In the interest of elevating jazz musicianship and broadening the love of jazz in future generations, Charleston Jazz has recently brought the Leonard School of Music under its wing to create the Charleston Jazz Academy. The Leonard School of Music has played an important role in teaching jazz to young people in Charleston since 1945.

SCHOOL TEACHERS: Thanks for registering for Jazz Day for Kids on November 15, 2017 at the Charleston Music Hall.  All of the seats are now filled.  Please register for our live stream and enjoy the concert in your classroom.

Click here to register!

Working in partnership with local schools, parents, and students of all ages, the Charleston Jazz Academy brings together highly motivated students in a collaborative and challenging environment to expand their repertoire and nurture the skills of improvisation.

Fall Class Schedule

All group classes and private lessons begin the week of September 11, 2017. 

Click here to register!

Group Classes

Beginner Band
This course is designed for ALL public, private, and homeschool students in Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston Counties. Students with 0-1 completed year of band instruction are encouraged to sign up. Students in this class will learn fundamentals of playing their musical instrument, reading music, and performing concerts in a group setting. The primary instruments in this course consist of: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, and tuba.
Tuesday and Thursday
5:00pm – 6:00pm

Intermediate Band
This course is designed for ALL public, private, and homeschool students in Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston Counties. Homeschool students beginning their 2nd year of band instruction to the end of their 3rd completed year of band instruction are encouraged to sign up. Students in this class will continue to learn advanced techniques of playing their musical instrument while preparing higher level music and performing concerts in a group setting! The primary instruments in this course consist of: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, and tuba.  (Although percussionists are able to take this course, they are highly encouraged to take one of our many percussion-specific courses.)
Monday and Wednesday
5:00pm – 6:00pm

Jazz Band
This course is designed to develop essential jazz skills in a group setting. Students in this course will perform a wide variety of jazz idioms including, but not limited to: swing, bebop, fusion, funk, R&B, Latin, and contemporary styles. The jazz band will serve as a premiere performance ensemble representing the Charleston Jazz Academy at various performance venues throughout the community!
Tuesday and Thursday
6:15pm – 7:30pm

Drum Set Ensemble
This course is a guided exploration of some of the most well-known songs in various genres of music, including: rock, funk, fusion, R&B, and hip-hop. Students will develop a foundation in coordination, technique, and transcription that will empower them to learn, perform, and innovate their own favorite songs of these genres on the drum set! Related artists that may be examined may include, but are certainly not limited to: James Brown, Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, Parliament Funkadelic, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Fall Out Boy, Stevie Wonder, Chicago, QuestLove, Prince, and Earth, Wind, & Fire.
Monday
6:15pm – 7:15pm

Percussion Ensemble
This fun and creative course is open to percussionists of all skill levels including beginners, non-percussionists, and advanced percussionists. This course guides students through beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of percussion performance–covering the basics of music notation, performance technique, and other fundamentals required to perform on all common percussion instruments, but not limited to: snare drum, mallets, auxiliary percussion, and timpani.
Monday
5:00pm – 6:00pm

Guitar Ensemble
This performance-based class is designed to focus on the various aspects of guitar playing ranging from lead/melodic playing to rhythm guitar/accompaniment techniques. Basics of improvisation and reading/notating music (both traditionally and tablature [TAB]) will be discussed in classical and contemporary (rock, jazz, blues, funk, and fusion) settings. Generally, this course would be appropriate for students ages 12 through adults. (Students younger than 12 years old are highly encouraged to take a year of private guitar lessons prior to enrolling in this course.)
Monday
6:15pm – 7:15pm

High School Recital Performance Seminar
This course is designed for the high school music student with at least 3 years of prior music instruction (middle school band/orchestra/chorus course and/or private lessons). Each student will develop skills in performance etiquette, performance practice, stage presence, mental preparation, and musicianship through substantial solo and small group literature for specified individuals on each respective instrument. Along with performing quarterly recitals with an accompanist, students in this course will develop skills in preparation for the university and music conservatory setting. College music (scholarship) audition criteria and procedures will also be discussed. All instrumentalists (including piano and strings) and vocalists are encouraged to enroll in this course.
Wednesday
6:30pm – 7:30pm

