offering this series of lectures.

The course will take place at JAZZ.FM91, in October and November 2018.

For more information or to receive notification when new course dates are announced, please contact Michael Booth at 416-595-0404 x234 or mbooth@jazz.fm.

Jazz 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Jazz
Dates: Wednesdays, October 10, 17, 24, November 7, 14 & 21
Time: 7pm
Location: JAZZ.FM91, 4 Pardee Avenue, Unit 100.
Instructor: Tim Shia
Price: $150


Learning Objectives:

  • learn who are the most important musicians in jazz and why
  • learn about basic structure and properties of jazz music; instruments, styles
  • understand details about the history and development jazz
  • gain a greater understanding of how musicians improvise and swing
  • develop skills to become a better listener; what to listen for
  • learn how to build a library of classic recordings, including the five most important Canadian recordings

Course Outline:

Week 1 – What is the sound of jazz?
The first week is discussing and coming up with what the sound of jazz is? We will look at the big jazz “hits” from over the years and try and distinguish how this is different from other styles of music. We’ll look at the foundations of music, the instruments and sections of a band and examine how jazz musicians may use them differently than other styles of music, especially with regards to Improvisation.

Week 2 – History and Evolution Part 1
We’ll look at the origins of jazz and look at how it’s evolved up until the 60s. We’ll examine important jazz musicians, and discuss how they impacted Jazz either musically and/or socially.

Week 3 – History and Evolution Part 2
We’ll continue to look at jazz and it’s players into current times and examine how it has spread globally and how jazz has influenced and is influenced by modern music.

Week 4 – Listening to Jazz
We’ll get “under the hood” and focus on the key elements that come together to make a great performance. We’ll investigate how to appreciate solos even without any formal musical training. We’ll discuss the unique qualities of different instruments.

Week 5 – Jazz In Canada
Canadian jazz musicians have gained great artistic and commercial success both at home and abroad. We’ll give you some background on the development of jazz in Canada and highlight some important Canadian jazz records.

Week 6 – Live Performance / Summary
Our final week will feature a live performance by some of Toronto’s finest musicians. We’ll demonstrate many of the concepts that have been discussed during the course. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and make requests.