NMS Summer Jazz Placement Evaluations

The jazz placement process is only intended to ensure that each student is placed in the environment where they will best thrive. It is an indicator of the skill level of the student. Every student has a gift, and talent which will be nurtured, while they are developing new musical skills.

If a student does not have prior jazz/improvisation experience and feels uncomfortable, they do not have to submit the evaluation placement video.
Be assured, by the end of the week, students attending will be introduced to and speak the language of jazz/improvisation. 

Students may submit their placement evaluations online, via video. The video can be from a cell phone, iPad , tablet, or video camera. Students of all skill levels are welcome in the NMS Summer Jazz Program.

Placement Evaluation Instructions: 

Students are asked to improvise two choruses on a concert C Blues, concert F Blues Bossa Nova. For pianist and guitarists F Major Blues with bass and drums play chords for one chorus and solo the second chorus. For more advanced students, concert  F minor Blues and Rhythm Changes. Using the provided audio tracks in addition to the requirements below.

Winds/Brass (Saxes, Flute and Trumpet, Trombone): 

  • 3 Blues scales with arpeggios (3 octaves if possible)
  • Jazz excerpts: Concert C Blues, Concert F Blues Bossa Nova, Concert F Blues with bass and drums backing tracks.
  • For more advanced students F Minor Blues and rhythm changes with the recorded accompaniment track.

Piano, Guitar, Bass: 

  • 3 Blues scales with arpeggios (3 Octaves if possible)
  • Jazz excerpts: Concert C Blues, Concert F Blues Bossa Nova , Concert F Minor Blues and Rhythm Changes with the recorded accompaniment track. 
  • Play first chorus walking/comping over the changes. Second chorus soloing.


  • Demonstrate ability in the following musical styles: Jazz Swing, Funk/Rock, Afro-Cuban and Bossa Nova.
  • Jazz excerpts: recorded music, play once through fill/comping over the changes.


Backing Track Audio Files and Sheet Music:

Minor Blues

Major Blues

Rhythm Changes

Blues Swings in C

F Blues Swing with Bass and Drums

F Blues Bossa Nova Style


*The audio files are in mp3 format. For your evaluation you will be playing your solo over the recorded backing track. If you have questions or concerns about the placement evaluations, please contact: Mr. Jesse Hameen II, Director of NMS Summer Jazz Program Email: [email protected], Cell: 203-435-8442