Homeschool Beginner Band
This course is designed specifically for our homeschool music students within Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston Counties. Home school students with 0-1 completed year of band instruction are encouraged to sign up. Students in this class will learn fundamentals of playing their musical instrument, reading music, and performing concerts in a group setting! The primary instruments in this course consist of: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, and tuba.  (Although percussionists are able to take this course, they are highly encouraged to take one of our many percussion-specific courses.)
Tuesday
1:15pm – 2:15pm

Homeschool Intermediate Band
This course is designed for ALL public, private, and homeschool students in Berkeley, Dorchester, and Charleston Counties. Homeschool students beginning their 2nd year of band instruction to the end of their 3rd completed year of band instruction are encouraged to sign up. Students in this class will continue to learn advanced techniques of playing their musical instrument while preparing higher level music and performing concerts in a group setting. The primary instruments in this course consist of: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, and tuba.  (Although percussionists are able to take this course, they are highly encouraged to take one of our percussion-specific courses.)
Tuesday
2:30pm – 3:30pm

Postmodern Music Lab
Inspired by Scott Bradlee, founder of Postmodern Jukebox, students in this music collective will have the opportunity to (re)arrange, collaborate, and innovate their own favorite songs from any and all genres into new and unique arrangements performed by the Postmodern Music Lab. Students will explore foundations of arranging music for a contemporary ensemble such as a ‘jam’ band, rock band, party band, or similar group by exploring harmonization, instrument voicings, tone, timbre, and styles.
Thursday
5:30pm – 6:30pm

Creative Approaches for the Singer/Songwriter
This course is designed to provide individualized instruction to developing and aspiring singer/songwriters. Skills and topics such as musical form, melody, harmony, rhythm, musical notation, fundamentals of piano and/or guitar, creative writing, and lyric considerations will be discussed. Students will perform their songs in class regularly for critique and support.
Tuesday
6:30pm – 7:45pm
 

Vocal Jazz Collective
Inspired by artists and groups such as Pentatonix, Bobby McFerrin, Manhattan Transfer, Al Jarreau, Take 6, and New York Voices, this course explores the voice in a group setting performing arrangements of pop, rock, jazz, and R&B music. Elements of style, microphone technique, stage presence, and ‘scat’ singing will be discussed.
Tuesday
5:15pm –  6:15pm

Why Choose the Charleston Jazz Academy?

  • Over 70 years of experience teaching music to Charleston youth
  • Expert music instruction from many of Charleston’s finest teachers and performers
  • Instruction offered on a wide range of instruments
  • All students receive free tickets to the Charleston Jazz Orchestra concerts
  • Students can meet and learn from celebrity musicians who are visiting Charleston to perform with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra concerts or at the Charleston Jazz Festival

Private Lessons

Private lessons are once a week one-on-one tailored classical and/or jazz instruction to provide each individual student with fundamental, developmental, and advanced techniques to perform on their instrument. Private lessons teach students how to practice and provide motivation and accountability for musical growth. Students of all ages and levels are encouraged to take weekly private lessons.

We offer private lessons to students of any age (including adults) on the following instruments: flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium/baritone, tuba, percussion, drum set, piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, ukulele, voice, and harp.

Monthly private lessons typically include 4 lessons and can range from 30, 45, or 60-minute lessons

Group Class Instructors

  • Richard Cavallo – Beginner Band
  • David Grimm – Guitar Ensemble
  • Bates Holman – Drum Set Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble
  • Robbie Madison – Creative Approaches for the Singer/Songwriter, Vocal Jazz Collective
  • RJ Ocampo – Homeschool Beginner and Intermediate Band, Jazz Band
  • Adam Prack – Postmodern Music Lab
  • Dr. Ryan Westberry – High School Recital Performance Seminar, Intermediate Band

Contact Us Today

By Phone: 843-745-5908
By Email: academy@charlestonjazz.com

Charleston Jazz Academy
3005 West Montague Avenue, Suite 200
North Charleston, SC 29418