For many years now, we have given lessons in chord reading and improvisation, including understanding how ‘light music’ is constructed.
Now that the ABRSM has started to offer examinations in jazz, we have been able to combine the two approaches.
The ABRSM exams are graded from 1 to 5. These grades should not be compared with ‘classical’ ones, as they are quite different in context and musical standard. For example, grade 5 in jazz is quite advanced.
We usually start interested pupils on our lessons when they have reached the ‘classical’ standard ABRSM grade 5. Usually when a pupil has completed our course he or she is ready to start the ABRSM jazz syllabus, commencing at grade 3 level. This combination has been very successful, with nearly all candidates achieving a distinction.