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A Basic Introduction to Jazz Improvisation with Dr. Kyle Coughlin or any of our jazz faculty.

Dr. Coughlin’s step by step approach to learning improvisation helps students create their own musical ideas spontaneously.  The process is a very gradual one that encourages even the shyest students to stand up and play a solo.  Instead of just playing over a group of scales, the students will learn how to improvise rhythmically and melodically, focusing on one element of music at a time.  Jazz provides us with the ultimate form of interaction in music, and the clinic involves call and response activities and “trading” of phrases.

The clinic is suitable for students of all levels and is not just for newcomers to improvisation.  Whether working with elementary, middle, or high school students, Dr. Coughlin will cater the style of the clinic to the level of students with whom he is working.  The clinic is also a great way for more experienced improvisers to develop their vocabulary and their ideas.



Improving Your Swing Rhythms with Dr. Kyle Coughlin or any of our jazz faculty.

Jazz is a unique language, and learning to play jazz involves participating in the same steps required to learn a spoken language: listening, interacting, and practicing.  This clinic will help your students understand the basics of swing rhythms, and it focuses on jazz quarter notes, swing eighth notes, and jazz articulation.  It will also clarify some common misconceptions about swing rhythms.  The students will interact with Dr. Coughlin, trading short rhythmic and melodic phrases with him and with each other.  This clinic can be catered to students of all levels and is effective for elementary, middle, and high school jazz students.


Tell Us What You Need

If there are specific matters that you would like our faculty to help you with, please let us know.  Our instructors have many years of experience with a diverse range of styles and genres.  We can assist by providing master classes, clinics, sectionals, or coaching sessions with your jazz groups, concert bands, orchestras, choirs, or chamber ensembles.  Contact Dr. Kyle Coughlin at kcoughlin@howardcc.edu with any questions.

Return to the Master Classes and Clinics page.