About the Jazz Programme
Designed for specialist jazz musicians, Junior Guildhall's Jazz Programme, run by Jonathan Taylor and Oliver Weston, delivers a full understanding of jazz performance.
This holistic and structured programme, with timetables tailored to individual student needs, provides young musicians with the ideal environment and expert individual and ensemble tuition required to develop their skills and grounding in jazz.
All students follow a core course of compulsory activities (two lessons on the first study instrument, Jazz Ensemble, Big Band and Musical Awareness classes) as well as a number of optional classes that are common to Music Course students. Some individual lessons are delivered from 5pm on a week day.
First study lessons can be provided in the following:
*These instrumental lessons are usually delivered Monday-Friday from 5pm.
The Jazz Programme includes:
- First Study jazz lesson – 30 one-to-one lessons per annum with a minimum length of 40 minutes
- Extra Study classical lesson (same instrument as the jazz lesson) – minimum length 30 minutes but can be extended
- Jazz Ensemble, which provides opportunities to record and play in external venues
- Big Band
- Musical Awareness Classes (for students in Years 8 to 11)
- Jazz Musical Awareness Classes
- Students may also be able to engage in non-jazz activities available to all Music Course students, subject to ability and timetable
- An Intermediate Course for students with less direct jazz experience
- Jazz Choir
Students will enter the Music Course through the normal audition process and may additionally engage in some or all of the following jazz studies:
- Extra study jazz lessons - minimum length 20 minutes (instruments available as listed above)
- Jazz Workshop
- Big Band
- Jazz Ensemble (depending upon age and ability)
- Jazz Musical Awareness (Year 12 & 13 students only)
Performance is a central part of the training at Junior Guildhall. Specialist jazz students will have the opportunity to perform in Big Band and ensembles, with many concerts taking place in Milton Court.
Selected advanced students are given the opportunity to perform in external venues such as the Barbican, 606 Club and Vortex Jazz Club.
- Junior Guildhall has an extensive library of ensemble music which students are able to benefit from. Students may then sign out individual parts for pieces their group is rehearsing. Junior Guildhall students may also join the Barbican Library which is open on Saturdays. The Barbican Chimes Music Shop is located on Silk Street from which sheet music can be bought and ordered. Junior Guildhall students are entitled to a 10% discount on music bought through the shop.
- The School's recording studio incorporates an advanced industry standard Pro Tools recording and production system. Most concerts are recorded for archiving purposes and parents may obtain recordings of concerts in which their children have performed. There are also two elaborately equipped electronic studios, which boast a comprehensive range of synthesisers, samplers, effects units and computer systems.
These notes are taken from the Agreement parents sign when accepting a Junior Guildhall place. If you would like a copy of the Agreement please contact the Junior Guildhall office.
- Junior Guildhall students are not permitted to participate in masterclasses or take instrumental lessons outside the School (unless with the student’s Junior Guildhall teacher) on instruments studied at the School unless permission is granted by the Head of Junior Guildhall.
- The full annual fee will vary according to any timetable requests made and the first instalment of fees must be paid prior to the commencement of tuition.
- Students are expected to remain at Junior Guildhall for a full academic year (or remainder of the academic year if tuition commenced after the start of the year). If a student is withdrawn from the course at any time during the year, the full annual fee (or proportion of annual fees if the student started after the commencement of the academic year) will still be payable unless dispensation has been granted by the Head of Junior Guildhall. If a parent wishes to withdraw a student at the end of the academic year, notice must be given in writing to the Head of Junior Guildhall no later than 1 April.
- Students are accepted into Junior Guildhall on the understanding that they make satisfactory progress and that they attend regularly. When students wish to be absent, permission must be requested in writing the Head of Junior Guildhall. Students should not arrange other activities on a term time Saturday or concert day until permission for absence has been granted by the School.
- Please note that we do not give students permission to miss concerts/performances or important rehearsals.
- Leave of absence will normally be granted for days when a student is not involved in a concert/performance, an important rehearsal, an internal assessment or other important event. Repeated absence can be detrimental to a student’s musical progress and very disruptive to ensemble work. For this reason, the Head of Junior Guildhall will normally only grant a student one absence per term. Absence from Saturdays may reduce a student’s chances of participation in Chamber Music. Written requests for absence should be made as early as possible.
- In the interest of all students, Junior Guildhall concerts and performances must have priority over any outside engagements that students may be offered. Principal concert dates are available from the Administrator more than a year in advance.
- The Office should be informed as soon as possible if a student is ill so that relevant teachers can be notified.
- The School occasionally arranges for photographs to be taken of the students. This is carried out in an unobtrusive manner and may be used for record and archival purposes. Junior Guildhall will seek separate permission if the images are to be used in the prospectus or in other published material and/or multi-media relating to the School.
These notes and conditions are subject to change from time to time. Parents will be notified in writing in advance of any such changes. On accepting a place, parents will receive a Handbook which details Junior Guildhall’s procedures and policies.
Audition requirements for first study jazz musicians (not including drum kit)
1. A jazz standard of the candidate’s choice including improvisation
2. Improvisation on a 12 bar blues in C, F or Bb major (concert pitch, key chosen by audition panel)
3. One classical piece on the same instrument of the candidate’s choice
4. Jazz scales
5. Sightreading (chords and/or notation)
6. General questions
Audition requirements for jazz drum kit
The candidate will be asked to demonstrate a variety of jazz skills on the drum kit: e.g. different tempos, feels and grooves to include swing in 4/4 and 3/4, ballad feel, latin, bossa nova, funk and straight 8s.
In addition, candidates should prepare:
1. One notated piece of the candidate’s choice on either snare drum or drum kit
2. Snare drum rudiments to include five stroke, long roll, flam tap, and triple ratamacue
NB: Percussion instruments will be available at the audition although candidates are advised to bring their own sticks, cymbals and any other appropriate equipment. Should the candidate wish to use a backing track it is their responsibility to provide the track and playing device.
Late applications will generally be considered. However, there may be a delay in arranging an audition date. We do try to hear all applications but cannot guarantee a place even if the student is of our entry level. In such cases, students may be placed on a reserve list.
Results are sent directly to the parent/ carer as soon as possible after the audition period.
We may be able to offer a Pre-Audition Advice Session, aimed at parents who are unsure of whether their child is at the standard required to audition. This will normally be a one-to-one session, but the student’s parent/carer may also attend. The teacher may offer advice on musical interpretation and technical set-up and indicate whether the student is at a suitable standard for a Junior Guildhall audition.
Pre-Audition Advice Sessions are charged at £80 per hour. 30 and 40-minute sessions are also available, charged pro-rata. Sessions will take place on Saturdays, either in person or online, subject to availability.
If your child meets the audition requirements outlined on our website, a Pre-Audition Advice Session may not be necessary. Pre-Audition Advice Sessions are not consultation lessons and are only designed to assess whether a student is a suitable standard for audition. Receipt of a Pre-Audition Advice Session will not in any way influence the decision of the Junior Guildhall audition panel.
Pre-Audition Advice Sessions are offered subject to availability and early booking is recommended (i.e in the Autumn Term). This will ensure that you have the opportunity to act upon any advice given before your prospective audition date.
Please note that a Pre-Audition Advice Session may be delivered online via Zoom.
Should you need further information please email Junior@gsmd.ac.uk.