MUS-225: Jazz Theory and Improvisation I

Course Information

Course, prefix, number, & title: MUS-225 Jazz Theory and Improvisation I

Hours (Class, recitation, Laboratory, studio): 3 class hours

Credits: 3

Pre-requisites (if any): MUS-112 or MUS-122 with a grade of C or better

Course Description in college catalog:

An advanced theory course for performers of jazz. Chords, scales, and other theoretical materials are studied from the special viewpoint of the performing artist. Students will be expected to apply this study to improvisation on their own instruments. Some proficiency on an instrument or in voice is required.

Academic programs for which this course serves as a requirement or an elective:

A.A.S. Music Production

A.S. Music

General Education Outcomes: Below is a listing of General Education Outcome(s) that this course supports.

  1. Communicate effectively in various forms

  2. Use analytical reasoning to identify issues or problems and evaluate evidence in order to make informed decisions

Course-specific student learning outcomes:

1. Develop skills necessary in understanding jazz chord progressions common to a body of standard repertoire

2. Recognition of harmonic progressions and cadences as a continuation of skills developed in Music Theory and Keyboard Harmonization II

3. Explore basic constructs of harmony and form found in the jazz standard repertoire

4. Develop skills in analysis of lead sheets and transcribed jazz improvised solos

5. Demonstrate the application of the aforesaid objectives through real-time improvisation on an instrument or voice as well as composition of basic melodies and chord progressions in the jazz idiom


Program-specific outcomes

Prepare students who wish to transfer to a four-year institution of higher learning to pursue a career in music by providing a solid foundation in the areas of musicianship and performance.

Provide the general college students with the opportunities to study music in a variety of classes that promotes intellectual inquiry, global awareness and lifelong active learning.

Other program outcomes (if applicable).

  1. Integrate knowledge and skills in the program of study

  2. Make ethical judgments while recognizing multiple perspectives, as appropriate in the program of study

  3. Work collaboratively to accomplish learning objectives

Methods by which student learning will be assessed and evaluated; describe the types of methods to be employed; note whether certain methods are required for all sections:

Students will be evaluated through graded assignments including several in-class quizzes, weekly take-home assignments, a cumulative midterm, a final project, a two-page concert report, and attendance. The grade breakdown is as follows:

Attendance and Class Participation: 5%

Concert Report: 5%

Quizzes: 25%

Weekly Graded Assignments: 25%

Cumulative Midterm Exam: 20%

Final Project: 20%

Academic Integrity policy (department or College):
Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any violation of academic integrity is taken extremely seriously. All assignments and projects must be the original work of the student or teammates. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any questions regarding academic integrity should be brought to the attention of the instructor. The following is the Queensborough Community College Policy on Academic Integrity: "It is the official policy of the College that all acts or attempted acts that are violations of Academic Integrity be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. At the faculty member's discretion and with the concurrence of the student or students involved, some cases though reported to the Office of Student Affairs may be resolved within the confines of the course and department. The instructor has the authority to adjust the offender's grade as deemed appropriate, including assigning an F to the assignment or exercise or, in more serious cases, an F to the student for the entire course." Read the University's policy on Academic Integrity opens in a new window(PDF).

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based upon the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services in Science Building, Room S-132, 718-631-6257, to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You can visit the Office of Accessibility Services website.

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