Skip to main content
Unit outline_

JAZZ1601: Jazz Performance 1

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

In this unit of study students will begin to develop skills and understanding in jazz improvisation, and an appropriate level of instrumental skill to facilitate its performance. Students will become acquainted with suitable and essential jazz repertoire, the study of which will be informed by acquiring a detailed knowledge of chord/scale relationships and of how the harmonic structures that are commonplace in jazz repertoire function. At the conclusion of this unit of study students will be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of major, melodic minor, diminished, diminished blues, and whole-tone scales and their associated applications, demonstrate a broad understanding of repertoire covered in improvisation classes and principal study lessons and demonstrate appropriate instrumental skills necessary for jazz performance.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Jazz
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Kevin Hunt,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation Class participation, preparation, and skills assessment
Participation and preparation
12% Ongoing Ongoing
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Skills-based evaluation Instrumental principal study teacher grade
20% Ongoing Ongoing
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Creative assessment / demonstration Technical exam
Jury exam
50% STUVAC 20-30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Small test Repertoire exam 1
Repertoire test
6% Week 04 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Small test Repertoire exam 2
Repertoire test
6% Week 08 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Small test Repertoire exam 3
Repertoire test
6% Week 12 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Instrumental principal study teacher grade: The instrumental teacher grade will include reference to a mutually discussed semester plan. The objective of this semester plan is to provide the student with goals that will enable them to improve technical and musical fluency. The semester plan will include remedial instrumental technical work as appropriate, exercises that enhance skills in improvisation, and aid in preparing the student for both the technical exam in semesters 1,3,5,7 or the repertoire exam/recital in semesters 2, 4, 6, 8.
  • Technical exam: This exam will require thorough knowledge of the major, melodic minor, diminished, diminished blues, and whole-tone scales and their associated applications. The scales will be required to be performed in normal format and diatonic thirds and triads over 2 octaves where possible. The arpeggios of their tonic chords must be also performed over 2 octaves. Note that the technical requirements for drummers are different and are to be found described in full on Canvas.
  • Class participation, preparation, and skills assessment: These aspects are continuously assessed across the entire semester. The lecturer will base this part of the grade on the student’s weekly performance in the class. Successful completion of any assigned preparatory tasks is an important element of this part of the assessment.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

Assessment Criteria for Jazz Performance 1:

  • Student demonstrates the ability to perform the required scales and arpeggios or drum specific material examined in the Technical Jury exam at the end of semester.
  • Student demonstrates application to achieving all technical and musical goals as agreed to in the semester plan.

Assessment for Improvisation Module:

  • The class tests will examine material drawn from the repertoire list, which will be handed out in the first week of the semester. It must be played from memory. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the melody and chord sequence, and must be able to use this information as the basis for extemporisation.

Assessment criteria for assessments in this unit of study can also be found on Canvas in the appropriate folder.

Assessed work will be marked according to these criteria.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Guest Performer Masterclass / Workshops Block teaching (2 hr) LO3
Weekly Jazz instrumental instruction One-to-one tuition (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Improvisation class Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Sectional tutorial Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Jazz performance workshop Presentation (3 hr) LO3

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance: Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90% of timetabled activities for a unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned. The Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned may determine that a student fails a unit of study because of inadequate attendance. Alternatively, at their discretion, they may set additional assessment items where attendance is lower than 90%.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate a thorough knowledge of major, melodic minor, diminished, diminished blues, and whole-tone scales and their associated applications
  • LO2. demonstrate a broad understanding of repertoire covered in improvisation classes
  • LO3. demonstrate appropriate instrumental skills necessary for jazz performance.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

An increase in guest performer workshop-masterclasses

Sectional tutorial: Trumpet, trombone and saxophone tutorials are weekly for 1 hour, but all rhythm sections and vocalists are required for 6x2hr sectional tutorials. The dates for these tutorials will be available on Canvas.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.