contact us

Hi there!!  We'd love to hear from you!  

I know these forms can feel impersonal, but do not fear!! ... a live human being (me) receives these and will respond to you as promptly as possible.  This will help us serve you efficiently.

We're happy to answer any questions you might have.  We have tried to answer as many as we could possibly conjure up on our FAQ page. Check that out too!

Hope to see you soon! 

Your name *
Your name
Your phone number *
Your phone number
Student/s name/s
Student/s name/s
For example: Mon 5-7 pm, Tues 3-5 pm, Thur 6-8 pm

413 N. Main St. #5
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137


A music school devoted to joyful, servant-hearted musicianship in Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, and beyond.  Piano, Violin, Guitar, Voice, Cello, and Flute Lessons. 


Jazz Combos

 Summer Jazz Combos 2019

The Vision:

  • To serve the mission of the Institute for Jazz Studies: “To restore IMPROVISATION to the landscape of music education in our community, by empowering musicians of all ages both to CREATE their own new music and to COLLABORATE with others in its creation.”

  • To train students with one of the most effective musical idioms for nurturing holistic musicianship.  These students will “breathe with two lungs,” ie, they will play “by sight” and “by ear.”


Jazz combos are a wonderful opportunity to explore jazz improvisation, literature and practices in a safe and welcoming environment.  They are perfect both for students who are new to jazz as well as those who have lots of experience.

The Details:

Summer 2019

  • Meet weekly (a full hour of instruction and jam time) at our Wheaton Campus

  • 6  weeks from June 10- July 20

  • 1 hour of rehearsal and coaching each week.

  • Public Performance to finish off term details TBD

  • Combos will be scheduled according to instructor and student availability

  • Contact: for a registration packet


The Requisites:

  • No prior experience with jazz needed; however students need to have at least 3 years of experience with their instrument and must be enrolled in private lessons with their instrument (open to non-BA students); or must have demonstrable proficiency and have an ability to read music, knows basic major/minor chords, and play scales.  Specific proficiencies include:

    • Guitar: students should read notes in first position, be able to transition comfortably between basic chords and be able to play a pentatonic scale and a major scale.

    • Piano Method Levels: Faber 3+, Suzuki 3+, AIM 3+

    • Strings: Suzuki Book 3

    • Woodwinds: A few years experience in a band program at school, or instructor approval.

  • Placement auditions will be scheduled on an as needed basis with BA Faculty and may include a prepared a piece (does not have to be jazz) you have been working on, as well as the tune Blue Monk.  An audition may also include some basic sight-reading and some improvisation.

  • Students will be placed in groups according to their age/experience in order to make sure all students have the most valuable experience.

  • Combos will be range from to 3-8 students

  • Space will be limited so we may not be able to guarantee a spot for every student.  However we will make every effort to include as many students as possible. Our goal is to turn no one away.

  • This ensemble should only be supplementary to private lessons

  • Students being placed in our most advanced combo will be invited to participate in a masterclass with international performing artist Fareed Haque on July 13 at 8:30am in conjunction with the JazzUp Glen Ellyn Festival

Pricing per student:

  • $180 for a 6 week session ($30/week) + $50 for most advanced combo students to participate in Masterclass with Fareed Haque

  • Receive a discount for referring a friend that is new to BA (5% per friend, up to 10% for the first semester they are enrolled).

  • Register for 2 combos and receive 10% off the second one.


Courses will be taught by BA Institute for Jazz Studies faculty members Matt Peterson, Lucas Gillan and/or Kevin Brown, all of whom carry Masters degrees in Jazz studies and perform professionally throughout the Chicagoland area.  For detailed biographies see below.

Course Syllabus


This is a small jazz combo rehearsal as well as an introduction to the styles of jazz and improvisation in general. We will make sure to cover the fundamentals of theory and jazz history but will spend a ton of time playing the music.


  • Develop a repertoire/setlist of at least 4-5 tunes in a variety of jazz-related styles.

  • Become comfortable with improvising – this includes the general concept of making up melodies on the fly, swung 1/8th notes, and specific knowledge of jazz scales and harmony.

  • Develop a strong ear for playing with others – listening to others and making music together instead of fixating on just your part.

  • Learn the basics of jazz theory – especially chords and scale types.

  • Improve at sight-reading music - reading rhythms, melodies, and interpreting chord symbols quickly.

  • Memorize the most common jazz song forms: 12-bar blues, AABA (including rhythm changes), ABAC, etc.

  • Become comfortable with the format of a jazz jam session. This includes knowledge of basic jazz tunes, knowing how to start and end a tune, soloing protocol, etc.

  • Become familiar broadly with the history of jazz, from late 19th century/early 20th century New Orleans to present-day jazz.

  • Develop your own personal voice on your instrument. (Don’t worry, this is a lifelong objective that the greatest jazz musicians are still working on!) This could include composing your own jazz pieces.


  • Be warmed up and ready to play by the designated start time of class – instruments set up and in tune.

  • Spend time practicing your music on your own throughout the week – minimum of 5 days a week of practice.

  • Spend time listening to a variety of jazz during the week. Periodically, listening recommendations/assignments will be given by the instructor.

  • Bring all music we are working on, pencil, and paper to every rehearsal.

  • All students should own a copy of the Real Book, Vol. 1, 6th edition (published by Hal Leonard) as well as a metronome. A great, free metronome app for iOS and Android is here: