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 is passionate about helping professional and recreational musicians overcome hurdles in their musical pursuits. 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 given clinics at dozens of jazz institutions, including the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, Seattle JazzED, KPLU School of Jazz, and the Bellevue Jazz Festival Rising Stars program. He also teaches privately in Seattle and Oakland.

Anton brings the precision of a scientist—he has degrees in Mathematics from Harvard and Artificial Intelligence from Stanford—and the soul of an artist. He is a highly accomplished performer and recording artist; see his biography for more information.

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 Bellevue, Washington and Oakland, California, as well as via Skype (see below). 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.

Skype Lessons

60 minutes $60

Like in-studio lessons (above) but via two-way video on Skype or FaceTime.

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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Mar 24 Saturday
Jazz Night School - Seattle, WA


Improvising on “There Will Never Be Another You”

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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 altered and half-diminished chords. Bring your instrument (optional).
Note: Discounted rate of $85 for both workshops this day.

Mar 24 Saturday
Jazz Night School - Seattle, WA


“Developing your Ballad Skills”

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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).
Note: Discounted rate of $85 for both workshops this day.

Apr 14 Saturday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA


“Expanding our Rhythmic Freedom”

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How many of us feel trapped by our own rhythmic habits when we improvise? Our rhythmic ideas fit neatly into the measures like nicely stacked boxes. We know our playing could be much freer and more exciting, but we just can’t seem to find a path to get there. Perhaps we’ve tried to introduce polyrhythms into our playing but find that things fall apart when attempt them. In this workshop we’ll explore polyrhythmic elements, and learn to assimilate them in an incremental process, whereby we can avoid the “brain meltdown” that can come from attempting a new polyrhythm all at once. The result is a rhythmic concept that is both freer and more solid.
Bring your instrument (optional).

Jul 23 Monday
Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop - Lafayette, CA


July 23 – 27

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