Learn the language of Jazz

Music is a language.  It’s a form of communication that speaks to people universally.  Just like any language, music has structure and expresses ideas and emotions.  This is especially the case for jazz music.  Each musical note is like a syllable, with a combination of notes creating a melody that can represent one’s opinions, ideas and emotions much like a combination of words and sentences can. 

To speak a language, you firstly need to understand the alphabet and simple words and sentence structures to be able to communicate.  In music, this can be translated into understanding the 12 musical notes in western harmony.  The next step is understanding the scales and arpeggios that transform notes into a logical order, much like syllables into words.  This is how you start to speak the language of music.  From there, like in learning a language, you begin to explore certain combinations of sounds that increase in complexity to express your ideas.

The greatest thing about jazz music is that it is an improvised music set over a specific structure, just like having a conversation with someone.  However, jazz is a language that can transcend language barriers.  You could be in a jam session with people from all over the world who cannot speak a word of your language and still make music together and have a fluent conversation with each other.  Having this skill can equip a musician to express themselves in any genre of music and the musical opportunities are boundless.

At Jazz Music Institute (JMI), the focus is on learning the tradition and language of jazz to give you the tools to express your ideas, opinions and emotions musically, no matter how simple or how complex. 

One of the graduates of JMI, Mel Lathouras, who is a vocalist working professionally in the music scene in Brisbane said:

“When you want to learn a language fluently, you go and live in the country where it is spoken. It’s the same deal with jazz. I decided to study in an institution where its people are passionate about speaking the language.  From my personal experience, JMI is the best jazz ‘language immersion’ program in Queensland. I feel very privileged to have learnt from the best in the industry and I feel well equipped for my career as a jazz singer.”

JMI offers a 3-year Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance that has been recognised and commended by some of the biggest international names in jazz including Wynton Marsalis, Aaron Goldberg, John Riley and James Morrison.

For more information regarding courses on offer at JMI visit www.jazz.qld.edu.au

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