Open Web Search Open Mobile Search Open Mobile Menu
Jazz: Playing in a Band (Mixed Level)

Course Description

On this course you will join a band to learn a repertoire of jazz songs, with a view to honing your skills and working towards performing for audiences at WMC and beyond. As well as learning the tunes, you will explore how to improvise over the chord changes by learning appropriate scales and arpeggios. You will learn to play together tightly as a band and gain confidence as a performer. All instruments welcome, particularly horns.

Location: Camden

Course Requirements

To perform in the ensemble, horn players need music reading skills and at least grade 3 in your instrument. Other instrumentalists must be confident in their ability to read chord charts. Drummers and percussionists need to be confident and accurate with a variety of feels and key signatures. Vocalists need to be able to learn by ear or from lead sheets.

Although there is no pre-assessment for the course, you need to be at a level that is appropriate for the ensemble as a whole. You will also be expected to complete an Individual Learning Plan to help support your progress.

The class can accommodate the following musicians up to a limit of 10 in total (the group can be bigger with tutor approval):

One drummer
One bass player
Two percussionists
Up to two keyboard players
Up to four singers
Up to two guitarists
As many wind instruments such as sax, trumpet etc that want to join the ensemble

If there are too many of a particular instrument (or vocal performers) that can be accommodated by the ensemble, we reserve the right to direct you to another appropriate course.

If an individuals confidence level is not appropriate for the ensemble, we reserve the right to direct you to another appropriate course.

Course Content

As a group you will play through a range of songs and tunes from the jazz repertoire. You will also do exercises to improve your use of appropriate scales, arpeggios and phrases, and study some common jazz chord progressions.

Please note: although you will be introduced to all the above over a single term (10-weeks), the course is developmental over the whole year. If you sign up for the full three terms (courses A, B and C) at the start of the academic year e.g. August / September you will be entitled to the early bird discount.

Teaching and Learning Methods

You will learn through Practical activities, Peer assessment, Listening and analysis, Demonstration and discussion, Use of supporting online materials (Google Classroom / OneDrive), Individual practice, Use of ILT (computers), Continuous assessment

Independent Learning

You will be expected to work independently to develop your practical music making skills. The focus should be on instrumental practice but may also include researching material to perform e.g. improvisation and solos for a particular piece. You should also develop your music theory skills.


You will be continually assessed through your practical activities and will receive feedback in a variety of ways e.g. peer assessment, verbal and written feedback from your teacher.

Qualification you will achieve

This is a non-accredited course but a certificate of completion can be provided by the College on request.

Next Steps and Progression

Upon successful completion of the course you may be able to progress to accredited courses at Level 1 or perform in other ensembles or instrumental tuition classes at WMC.

Additional Information

For more information, please contact the Learner Services Team via Live Chat, phone on 020 7255 4700 or email

Additional Learning Support

Teachers are supported to ensure their materials are inclusive to meet all learners needs. Provision of assistive equipment is available and access support can be provided through reasonable adjustments, subject to an assessment by the ALS team and/or the Disability Officer. Digital Learning support is available in the Learning Centre at our Camden site. Careers advice and guidance is also available to all learners.

Additional Costs

WM College is able to provide financial support for course fees, you may be eligible based on prior qualifications, if you are on a low income or benefits. For more information and to find out if you are eligible, view our Fees & Finance page on our website or contact the Learner Services team via Live Chat or on 020 7255 4700.
44 Crowndale Road
Tel: 020 7255 4700
7 Leighton Place
Tel: 020 7241 8572