Jazz Band Syllabus

Olympia High School

Jazz Program

Course Syllabus



Erik Curley & Maggie Curley

The jazz program is for students enrolled in band, orchestra, or choir at OHS. Auditions are required to participate in this program. Over the course of the year students will improve technical facility and performance skills on their chosen instrument. Students will perform a variety of jazz band literature in class and in concerts as the year progresses.

Course Objectives

Students will:

  1. Use academic language to describe musical events and concepts.

  2. Demonstrate, through performance, an understanding of how the elements of jazz music interact to achieve an expressive effect.

  3. Improve skills in individual part playing.

  4. Be able to balance and blend their individual parts within their section.

  5. Improve enhanced music reading skills.

  6. Demonstrate knowledge of different jazz styles and the means to express themselves artistically.

  7. Execute jazz rhythms and articulations, melodic phrases, and harmonic structures.

  8. Improve skills as improvisers.

  9. Assess individual, class, and concert participation.

  10. Participate as a member of a team, making a contribution to the group effort.

Course Topics

  1. Performance of a variety of jazz styles

  2. History of jazz

  3. Advanced music theory, including all jazz and blues scales, the circle of fifths, the chromatic scale and jazz rhythms.

Required Supplies

  1. Your instrument and equipment, including reeds, valve oil, cleaning swabs, etc.

  2. Performance Attire - Concert Black

Grading Policy

Performances, Trips, Activities: 50%, Participation: 50%


Monday, December 4th - Rotary Luncheon @The Red Lion, Olympia WA

Monday, December 11th - Holiday Concert @OHS, 7:30PM

Tuesday and Thursday, Dec. 12th and 14th - Holiday Concert @OHS, 7:30PM

Saturday, April 21 - Jazz Swing Dance & Auction Fundraiser @ Olympia High School

Friday, May 18 - Saturday, May 19 - CWU Jazz Festival in Ellensburg, WA

Thursday, May 24 - Jazz Night @ Olympia High School 7:30 pm

Other performance opportunities to be announced!