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Jazz Ensembles

at Waltons New School of Music

‘One thing I like about jazz, kid, is that I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Do you?’
– Bix Beiderbecke

Two levels of Jazz Ensemble tuition are available at the New School. Jazz Ensemble I is a beginner-intermediate level ensemble designed for instrumental students with little or no previous experience with jazz. Jazz Ensemble II is an intermediate-advanced level ensemble designed for students with previous jazz experience.

Jazz Ensemble I introduces participants to the art of improvisation through the study and performance of blues and jazz. Starting with the basics (scales and chords), students learn how to approach a melody, distinguish its main notes from its less important ones and improvise on those, and how to move from one chord to the next by building up harmonic vocabulary. At least one year of instrumental study and basic music reading ability (Grade I theory or equivalent) are required; no previous experience in jazz is necessary, although it is helpful if participants are familiar with the jazz genre. Students can join this ensemble with little or no previous blues or jazz experience or following on from our Jazz Blues Ensemble Workshop. All instruments are welcome.

Students concurrently enrolled for private or group tuition at the New School receive a 50% discount off the fee for this ensemble.

Jazz Ensemble II is an intermediate-advanced level ensemble that gives students with some jazz experience a chance to refine and improve their improvisational and harmonic skills. Participants learn the more advanced jazz and improvisation techniques required to participate in and lead groups themselves, including:

  • Modes, progressions and harmonies
  • Transcribing and aural skills
  • Communication within the group
  • Intros and outros
  • Phrasing, dynamics, harmonic and melodic soloing, motivic development
  • Alternative arrangements and different jazz styles

This ensemble explores a wide-ranging repertoire of well-known and lesser known standards, including more technically or harmonically challenging pieces. It is open to students who have completed Jazz Ensemble I, and to other students by audition. All instruments are welcome.

Students concurrently enrolled for private or group lessons at the New School receive a 50% discount off the fee for this ensemble.

Members Jazz Ensemble II performing ‘Mambo Influenciado’ by Chucho Valdés in one of the New School’s End-of-Year Student Concerts at the National Concert Hall:

David Mooney

David MooneyDave hails from south Dublin, but his musical pursuits have led him far and wide. He holds a BMus degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with such world-renowned musicians and composers as John Lockwood and Joseph Smith, and also holds a diploma in Jazz Performance from the Guildhall School of Music in London. Dave has performed and recorded with a vast and varied array of artists. He has completed two successful European tours with Gavin Friday and has also performed with Sinéad O’Connor, Sarah Brightman, Jeff Ramsey (Al Jarreau Group), Dick Evans (formerly of the Virgin Prunes), Sarah Brindell, Honor Heffernan, the Young European Strings, Stambandet (a Scandinavian folk group) and many more. He was one of the founding members of the established New England jazz ensemble 3D4tet, and he has had many successful international tours including the Balkans, where he led his own jazz quartet and brought together top jazz musicians from Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia. Dave has performed widely in Ireland, and he was chosen to represent Ireland at the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz) conference and concert in London. He has extensive experience as a music educator both in the US and Ireland, and he has taught both at the New School and for our outreach programme since 2005.

2017-2018 Schedules

Jazz Ensemble I
Wednesdays 6.30 – 7.30 pm

Jazz Ensemble II
Wednesdays 8 – 9 pm

Full Year: 4 October 2017 – 20 June 2018
First Term: 4 October – 13 December 2017
Second Term: 10 January – 21 March 2018
Third Term: 11 April – 20 June 2018

2017-2018 Fees

Students concurrently enrolled for other tuition at the New School receive a 50% discount off the ensemble fee.

1st Term
(10 weeks)
€180 * €90 Full Fee Only
Deposit €94
+ one payment
(1 Oct) of €94
1st-2nd Terms
(21 weeks)
€355 €178 Full Fee
Deposit €125
+ two payments
(1 Nov, 1 Dec) of €123Discount
Deposit €66
+ two payments
(1 Nov, 1 Dec) of €64
1st-3rd Terms
(32 weeks)
€510 €255 Full Fee
Deposit €135
+ three payments
(1 Nov, 1 Dec, 1 Feb) of €133Discount
Deposit €72
+ three  payments
(1 Nov, 1 Dec, 1 Feb) of €69
2nd Term
(11 weeks)
€195 €98 Full Fee Only
Deposit €102
+ one payment (1 Feb) of €101
2nd-3rd Terms
(22 weeks)
€370 €185 Full Fee
Deposit €130
+ two payments
(1 Feb, 1 Mar) of €128Discount
Deposit €67
+ two payments
(1 Feb, 1 Mar) of €67
3rd Term
(11 weeks)
€195 €98 Full Fee Only
Deposit €102
+ one payment
(1 May) of €101
* Jazz Ensemble fees include a ‘materials fee’ for the variety of unique materials produced exclusively for them by David Mooney, as well as a binder for these materials. The materials include downloadable (and printable) pdf files of concert charts, individual instrumental parts and mp3 files, as well as scales, arpeggios and improvisation exercises, all of which are available to Jazz Ensemble students on an invitation-only Google Site.

Enrolment in one of the Jazz Ensemble requires a completed Enrolment Form and full payment of the ensemble fee or payment plan arrangement, if applicable.

Late Enrolment
Students wishing to join an ensemble may do so in the first two weeks of each term. Tuition fees for late-enrolling students are pro-rated and depend on the date that the student begins.


Purchasing an ensemble enrolment as a gift?
Please complete a Gift Certificate Booking Form.


Were you – or are you currently – a member of the one of the Jazz Ensembles? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief online questionnaire about it.


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