Jazz Ensemble I

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
MUSC 1137
Jazz Ensemble I
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
2 hours per week
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Students will form a standard jazz ensemble consisting of trumpets, trombones, saxophones, piano, bass, guitar and drums. The instructor will teach the material and will conduct all rehearsals and concerts. In addition, the use of mechanical and/or electronic aids such as the TAP rhythm machine, recordings, tuning devices, metronomes, and others may be assigned and evaluated.

Course Description
Through rehearsals and performances, this course will cover jazz, rock, Latin and popular music. Emphasis will be placed on jazz improvisation and the interpretation of various styles of big band music. For players of trumpet, trombone, saxophone or rhythm section instruments.
Course Content

Repertoire for this course will include a wide variety of arrangements for Big Band including swing, rock, Latin and ballad styles. In addition, students may study jazz improvisation using materials by Jamey Aebersold and others.

Learning Outcomes

Through rehearsals and performances, the successful student will be able to demonstrate basic skills in:

  1. Improvisational skills and solo playing
  2. Ensemble techniques – section blend, rhythm comping, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, etc.
  3. Appropriate phrasing and articulation of various styles of Big Band music from originators like Duke Ellington and Count Basie to Modern Jazz and Jazz/Rock arrangements
  4. Sight reading
  5. Aural recognition and appreciation of various styles and periods in the history of jazz 
  6. Modern recording techniques through participation in live and studio recording sessions.


Means of Assessment
Midterm improvisation test and/or in-class assessment       15%
Midterm ensemble work 20%
Final improvisation test and/or in-class assessment 15%
Final playing test or recording session 20%
Final ensemble work 30%

*N.B.  In a performing group, regular attendance is vital to the learning of ensemble skills and the achievement of high performance standards. Absences affect every member of the ensemble; therefore 5% of the final mark will be deducted for each unexcused absence, to a total of 30%. Excused absences will include illness and urgent family or personal matters.

Unexcused absence from a dress rehearsal or a concert will result in a failing grade.

Textbook Materials

All music and study materials will be provided by Douglas College.


Permission of instructor (by audition)



Which Prerequisite