Jazz Study

Anton is an exceptional player & inspirational teacher... and a lot of fun! He is organized & prepared, and so well versed in so many aspects of jazz performance and education... What more could a student want in a teacher?! — Susan Muscarella, Director, The California Jazz Conservatory

Anton Schwartz possess the perfect blend of musicianship; a top-flight saxophonist, an inspired composer, and a professional with a keen sense of the music industry and the jazz community-at-large. His teaching combines these gifts into…

…a unique presentation of sophistication, clarity, and personality; before you know it you've got the keys in your pocket! Joe Gilman, Musical Director, The Brubeck Institute

I've really enjoyed your approach in the weekly workout sessions. Your teaching style strikes me as a rare combination of clarity, curiosity, creativity, and practicality. Michael Gold, saxophonist

Anton is a superb teacher. He listens to my playing and singles out specific areas for me to focus on, which has improved my improvisation dramatically. He is engaging & enthusiastic... Terrigal Burn, pianist

Anton Schwartz, Jazz Educator

Anton enjoys sharing his love of the music and the craft of jazz with aspiring musicians, both professional and recreational. He has taught extensively at the California Jazz Conservatory, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop and the the Brubeck Institute. He has been Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University and the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony and has mentored advanced high school jazz musicians through the KPLU School of Jazz program and the Bellevue Jazz Festival Rising Stars program. He also teaches privately in Seattle and Oakland.

To stay posted four times a year on Anton’s teaching activities, as well as pointers and thoughts about learning jazz, sign up for his jazz education email list.

Individual Lessons

75 minutes $90

Anton teaches lessons out of his studios in Seattle, Washington and Oakland, California. He works with intermediate and advanced students of diverse instruments who have an interest in some or all of the following:

  • Improvising fluidly over chord changes
  • Powerful expression through music
  • Internalizing advanced harmony
  • Fluency in the many idioms of jazz, plus funk & blues
  • Phrasing
  • Saxophone technique, including sound production, articulation, altissimo and inflections.
  • The physics of musical sound
  • Efficient practice methods for a busy lifestyle

Anton particularly loves working with musicians who have studied scales and chords but are frustrated in their efforts to use those devices to make great solos.

Combo Lessons

90 minutes $120

Anton works with jazz combos at his studio, on either a one-time or a periodic basis. He listens to their playing, points out areas of strength and weakness, coaches them to improve the weak areas during the lesson and suggests ways for them to further develop on their own. He has worked with beginning to advanced groups since 1995, at the Jazzschool, The Brubeck Institute and the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and has taught entire courses and workshops on a great number of the components that go into successful ensemble playing.

Anton is an accomplished & effective clinician.

He gives workshops frequently at a variety of institutions.
Below are some of his upcoming teaching engagements.

Upcoming Events

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Feb 21 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Transcription: Building Musicianship”

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11am-1:30pm
Most jazz musicians recognize the enormous benefits of transcribing solos, but relatively few go about it in a way that lets them reap those benefits. In this workshop we address how to transcribe solos and other music passages for both efficiency and maximum learning, demonstrating the principles through actual transcription in class. Prerequisites: working knowledge of music theory and jazz harmony.
Prerequisites: working knowledge of music theory and jazz harmony.

Feb 27 Saturday
Jazz Night School - Seattle, WA

Clinic

“Altered Dominant & Dominant 13♭9 Chords: The How, When & Why of Using Them”

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11:00am-1:30pm. These two chords provide rich colors that are essential to the palette of intermediate and advanced jazz players. This workshop takes a deep look at the chords and their accompanying scales, examining how each is constructed, why they are constructed that way, and how they may be used to maximal effect.
Their sounds are contrasted within the context of jazz (e.g. when should one be used rather than the other?), listening to examples of their use. Additional topics include: different types of “outness”; and lydian dominant, the “sister” of the altered sound. This workshop is appropriate for students without prior exposure to the subject, as well as students familiar with melodic minor and diminished harmony who wish to deepen their understanding. Guaranteed to show you ways of thinking about these chords that you haven’t seen before.
Prerequisite: an understanding of basic theory and the mixolydian scale.
NOTE: Discounted rate of $75 ($85 day-of) when this workshop is taken along with the Sus Chords workshop at 2pm.

Feb 27 Saturday
Jazz Night School - Seattle, WA

Clinic

“Sus Chords: The How, When & Why of Using Them”

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2:00pm-4:00pm.
A deep look at suspended dominant chords. We discuss how they operate and listen to examples of their use. Topics include: traditional versus modern use, sus-flat-9, sus-add-3, relation to ii-V-I progressions, techniques for improvisation.
Prerequisite: an understanding of basic theory and the mixolydian scale.
NOTE: Discounted rate of $75 ($85 day-of) when this workshop is taken along with the Sus Chords workshop at 2pm.

Mar 13 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Developing your Ballad Skills”

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2pm-4pm
The slow songs of the jazz repertoire may be less technically demanding than their faster counterparts, but they require special skills and arguably greater artistry to play credibly. In this workshop we tackle those skills head on, focusing on phrasing and feel, and outline practical avenues for improving your artistry. We also explore rubato, cadenzas and double-time feel as time allows.
Prerequisites: facility on a melodic instrument or vocals, improvisational experience, and knowledge of basic jazz harmony. Bring your instrument (recommended).

Apr 30 Saturday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Sus Chords: The How, When and Why of Using Them”

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3:15pm-5:15pm. For all instruments.
A deep look at suspended dominant chords. We discuss how they operate and listen to examples of their use. Topics include: traditional versus modern use, sus-flat-9, sus-add-3, relation to II-V-I progressions, techniques for improvisation.
Prerequisite: basic music theory.

May 1 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Altered Dominant & Dominant 13♭9 Chords: The How, When & Why of Using Them”

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11:00am-2:00pm. For all instruments.
These two chords provide rich colors that are essential to the palette of intermediate and advanced jazz players. This workshop takes a deep look at the chords and their accompanying scales, examining how each is constructed, *why* they are constructed that way, and how they may be used to maximal effect. Their sounds are contrasted within the context of jazz (e.g. when should one be used rather than the other?), listening to examples of their use. Additional topics include: different types of “outness”; and lydian dominant, the “sister” of the altered sound. This workshop is appropriate for students with little prior exposure to the subject, as well as students familiar with melodic minor and diminished harmony who wish to deepen their understanding. Prerequisite: an understanding of basic theory and the mixolydian & diminished scales.

May 15 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Beyond the Blues Scale”

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11am-4pm (5 hours including a 30 minute lunch break)
Designed for players accustomed to using a single scale for each song they improvise over, this interactive workshop introduces participants to the rich experience of improvising over changing harmony. The leap from jamming over a chord or a blues scale to playing meaningfully over moving chords can be overwhelming; this workshop breaks it down through progressive exercises that allow students to hear and feel the changes of harmony, paving the way for students to play over chord changes as a natural expression of emotion rather than an intellectual exercise. Participants learn to improvise over a 12-bar blues like a jazz musician, bringing out the unique sound of each part of the blues form, rather than treating it all as an undifferentiated whole. Prerequisites: Knowledge of major and minor scales and facility on a melodic instrument.

Aug 1 Monday
Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop - Lafayette, CA

Faculty

August 1 – August 5

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You may also browse a list of workshops Anton has offered in the past.