Jazz Ensemble Grades 9-12

This course offers student performers a history of jazz and an exploration of a variety of styles and media. Students have the opportunity to develop improvisational skills.

Performing and Creating
a. Perform a varied repertoire of music on at least one instrument alone and with others.
1) Perform a large variety of instrumental literature with expression and technical accuracy at a difficulty level of 5 on a scale of 1-6.
2) Perform accurately and independently, alone and in small and large ensembles, with good posture, good playing position, and good breath or stick control.
3) Perform music representing diverse genres and cultures with expression appropriate for work being performed.
4) Play by ear melodies on melodic instruments and accompaniments on a harmonic instrument.
5) Perform an appropriate part in an ensemble, demonstrating well-developed ensemble skills, as well as in small ensembles with one student on a part.
1-5b. Improvise melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
1) Improvise to stylistically appropriate harmonic accompaniments.
2) Improvise melodic and rhythmic embellishments and variations in major and minor keys.
3) Improvise melodies unaccompanied or accompanied in a consistent style, meter, and tonality.
1,3,4c. Compose and arrange music within specified guidelines.
1) Compose short pieces in distinct styles.
2) Arrange pieces for voices or instruments other than those for which the pieces were written, preserving the expressive effect of the music.
1-4d. Read and notate music.
1) Demonstrate the ability to read an instrumental score by describing how the elements of music are used.
2) Read at sight simple melodies in both treble and bass clefs, accurately and expressively to a difficulty level of 4 on a scale of 1-6.
3) Identify and define standard notation symbols for pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression.
4) Use standard notation to record own musical ideas and the music of others (dictation).
1-4e. Develop improvisational techniques.
1-4f. Explore altered scales and chord progressions.
1,5g. Perform in scheduled concerts and other musical events.
7968h. Investigate careers in music fields.

*Prerequisite: Current enrollment in concert/symphonic band required

History and Culture
2,3a. Explore a variety of repertoire including examples from each music period: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary.
2-4b. Explore artists, composers, and arrangers of these styles.
2,7c. Explain how musical elements combine to create jazz as a distinct style, and demonstrate specific interpretations characteristic of that style.
2,4,6d. Identify sources and influences on Jazz as a developing American genre.
Evaluation and Analysis
1-3, 5a. Recognize and demonstrate individual competency in an ensemble setting.
2b. Determine progress through self- evaluation of set objectives.
1-4c. Demonstrate proper care and maintenance of instruments.
1,2d. Analyze the components and elements of jazz.
Aesthetic Perceptions
1-3a. Develop and maintain an individual practice discipline for self-enrichment.
1,22b. Gain awareness of jazz as an American art form.


  • Concert performances
  • Mastery of assigned literature
  • Participation
  • Practice reports
  • Rehearsal discipline
  • Self-evaluation
  • Teacher evaluation of overall performance
  • Technical proficiency

*Prerequisite: Current enrollment in concert or mixed choir and permission of instructor is required.

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