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

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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Nov 15 Saturday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

Playing the Heck out of “There Will Never Be Another You”

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3:15pm-5:15pm. For all instruments.
This workshop delves deeply into one of the most widely played of all the jazz standards, a classic by Harry Warren. We examine the song’s 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 a variety of neat harmonic tricks 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. Knowledge of basic harmony, including major, minor and mixolydian scales.
Suggested: some familiarity with There Will Never Be Another You, and with altered and half-diminished chords. Bring your instrument (optional).

Nov 16 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-1:45pm. 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.

Nov 16 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

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

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2:15pm-4:15pm. 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.

Feb2015 28 Saturday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Recipes For Success As An Independent Jazz Artist”

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3:15pm-5:15pm.
A practical look at how to build your career in music. Whether you have you have several CDs and years of gigs under your belt or you’re just getting started and have never recorded, this workshop is guaranteed to let you understand the music business – and your place in it – in ways you never had before. Subjects include building your fan base, social media, getting gigs, dealing with club owners, selling and distributing your music, the role of a CD, conventional and digital sales, radio airplay and promotion, getting reviews and interviews. We’ll have fun while we cover plenty of territory, with lots of good anecdotes and inside information!

Mar2015 1 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Improvising with Pentatonics”

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11am-1:30pm
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.

Mar2015 1 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Improvising with Triad Pairs”

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2pm-4pm
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.


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