The Eastman School of Music is pleased to announce the launch of “The Blues: Understanding an American Art Form,” a free course on the learning platform Coursera, presented by Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and pianist Dariusz Terefenko.
“The blues,” says Terefenko, “is the most important musical form in jazz.” This seven-week online course explores important aspects of the blues, blues improvisation, basic keyboard textures, jazz harmonic and melodic syntax. Topics include blues progressions, blues and other scales, improvisational tools, and others. This course will also cover valuable theoretical concepts enabling the student to master the art of jazz improvisation. Each topic will be introduced from a practical perspective with the clearly stated goal: to improve one’s improvisational skills. A unique pedagogical approach, based on one-to-one musical interaction conducted with different instrumentalists, will help to reinforce many of the concepts introduced in this course and realize its stated objectives.
Terefenko teaches at the Eastman School of Music, where he began his career as a master’s student of jazz piano. After completing his Master of Music degree in jazz piano performance (1998), he enrolled and finished a PhD in music theory (2004) with a dissertation on “Keith Jarrett’s Transformation of Standard Tunes.” In addition to teaching for the Jazz and Contemporary Media Department, Terefenko is also Affiliate Professor of Music Theory. His interests lie in the area of classical and jazz improvisation and ways they interact with one another. Terefenko’s newest book, Jazz Theory: From Basic to Advanced Study, is a comprehensive textbook ideal for jazz theory or as a self-study guide for amateur and professional musicians and serves as an appropriate supplement to the course. His recent solo album, Evidence, offers his creative take on favorite jazz standards, jazz instrumentals, and his own compositions.
Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer online courses open to everyone. “The Blues: Understanding an American Art Form: can be found at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-blues/ .
Industrialist, philanthropist, and music lover George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company, established the Eastman School of Music in 1921 as the first professional school of the University of Rochester. For nine decades, the Eastman School has been one of America’s leaders in musical composition, performance, and education, and boasts Guggenheim Fellows, Grammy, and ASCAP Award winners on its distinguished faculty. The school has been commended and recognized nationwide for giving its students an intensive professional education, entrepreneurial opportunities in their musical disciplines, and the experience of a broader liberal arts education within the University of Rochester. Eastman’s prominent alumni include opera singers Renée Fleming, Anthony Dean Griffey, Joyce Castle, and the late William Warfield; jazz musicians Ron Carter, Steve Gadd, and Chuck Mangione; composer-conductor Maria Schneider; and composers Dominick Argento, Charles Strouse, Kevin Puts, and Jeff Beal. For more information visit: www.esm.rochester.edu.
# # #