Jazz Combo I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MUS 115

       Course Name: Jazz Combo I

       Credits: 1 (0 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course content includes participating in Jazz Combo Ensemble during rehearsal and performance modes; confronting new musical fundamentals and experimental skill problems, and finding new ways of solving them at moment of play. Recommended: Several years of instruction on the instrument, experience in jazz ensemble performance.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To demonstrate playing skills within Ensemble performance.
  2. To compose and arrange Jazz Combo music.
  3. To identify certain scales and chords in all keys.
  4. To perform in a concert.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Representative topics such as:

  1. Basics of ear-training
  2. Jazz theory
  3. Small ensemble playing techniques
  4. Sight-reading
  5. Creative arrangements of standard jazz charts
  6. Performance
  7. Warm-up
  8. Dynamics
  9. Rhythmic interpretations and various styles within the jazz idiom will be explored.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Playing your instrument as much as possible is the goal for this class.
  2. A small amount of lecture must be incorporated to explain various items in jazz theory and history and guide you in your interpretation of the music.
  3. Student feedback, critiques, and discussion will be highly important in developing our ears and our ensemble playing abilities.
  4. Scheduled performances will solidify our work.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attendance is mandatory.
  2. At least two (2) hours per week should be devoted to independent group rehearsal. Additional personal practice will be needed to master your part completely.
  3. You will choose at least one of the semester’s repertoire pieces.
  4. You will be responsible for the basic arrangement and count-off of this piece with assistance from the rest of the combo and the director.
  5. You must be able to spell and arpeggiate the chords in your chosen piece.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

At all rehearsals have:

  1. All parts of your instrument in good working order.
  2. All music and handouts, as required for class, held in a folder.
  3. A music manuscript paper notebook and pencil to record new information and changes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Each rehearsal receives a grade based on preparedness, mastery of skills taught in previous rehearsals, completion of literature research assignments, effort to improve as both a group and as an individual within the group, and performance in the end of semester concert.

XI.   Other Course Information



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.