Balletschool Attitude
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Pedagogy

All Music Styles

CLASS & JAZZ aims to avoid dividing music with too many labels and into too many styles. Music is music! The foundation of the programme does not oppose classical music to jazz/rock/pop. From the very start we opt for a global approach that enables the students to explore all the musical styles they are interested in during their initial training.

Later on, students will usually make a choice according to their inclinations and taste, as different styles require different approaches. Classical musicians need to develop a versatile instrumental technique and a good understanding of the written, pre-arranged music score. The training consists mainly of reading and performing the classical repertoire. Jazz, rock and pop musicians need to possess a thorough knowledge of scales and chords, oriented towards a more personalised technique, and towards composition, arrangement and improvisation. The approach includes the creative use of music theory while playing jazz, rock, pop and world music standards.

But it is a mistake to think that classical musicians can neglect music theory, and that conversely, jazz musicians can ignore instrumental technique and sight-reading.

All our teachers provide both approaches.

Integrated Music Theory

At CLASS & JAZZ the music theory is not a compulsory and distinct lesson. It is taught alongside instrument tuition in a “comprehensive” package. As all aspects are taught by the same teacher with the same perspective, students find it easier to develop a good insight into the way all aspects link together:

  • Instrumental technique: coordination of eye, hand and ear
  • Music theory: notes, rhythm, scales and chords, analysis
  • Ear training: sight-reading and singing, musical dictation, playing by ear
  • Musicality: interpretation, musical culture, development of one’s own musical personality

If needed or required, individual lessons are also flexible enough to concentrate on certain more specific aspects such as sight-reading, composition, improvisation, arrangement, jazz harmony, classical harmony … (see also aspects mentioned above)

Thanks to this comprehensive tuition, students need travel only once for an instrument lesson AND a music theory lesson.

Stage Projects

Students are given the opportunity to start up a musical total project, if they wish to do so. The idea is to organize, and to perform, a concert, completely personalized in style and presentation, with a cast of musicians of one’s own choice … under advice and guidance of our teacher’s team.

There are four types of projects, each one symbolizing a different phase in the musical achievement. At each phase, the musician is confronted with new challenges, and learns how to master them. And each phase builds further on the know-how acquired in earlier phases.

The JOY Project
For young musicians: simply to share the joy of playing wit its audience.

The ATTITUDE Project
For the creative minds who, with (partially, or totally) self written works, want, next to playing, also to give the performance their own individuality, personality and character.

The SKILLS Project
For advanced students who want to show and demonstrate everything they’ve learned so far: virtuoso, bold and sincere. (required level : admission test to music conservatory)

The ART Project
As highest goal, to achieve the learning cycle, to show that, from now on, one has become an “artist”.

Semi-Professional training
The CANDIDS / The ARTISTS / FOLK-WORLD / JAZZ-FUSION

Our most experienced students are invited (selected) to take the courses The ARTISTS (each Friday, from 21h to 22h), FOLK-WORLD Ensemble (each Saturday, from 10h to 11h), and/or JAZZ-FUSION Ensemble (Tuesday, every other week, from 20h to 22h). The purpose of these courses is to be further trained at a professional level, as musicians who consciously use their individual talents to the benefit of the “team” work, on behalf of “the group.”

The ARTISTS training includes the learning of various group and stage techniques such as Close Harmony, Musical Interactive Leadership, Accompaniment Practice, Arrangement/Improvisation/Composition, Band Coaching, Band Management, … The ARTISTS activities range from accompanying our other students on our OPUS-day (annual CLASS & JAZZ concert) or on their individual Stage Projects, to the creation of specific ARTISTS projects, concerts and shows.

The FOLK-WORLD Ensemble (dir. Andries Baele) focuses on a repertoire of Celtic Folk, extended to other World Music styles, to Pop.

The JAZZ-FUSION Ensemble (dir. Arthur Maes) focuses on a “Fusion” repertoire (jazz/rock/funk/latin) from the 60’s to the 80’s with compositions by Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, John Scofield, Chick Corea amongst others.

The younger students who aspire to be invited to The ARTISTS, and /or the FOLK-WORLD and JAZZ-FUSION ensembles can freely subscribe for the preparatory course The CANDIDS (each Wednesday, from 19h to 20h).

Preparation for Higher Music Studies

We offer also specific courses to students who are preparing for an entrance examination into a music conservatoire, both in classical and jazz style.

These lessons are aimed at students who have benefited from musical tuition in a music academy alongside general, technical or professional schooling, and who do not yet feel secure enough to take the big step into a conservatoire.

Further Training for Professionals

A lot of good active professional musicians have been trained too unilaterally, often towards only one musical style, and are therefore constrained in their further musical evolution. They haven’t been taught how to play from sheet music, or how to play without sheet music but by ear, how to improvise, how to make a thorough analysis of the score for a better mastering and interpretation of the music, how to let the expressivity transcend the technique. CLASS & JAZZ offers them the opportunity to expand their knowledge so as to allow them to explore new musical horizons.