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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Jazz Improvisation by Berklee College of Music

733 ratings
251 reviews

About the Course

Learn the basic concepts of improvisation from Gary Burton, one of the most renowned improvisers in the jazz world, including the mental, melodic, and harmonic processes that contribute to the instinctive skills that an improviser puts to use when taking a solo. While many people are fans of jazz and understand that musicians are often “making up” the notes they are playing during a performance, most people—often including musicians, themselves, who are beginning to learn improvising—aren’t clear about what exact processes take place to enable this to happen. The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic concepts of modern improvisation and how to go about mastering the different musical and mental skills involved. Course author Gary Burton codifies a sought-after approach to improvisation that has been at the core of Berklee College of Music's curriculum for decades. Students who complete this course will know what to practice and how to practice the various aspects of improvising, in addition to understanding how the improviser spontaneously communicates to the listeners through their musical creations....

Top reviews

Apr 18, 2017

It was productive and interesting time. I learnt a lot of new things and got much fun improving my improvisation skills.\n\nCite from course: You will have plenty to keep you busy in the months ahead.

Nov 19, 2016

This was a truly great course, I learnt so much. And I have been playing piano for almost 60 years! Thanks to a wonderful teacher and musician (brilliant rendition of Chick Corea's Crystal Silence)

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226 - 247 of 247 Reviews for Jazz Improvisation

By Arpana D

Feb 24, 2016

Excellent and Challenging! Learnt a lot and if you are working toward a certificate you really need to set aside time to earn a pass for each assignment.

Few glitches when it came to grading and assignment instructions. BUT the discussion board is really helpful and interactive. The TA's also provide timely help.

By Tomas K

Jan 30, 2020

It was a great 5 weeks course, although I needed an extra week to complete it because of my busy life. I learned about the most important elements in jazz improvisation. In particular the instructional videos was very helpful. Now I have absorbed plenty of information to continue on my own for a long time.

By Juan P G C

Nov 18, 2020

El material de curso esta muy bien, creo que es breve pero muy útil. La única cuestión que no me agrada tanto es el sistema de calificación, y la falta de un tutor o una asistencia, por lo que estoy viendo ante algún problema puntual uno esta a la deriva con este sistema de cursos masivos.

By Martina M

Feb 26, 2018

I found some mistakes of notations, but in general it was good. As a singer I miss everytime I study improvisation a more careful view to the aspects of vocal expertise but it was good to practice and the course is very well structured.

By Jhonatan

Sep 2, 2015

this is a good course, just I thing who want enroll the course need a few knows about music, but really I recommend the course


Jun 6, 2020

Too precise and important points and case studies were enough to make us understand about the roots of proper Improvisation.

By Tilen

Jan 18, 2016

Great lessons i would hope it would be more extensive in terms of lessons. I hoped for more detailed technical music theory.

By Ognjen Š

Nov 19, 2016

It is generally a good course. What I didn't like was the fact that the assignments were too hard.

By nino p

May 21, 2020

Quality of lectures excellent, exercises excellent,

Peer review there is room for improvement

By David Z

Feb 17, 2017

Great course, the peer-editing could be improved or find a different mode of judgement.

By Paulo J M d S

Aug 16, 2015

Informative and interesting.

It could be more complete in my opinion.

Burton is great.

By Matthew A

Nov 14, 2017

This is great! very straight forward and challenging...

By Carlos B

Nov 16, 2015

Very good!

But it isn't for beginner players.

By Kunal D

Jun 7, 2016

Great Course !

By Angelene M S V

Nov 13, 2015

Very good and simplified instruction. But I think it needs one more week discussion to improve improvisation. Also, grades are usually late.

By 朱明明

Dec 16, 2015

The teacher is great at performing but the pace of the class is way too fast for me.

The assignment is hard.

But, hey, that's Berklee.

By Richard G

Dec 1, 2019

Knowledgeable instructor but the material did not come across well.

By brian b

Aug 19, 2019

Keep trying to understand.

By Michael S

Jan 24, 2016

The class covered a good variety of subjects to learn. There are some key areas of improvement:

1) You should build more examples in the lectures. The lectures were short to start with, but adding more examples and passages would have helped.

2) Xylophone is perhaps the worst instrument to use to teach this course, especially with the camera facing the front of the xylophone. It was very hard to see what notes were being hit by the mallets (especially when using chords) and therefore it was very difficult to understand (visually) what Gary was doing. I suggest using a keyboard and having the camera shooting from the above of the keyboard (look at how several people have done this on YouTube). This way you can see what notes are being hit, held, and you can see them from a pianist's view.

The material was good, but because of the two areas above the teaching was not as effective.

By Alexander P

Feb 23, 2017

I did not like this course. It is a course for those who are already involved into the topic not newbies. Very general short and sloppy explanations and a lot of practical assignments for peer evaluation. I had a lot of experience in classical music but I was puzzled with what goes on in this course. After having completed some other jazz courses I realized that i had no chances to learn anything here since the theory is not explained sufficiently. The title of the course is misleading. It rather should be called a master class on jazz improvisation.

By Henrik H

Sep 21, 2018

I was looking forward to this jazz course. The course material is good, great instructor and challenging assignments but bad interface. Un-enrolled because I couldn't find a place to upload assignments.

By Jonathan L G

Jan 3, 2018

Bueno el curso para empezar, esta bien, pero los examenes estan en ingles y no estan traducidos, eso dificulta el avanze