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Jazz Vocal Workshop

A Group Course for Intermediate Students

Next course starts 18 April 2018.

‘If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.’
– Billie Holiday

‘Our teacher is very knowledgeable, patient and good-humoured, and I enjoyed exploring a new area of singing with someone who is both an expert in her field and able to teach it. This is my third course at Waltons and all three have been great.’
– M. O’Sullivan

Always wanted to sing jazz? The New School’s Jazz Vocal Workshop provides an extensive introduction to the wide range of skills and techniques required.

Jazz is as much an approach to as a genre of music, and this course concentrates equally on understanding and interpreting jazz from the inside as it does on the techniques of singing it. Topics covered include:

  • Physical and vocal warm-ups
  • Voice technique
  • Listening exercises and harmonies
  • Defining your vocal range
  • Rhythm work
  • Jazz-style phrasing and expression
  • Singing in various styles, including swing, Latin, bebop, ballads and the blues
  • Basic improvisation
  • Choosing repertoire and exploring jazz standards, including the songs of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rogers & Hart, etc.
  • Using a microphone
  • Developing your own unique style

The workshop will also include preparation with a professional jazz trio (piano, bass and drums), and (although this is not required) participants can showcase some of the material they have worked on in a final performance, open to the public. Participants are encouraged to invite family and friends along!

Although this workshop is an introduction to jazz singing, it is not intended for voice beginners. (Go to Introducing Singing for Adults for information on our beginners course.) Participants in the Jazz Vocal Workshop should have some previous experience singing in choirs or musicals or have taken at least a term of private or group singing lessons; some musicianship (knowledge of scales, chords and rhythms) is helpful but not required.

The workshop teacher, Jenna Harris, is available to speak by phone with those interested in participating in this workshop. Please let us know by email or phone if you would like her to contact you.

Jenna Harris

Jenna HarrisJenna began her music studies with classical voice until she discovered her passion for jazz, and she holds a diploma in Jazz Performance awarded by Trinity Guildhall and an honours BA in Jazz Performance from Newpark Music Centre (she was the first woman in Ireland to receive a degree in Jazz Performance). The Jenna Harris Quintet, a band formed while she was an undergraduate, performed jazz standards for a number of years after they graduated, and she has also performed and recorded with the jazz/electronic group Zoiband, releasing the EP Sundillion in 2011. Currently her main performing focus is jazz and improvised music projects, including Berri, a drums/voice duo performing original material, with Matthew Jacobson on drums/synth and Jenna on voice/effects/loops. Derek Whyte (double bass) also joined Jenna and Matthew to form another group, the Scintilla jazz trio. While Jenna specialises in jazz, she teaches natural voice technique, suitable for many music genres, that prioritises clarity and a full understanding of the student’s voice. This approach promotes vocal longevity and the ability to maintain a settled, comfortable and problem-free voice. Special attention is also given to the development of the student’s own individual ‘sound’. Jenna has taught with the New School since 2006, and with Newpark on their BA programme.

‘I had a great time enjoying my passion for singing in a friendly atmosphere, and discovering new skills step by step with a very patient teacher who brings you as high as possible. An experience I advise for anyone interested in singing.’
– Y. Lotte

‘Inspiring tutor made every single class interesting, challenging but most of all fun and highly rewarding.’
– S. Maccan

‘I was hoping to gain some knowledge of jazz music, chords and song structures and improv. singing. I gained exactly that – while hugely enjoying my time here!’
– J. McMahon

‘Please do yourself a favour and go to this course.’
– K. Nangle

‘Keep doing what you do. It works!’
– C. O’Brien

‘Professionally organised classes that enable you to sing with confidence and have fun doing so!’
– M. O’Laoi

‘Just a great, beneficial course. I’m loving it!’
– O. Pugh

‘Enthusiastic teacher, great song choices, good introduction to the subject of jazz.’
– G. Ryder

Have you taken – or are you taking – this course? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief online questionnaire about it.


2017-2018 Third Term Course Schedule & Fee

10 weeks, 18 April – 20 June 2018
Wednesdays 6.30 – 8 pm

Tuition Fee: €270


Enrolment for this course requires a completed Enrolment Form and full payment of the course fee. Places are limited to ten, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date of enrolment. A number of our group courses fill in advance of their start dates, and early enrolment is recommended.


Purchasing this course as a gift?
Please complete a Gift Certificate Booking Form.


Jazz Vocal Workshop
Billie Holiday (1915 – 1959)
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