Jazz Band I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MUS 117

       Course Name: Jazz Band I

       Credits: 1 (0 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers comprehensive and practical study of jazz band idiom. Involves performance with the award-winning Oakton Jazz Band; sectional and ensemble discussion and scheduled rehearsal of various jazz band works, along with public performance. Student compositions encouraged. Recommended: Two years of instruction on the instrument, experience in jazz ensemble performance and audition.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To demonstrate playing skills within Ensemble performance.
  2. To play chair positions in all sections.
  3. To compose/arrange Jazz Band Music.
  4. To perform in 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

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Representative topics such as:

  1. Sight reading all styles of pop and jazz music.
  2. Warm-up techniques, dynamics, rhythm (eighth note interpretations, syncopation, triplets, etc.), and various styles (ballads, shuffle, swing, show tunes, vocals, and Latin-American: rumba, beguine, bossa nova, mambo, samba).
  3. Blues scales
  4. Pentatonic scales (major and minor)

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Weekly rehearsals.

  1. New and experimental works are chosen from the OCC jazz band library with encouragement for student arrangements. 
  2. Whenever new music is handed out, a sectional rehearsal, in separate rooms may be utilized as part of the rehearsal.
  3. A small amount of lecture must be incorporated to explain scale function and guide you in your interpretation of the music.
  4. Student feedback, critiques, and discussion will be highly important in developing our ears and our ensemble playing abilities.
  5. Scheduled performances will solidify our work.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

  • Weekly attendance is mandatory.
  • 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.
  • Acceptance of performance dates in advance.

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

Repertoire from jazz band library and original compositions and arrangements by student.

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.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.