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

Subscribe: RSS | iCal

Sep 12 Saturday
Jazz Night School - Seattle, WA


Inga Swearingen & Anton Schwartz Masterclass: “Melody and Melody”

Show More Info

Voice, saxophone and bass is not a very traditional trio, but that is the setting in which Inga and Anton have been playing for almost 10 years – a setting that allows for huge possibilities… and demands intense listening and interaction.
In this workshop, open to both vocalists and instrumentalists, they will examine the synergy of playing in a group and discuss the important role each musician plays in creating a unique interpretation of a song. They will demonstrate concepts with the aid of pianist Erik Hanson. Some volunteers will have the opportunity to perform with the instructors and receive feedback.
To learn about vocalist Inga Swearingen, visit IngaSwearingen.com

Sep 26 Saturday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


Playing the Heck out of “Wave”

Show More Info

3:15pm – 5:15pm
We delve deeply into this classic composition by Antonio Carlos Jobim, examining its harmony in ways that will directly help us improvise over it, discussing the chord progression on both a micro level (how each chord leads to the next) and a big-picture level (how they all work together to form a coherent song). Suggestions are given for ways to mentally simplify the song’s structure, as well as ways to embellish to the chord changes. Students optionally improvise over the song and are critiqued, with recommendations given for a direct path to improvement.
Prerequisites: facility on a melodic instrument or vocals, improvisational experience, and knowledge of basic jazz harmony, including all major, minor and mixolydian and diminished scales.
Bring your instrument (optional).

Sep 27 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


“Bebop Articulation for the Saxophone”

Show More Info

Standard jazz music notation gives us several symbols for articulation (staccato, legato, marcato, tenuto…) but these do not begin to express all the elements of articulation needed to producing musical lines that sound flowing and natural. This workshop delves into the full inventory of variables we can control with our tongue and air stream, and helps participants learn to use them effectively when they perform. We take the bebop idiom as our point of departure, as it forms the basis of many of the styles that followed, from post-bop to latin jazz to funk.
Prerequisites: Familiarity with saxophone technique and music notation are recommended.
Bring your instrument (optional).

Oct 25 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


“Improvising with Pentatonics”

Show More Info

A theoretical and practical look at pentatonic (five-note) scales and their role in jazz, paying particular attention to the many ways we can use them to great effect in our solos. We lay out the theory behind them from the ground up, show how they may be used in myriad harmonic contexts, and discuss exactly how it is that such a simple harmonic tool (they are the basis of some of the simplest folk melodies around the world) can be used so powerfully in modern music to create so many so many colors and degrees of tension and dissonance.
Prerequisites: A basic understanding of chords and seven-note scales is required; familiarity with advanced harmony (altered, lydian, etc.) is recommended.

Oct 25 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


“Improvising with Triad Pairs”

Show More Info

A particular sound can be achieved by constructing musical phrases using a six-note scale and grouping the six notes into two triads. It’s a sound most closely associated with John Coltrane, and first discussed extensively by Walt Weiskopf. In this workshop we discuss this technique of triad pairs and how it departs from the pre-1960 jazz vocabulary. We explore its harmonic foundations and it various uses, and learn tips for integrating it into our improvisations.
Prerequisites: An understanding of chords and seven-note scales is required; familiarity with advanced harmony (altered, lydian, etc.) is recommended.

Nov 4 Wednesday
Sonoma State University - Rohnert Park, CA


Show More Info
  • Time: 1:00pm
  • Price: Free of charge
  • All Ages Welcome
  • Address/Map: 1801 E Cotati Ave
  • Venue web site: Sonoma State University.

Anton Schwartz gives an open Masterclass with the Sonoma State “ECM Ensemble.”

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