Why jazz improvisation for teenagers?
Jazz improvisation is the ultimate form of interactive group creative musical expression. It involves listening to the other band members in an exciting form of musical communication and making your own contribution in the context of what the group is doing. These are valuable skills that apply to life, both personal life and life in the workplace. The skills developed in learning jazz improvisation can also be applied to other styles of music, such as rock, pop, blues, R&B, hip-hop and more. They allow the musician to interact confidently in multiple genres of music. And, finally, this is America’s “classical music”. By studying jazz, you will learn and experience, through the music making, this unique American art form. Find out why artists such as John Meyer, Christina Aguilera, Sting, Paul Simon, Damien Rice, Carlos Santana, Pink, Seal, India Aire, and Jeff Beck are collaborating with Jazz Artists and using jazz in their music

Teen Jazz Workshop
For students 13 to 17 years old
Faculty: Craig McGorry
Schedule: Saturdays from 2pm to 4pm, every week through the whole season.
(Visit the calendar for the scheduled dates up to July 2014)
Fee: $230 for the first four classes, includes a one-time $45.00 registration fee

Location: New York Jazz Workshop
149 W 46th street, 2nd floor, between 6th and 7th ave.
NY, NY 10036 US


What if I only studied classical music?  That’s a great foundation for learning jazz.  Many of the jazz greats studied classical music at conservatories before becoming jazz musicians.  Studying classical music has provided you with the technique on your instrument, and feel for musical form, you will have a wellspring of melodic ideas to call on for improvisation.

What experience do I need to have to participate in the workshop?

In this level workshop, you should have been playing your instruments for a couple of years and have the ability to play some scales, arpeggios, and chords (if you are playing a chordal instrument).  It is also helpful to have some ability to read music notation.  If you are interested in jazz already, that is wonderful.  If not, that’s fine also.  This workshop will give you a chance to explore jazz in a hands-on way, which is the best way to experience it.

What are some of the things I will learn in the workshop?


  • Repertoire: Standard jazz tunes that musicians all over the world know and play in jam sessions and on actual gigs.
  • Theory: Harmonic and melodic understanding of chords and how they function in sample tunes, along with scales and key centers that can be applied to them.
  • Ear training: Learning how to hear chord types and melodic patterns by ear and also be able to notate them on the music staff.
  • Transcribing/Listening: Students will also hear, transcribe, and discuss examples of great jazz compositions and improvisations.
  • Improvisation: Developing the ability to create melodies in the moment by applying theory and ear training and using improvisations tools such as “call and response”, “motifs”, “cells”, and more.
  • Ensemble (Combo): Students will learn the skills of playing and improvising in a small to medium size jazz ensemble.  Combo rehearsals will be held daily.
  • Composition and Jazz Connections to Music Today: Students will compose and arrange their own piece of music from scratch, with contributions from all.  We will focus on connecting jazz music of the past with musical styles of the present, which some contemporary “jazz” musicians are doing successfully.   Robert Glasper is a great example of a trained jazz musician who is fusing jazz with contemporary styles.
  • Performance: We will have a performance of some of the material we worked on. The performance will be held at Smalls, a legendary jazzclub in manhattan. The next date will be in November 2013.

We hope you will join us for a wonderful experience, may this be the beginning of your musical adventures!

New York Jazz Teen Workshop INFO and FAQs

For who are those classes?

Kids 13 to 17 years old with a passion for music

When are the classes?

Saturdays from 10am to 12pm.

Where are the classes held?

The classes are held at 853 Rehearsal Studios located at 853 Seventh Avenue (between 54th and 55th street) .

Who is teaching the class?
Craig studied jazz/commercial music at Five Towns College, majoring in saxophone and piano, and has studied extensively with various masters over the years.
A passionate educator, Craig has trained in music education, including studying the Orff Method at The Eastman School of Music and receiving Kodaly Certification from New York University.
Craig holds a Master of Arts in Education from Mercy College (and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from New York University).  He has taught music in the NYC public schools and at the East Coast Music festival, where he taught chorus, music theory, and improvisation skills to cello and violin students.   Craig frequently performs in New York City and has performed at various venues, including Cleopatra’s Needle, Miles Café, The Shrine, Arturo’s and more.

What do I bring?

Bring your own instrument, sheet music and a pencil.
If you play bass, guitar, or winds, we have drum kit, piano, amplifiers and a vibraphone.
If you need an instrument and can’t bring your own let us know and we will give you some options.

Sign up early!
For more information fill out the registration form or send an email to [email protected]. If you wish to speak with someone in person please call:
(888) 690-5299