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Jazz Music Workshop


Photo of Simon with photo credit to Ron Milson

Workshops delivered by Professional Jazz Performer Simon Spillett 


Come and join us for an informal and exciting three-week FREE jazz music beginner - intermediate workshop! Workshops are lead by professionally instructor Simon Spillett taking place at the Highworth Church on Wednesdays from 7-9pm (including 30 min break) on:

  • 19th June

  • 26th June

  • 3rd July


Here’s a little bit of info from Simon as to what you can expect and what’s required:



Beginner to Intermediate Jazz Workshop.


For this Workshop students should be expected to have the following:


  • An ability to read music is helpful but not essential (individual 'Grades' are not important) 

  • An ability to recognise pitches, note values and the musical stave is useful.

  • An ability to recognise notes within a given chord symbol is also very helpful.

  • Interest in improvising in a jazz setting.

  • Willingness to play using the ear and to construct a group performance which combines aural and written contributions.

  • Above all they must possess a passion for and curiosity about for jazz music.


What can the students expect to learn?


The students will be performing a classic jazz composition in an ensemble setting, with improvising contributions provided by all.

We will also create a piece to be learned and performed entirely by ear.


The sessions will last a maximum of two hours with a thirty minute break.


There will be instruction and advice on the following:


  • how to make coherent group performance

  • jazz phrasing 

  • playing by ear

  • improvising from chords

  • melodic embellishment

  • jazz harmony

  • the function of each respective instrument     within a jazz group 

  • listening within the group

  • jazz history/what to listen to and how

  • how professional jazz musicians approach     the same repertoire/musical opportunities

  • broader musicianship 


Ideally the band will comprise no more than ten members. It will be open to those who play any instrument but would particularly suit those who play the following;


  • Drums

  • Guitar

  • Piano

  • Double bass

  • Bass guitar

  • Saxophone

  • Trumpet

  • Trombone

  • Clarinet

  • Flute

  • Violin 


Please note: unfortunately multiple drums/percussion are not preferable in a group of this size. Multiple wind instruments are not an issue (i.e. three saxophones or two trumpets)


What will the participants will need? 


Their own instruments and music stands.

It will also be helpful if they have access to a digital device such as a tablet or mobile phone which can access apps like the i-Real Pro.

However this is not mandatory.


The goal of the group will be to work on the given pieces over three weekly sessions and prepare a brief set to be played before an audience at the festival.


The aim of the workshop is to improve each participant's practical understanding and ability with the jazz context.

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