Music Lecture Sessions- Jazz Music

In October, we had the honor to invite Mr. Shen, a jazz piano master majoring in pop music at Xinghai Conservatory of Music, offer series of lectures on jazz and blues music to our music classes. Mr. Shen, a former Modern piano tutor at the School of Music of Shenzhen University, now works at the School of Art of Southern University of Science and Technology, and Mr. Shen is also actively performed in the jazz music community in Shenzhen.
Mr. Shen prepared three different sessions to G1, G2, AS, A2 music students about three different musical styles in jazz music category: blues, swing, and Bossa nova.
The first style introduced is blues music, the most common blues form is the twelve bars’ blues, the very featured blues scale is a six-note scale that consists of the minor pentatonic scale plus an extra flattened fifth note. The other main features of blues include, specific chord progressions, use of seventh and nineth chord, contains walking bass, call and response phrase setting, dissonant harmonies, syncopated rhythm, use of flattened blue notes. Overall speaking, it is heavily chromatic feeling in blues music.
After historical and theoretical elements explanation, Mr. Shen gave students some rhythmic exercises along with blues harmony chord progressions, each student gets to clap the rhythm first, feel the syncopated, off-beat rhythmic pattern. Also Mr. Shen led students to analyze the 7th and 9th chords, the whole group of students have been divided into four different groups, each group sang one note of the chord with different rhythm, after few rehearsals, the whole class did an excellent acapella performance. 
Most of our students are classical music trained, they had few chances to feel the modern music style, this is a great opportunity to gain some Jazz and blue sense.
Swing, it was the pop music of the 1930’s. It was mostly performed by Big Bands, including large brass and woodwind band, such as, trumpets, saxophones, trombones, guitar, piano and percussions. Swing is dance music, it usually contains clear lyrical and memorable melodies and with a strong dance beat to let people could dance with it. Overall speaking, swing music is simple, smooth, and easy to listen. Students gets chance to listen different type of swing music and afterward practice the swing rhythm together.
Bossa Nova, based on traditional Brazilian music and rhythms, influenced by American jazz, and came out a new style of romance and pleasure music. Unlike Salsa, samba and those typical South America music which are full of passion and with strong rhythmic feature, the new sound Bossa Nova brought a feeling of laziness, relaxation, and softness.

During three sessions lecture, Mr. Shen provided students different rhythmic exercises and group practices, and prepared more advanced tasks for those individual students who had modern music training before, differentiate students well in different dimensions.