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Aretha's Jazz Jam

Aretha's Jazz Cafe

Every Sun. 7-10pm




  • Gain an appreciation for jazz and for its pianists of relevance
  • Understand the harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic role of the piano in the jazz combo
  • Develop basic piano technique and reading skills (if needed)
  • Understand and perform basic jazz improvisation
  • Ear training


Piano Technique (if needed):

  • Correct hand placement, posture, and approach to playing piano
  • Card Exercises (CE) and metronome, learning major scales
  • Through CE, learning major triads- all inversions, closest position
  • Use of Hanon exercises to increase finger dexterity and strength


Jazz Appreciation:

  • Through aural and visual means, understanding the 19th/20th c. timeline of jazz styles and pianists.


Ear Training:

  • Through CE, learning of intervals and melody fragments to improve ear recognition


Reading Skills:

  • Using appropriate level John Thompson Book to increase note and sight reading skills


Jazz Improvisation:

  • Definitions of jazz terminology explained
  • Breaking down of jazz performances to understand form, structure (large picture conceptions)
  • Using CE and metronome to learn major and minor pentatonic scales and their initial applications


Materials needed:

  • (6) 3x5" Index Cards- cut in the middle (broadside)
  • Spiral-bound notebook
  • Manuscript paper
  • Real Book Vol. I, 6th edition (Hal Leonard)- book version



  • Portable recorder
  • The Jazz Piano Book (Mark Levine)
  • Spotify Application
  • YouTube Application


Optional for reading and technique work:


  • John Thompson Book 1
  • Hannon Scale Exercise Book