Frequently asked questions

Here are some questions commonly asked but if you can't find the answer to a particular question you may have please get in touch through the contact page

+ How did Jazz Academy start?

"Having done lots of jazz work in Hampshire and Manchester with children of all ages, John Dankworth asked me to start a Summer Jazz course for his Wavendon All Music plan. A few years later I was teaching at the Royal Academy of Music and in 1989 with the help of my old Wavendon colleague Arthur Lockwood began Jazz Academy there, moving to Beechwood nine years later. "The great advantage of vacation courses - apart from the non-stop fun - is no exams. You learn as much or as little as you need, no questions asked. Age? Eight to eighty is about it, but nothing surprises us. It's about love of the music and pooling our experience. Tutors learn more all the time and love to pass on to others what makes them tick."

Michael Garrick

+ Why are Jazz Academy courses value for money?

It's because you get more hours of teaching and playing per day. The teaching day starts earlier and finishes later - there are five sessions per day and a jazz club session each night.

+ What's the atmosphere like on the courses?

The inclusive nature of Jazz Academy means that within a very short few hours of meeting up even new-comers feel welcomed into the big family atmosphere which is the back bone of the courses. Every one is supportive of each other and keen to see the best in each other.

Jazz Academy tutors are experienced in making sure that all students get a fair chance to learn at their own level during the week. Classes are self-grading: you can change classes if you wish. Largely you are invited to make the course work for you.

+ Are there opportunities to perform during the week?

Yes! Each night there is the evening Jazz Club which gives all students a chance to play. There is also GG's jam session which runs in the options period in the afternoon allowing some real spontaneous jazz magic to happen. When there is time at the end of a jazz club night GG will often create a real jazz jam environment then too! We have been told that performing opportunities are best at Jazz Academy courses.

+ What if I've just started to learn an instrument?

All standards of player are most welcome onto the Jazz Academy courses. In many ways the fresher you are to your instrument the better you will be at letting go of any pre-conceived ideas of music making garnered by a 'classical' approach. But, fear not, Gabriel Garrick is a leading expert at introducing the ideas behind being a jazz musician to all players of all standards from complete beginner to experienced professional.


+ I can't make it for the whole course, can I attend just a few days?

Yes, there is a "per-day" rate for just such cases. Don't forget to state on your enrolment form clearly which days you will attend.