New York Jazz Academy® Electives include courses that are worthwhile complements to core ensemble and performance classes. Study jazz theory, jazz notation and ear-training, reading and notation, and bebop line building with NYJA. We also have many more electives available via NYJA Online.

Jazz Theory 101

    Jazz Theory 101 delves into the basics of jazz harmony and theory. Students will learn how to read and outline chord symbols on their instruments, with the aim of using these outlines in improvisation. This class will emphasize the importance of the major scale, and how it relates to chords, melodies, and progressions found in jazz. This course is cumulative, and will reference material being taught in other classes at the New York Jazz Academy. Students will be required to complete quizzes and exams throughout the term.
  • Location: Manhattan
  • Day/Time: Mondays, 6pm-6:50pm (year-round)
  • Tuition: $30/session (non-members); $24/session (members)
  • Want to register? Need more info? Contact us.

Reading and Notation Class

    Are you interested in developing your music-reading and sight-reading skills? Reading and Notation Class helps immensely with developing this valuable skill set. Learn tips and tricks to make sight-reading much easier while also honing your reading abilities in real time on your instrument with other musicians.

  • Location: Manhattan
  • Day/Time: Saturdays, 11am-11:50am (year-round)
  • Tuition: $30/session (non-members); $24/session (members)
  • Want to register? Need more info? Contact us.

Jazz Notation and Ear-Training

    Learn how to connect your ear with what you see and feel! Jazz Notation and Ear-Training is particularly helpful for vocalists, pianists, and guitarists. It can help anyone who wants to learn effective methods of reading and understanding jazz notation, rhythm, melody, and harmony.
  • Location: Manhattan
  • Day/Time: Tuesdays, 6pm-6:50pm (year-round)
  • Tuition: $30/session (non-members); $24/session (members)
  • Want to register? Need more info? Contact us.

Bebop Line Building

    Bebop Line Building is open to intermediate-advanced level vocalists and instrumentalists who are looking to improve their skills related to playing jazz lines. This is a great way to learn the skills necessary to play jazz effectively while getting a chance to play with other musicians.
    Topics covered in Bebop Line Building include:

  • Methods for playing through chord changes
  • Bebop scale exercises and patterns
  • Common bebop phrases and basic vocabulary
  • Scale and arpeggio knowledge
  • Diatonic Patterns and exercises
  • Improvising with Pentatonics and triads
  • Applying improv devices to common chords
  • Solo development and phrasing
  • Studying jazz masters and their styles through transcription

Watch A Video

  • Location: Manhattan
  • Day/Time: Mondays, 6pm-6:50pm
  • Tuition: $30/session (non-members); $24/session (members)
  • Want to register? Need more info? Contact us.

Learn To Play Congas

    If you are going to be singing with drummers, then it’s time that you learn the essence of Afro-Cuban drumming, which is at the heart of jazz style. No experience necessary. Beginner to advanced musicians will play in an ensemble setting, learning Bolero, Tumbao, Mambo, Salsa, Guaguanco and many more. Get your groove on, and learn conga drums today!
  • Location: Manhattan
  • Day/Time: Wednesdays, 6pm-6:50pm
  • Tuition: $40/session (non-members); $32/session (members)
  • Want to register? Need more info? Contact us.

Bata Drumming Workshop

    Broaden your horizons by learning Bata! The focus of this class will be learning Afro Cuban Bata drumming, but would also be beneficial for anyone who has either an interest in learning more about this incredible folkloric music or just wants to expand their horizons. The workshop is open to all, regardless of musical experience. Learning the music of the Bata drums offers any musician not only the obvious expansion of their rhythmic vocabulary but also insight into musical structures, phrasing, improvisation and ensemble interaction. The musical expression and flexibility involved in this music is very akin to jazz and would be invaluable to any jazz student, as it is truly one of the roots of the African influence in our native American music.

Watch A Video

  • Location: Brooklyn (Park Slope)
  • Day/Time: By appointment (1 hour session)
  • Tuition: $50/session (non-members); $40/session (members)
  • Want to register? Need more info? Contact us.

More Electives Online

    Are you looking for even more options? Check out our Online Programs, including tuition-free classes in music notation basics and jazz history, and other theory and improv, comp and arranging classes.
  • Location: Online
  • Day/Time: At Your Own Pace
  • Tuition: Varies per course
  • Want to register? Need more info? Visit NYJA Online

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