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 Seattle, 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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Jan2020 18 Saturday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Sus Chords”

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3:15-5:15pm
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, static versus dynamic use, sus-flat-9, sus-add-3, the relation to II-V-I progressions, techniques for improvisation.
Prerequisite: basic music theory.

Jan2020 19 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Improvising over Wave”

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11:30am-1:30pm
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).

Jan2020 19 Sunday
California Jazz Conservatory - Berkeley, CA

Clinic

“Altered Dominant Chords”

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2:00pm-4:00pm
This chord and its “sister chord,” Lydian Dominant, provide rich colors that are essential to the palette of intermediate and advanced jazz players. We take 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. This workshop is appropriate for students with little prior exposure to the subject, as well as students familiar with melodic minor harmony who wish to deepen their understanding.
Prerequisite: an understanding of basic theory and the mixolydian scale.

Jan2020 25 Saturday
Jazz Night School - Seattle, WA

Clinic

“Practicing Better”

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10am-noon

Musical mastery requires a lot of time. So let’s not waste any more time practicing the wrong way. In recent years, psychological experiments on skill acquisition have given a lot of new results about how most efficiently to develop memories and skills that last… and some of the results are quite powerful and counterintuitive. In this workshop we explore a number of findings and their concrete application to how we should practice.

Jan2020 25 Saturday
Jazz Night School - Seattle, WA

Clinic

“Improvising over Confirmation”

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1pm-3pm

We delve deeply into the chord progression of this classic bebop composition by Charlie Parker. A staple of the jazz repertoire, its chord changes appear in many other songs and are essential knowledge for the intermediate & advanced player. We discuss its harmony 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), in ways that will directly help us improvise over it. Suggestions are given for ways to mentally simplify the song’s structure, as well as multiple approaches to navigating its 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.
Bring your instrument (optional).

Jul2020 19 Sunday
Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop - Lafayette, CA

Faculty

July 19-24

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

 

 

Random Roots App

NEWS FLASH!

I'm proud to announce that the Random Roots app is now available on the App Store for iPhone/iPad. It's the culmination of a year's work, and it's a game changer for players looking to deepen their musicianship and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their practice.

To learn more and download it for free, visit randomroots.app.

—Anton