Janet Lawson | Jazz Vocalist
920 Riverside Drive, Apt. #8 | New York, NY 10032
212-496-2568 or 646-369-7207
scatproductions@hotmail.com

Master Classes and Performances

CLICK HERE FOR JANET'S WORKSHOPS

UNITED STATES & CANADA
New School/ Mannes School of Music, New York, NY - Current Adjunct Professor
For students in Vocal Jazz Performance Degree Programs - concerts at end of semester

City College, New York, NY
For Students in Vocal Jazz Performance Degree Programs - Concerts periodically

Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY
For Students in Vocal Jazz Performance Degree Programs - Concerts periodically

Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA
For Students in Vocal Jazz Performance Degree Programs - with Concerts

Lafayette College, Easton, PA
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs with Concerts

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Artist-in-Residence
For Students in Universities and High Schools throughout Pennsylvania

New Jersey Council on the Arts, Artist-in-Residence
For Students in Universities and High Schools throughout New Jersey

Wm. Paterson College, Paterson, NJ - Past Head of Vocal Jazz Department
For Students in Vocal Jazz Performance Degree Programs - Concerts periodically

Indiana University, Bloomington, ID
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs with Concerts

Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs with Concerts

University of New Paltz, New Paltz, NY
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs and Concerts

Tri-C Jazz Fest, Cleveland, OH
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs and Concerts

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs and Concerts

Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, W. VA
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs and Concerts

City Stages, Birmingham, AL
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs and Concerts

University of Calgary, Calgary, ALB
For Students in Vocal Jazz Programs and Concerts

Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp, Saskatoon, SAS

EUROPE
International Music Camp for Young Latvian Musicians, Sigulda, Latvia
2010

International Music Camp for Young Latvian Musicians, Ogre, Latvia
2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, For Vocal Students with Concerts

Riga Teacher Training & Educational Management Academy, Riga, Latvia
For Vocal Students with Concerts

Saulkrasti Jazz Festival , Saulkrasti, Latvia
2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008

Jazz Festival , Jurmala, Latvia
2000

Guild Hall, London, England
For Vocal and Instrumental Jazz Students and Concerts

American School of Modern Music, Paris, France
For Vocal and Instrumental Jazz Students with Concerts

Vestjysk Music Conservatory, Denmark
For Vocal and Instrumental Jazz Students - Concerts with Very Big Band
Copenhagen Jazz House
Kolding Concert Hall
Esbjerg Concert Hall

Because of the progress I've been making in my vocal recovery, I'm expanding my performances and teaching schedules.

Master Classes in Vocal Jazz Improvisation

Students are invited to discover their authentic selves through the music of jazz. The journey of jazz started in West Africa, through the Caribbean, to the deep south of the US, and eventually the big cities. Jazz styles changed according to the location and social structures.

The voice was the first instrument, along with the drum, and musicians modeled their instruments’ sounds likening them to the human voice.

The master classes I offer teach students relaxation exercises for the mind and body, vocal warm-ups that relate to jazz phrasing, theoretical information and practical study habits to apply all this information in performance.

Vocalists learn the same skills instrumentalists study that enable them to be creative improvisers. In becoming improvisational singers, skilled in theory and in accessing their intuitive nature, they learn how to daringly adventure out into the unchartered waters of the music, to discover the true voices of their own soul.

Topics of Study

Relaxation + Intelligence = Creativity

One of the most challenging aspects of improvising is how to stay loose while being centered and focused. Often the skills involved in this discipline are left vague and elusive. For singers, the extra added pressure of feeling we have to perform, instead of just playing as the instrumentalists do, presents an element of tension that impedes our access to spontaneity and authenticity. This course will offer specifics in how to teach the body to relax, how to use air not only for voice production but also as a grounding for focus, mental exercises and visualizations. Also, experiencing how looseness sparks creativity and originality will be explored.

Jazz Anatomy: Theory for Singers

Training for singers usually involves vocal technique, sight singing and performance study. All essential tools. Paralleling the instrumentalists’ study, singers are excluded from the hands on theoretical application of jazz to their instrument. Singers need the same process. We don’t have fingers to push down on keys, buttons or strings but we need the same connection between theory and singing. Many singers fear hard core theory. Even when scales and chords are learned, how to integrate them practically in tunes is a mystery. This course will reveal the inner structure of tunes by dissecting chords, corresponding scales, and offer a simple and tangible way to use this information by the singer her/himself without depending on piano or other accompaniment. Each singer can develop strong, self-sufficient skills for practicing, understand what they’re singing and hear the results immediately of theory applied to their soloing.

Improvisational Singing - Tunes and Free Form to Develop a Personal Style

As theoretical study is absorbed, the jazz singer needs a period of development that exercises what is being learned and makes possible how that becomes an individual, personal, artistic statement. A combination of tune structure and exploring free form motifs can offer vocalists an opportunity to discover how they hear, how “mistakes” are actually individual constructions that can be developed more fully. This integration of intellectual information in an intuitive way is an essential part of study for any improvisational musician.

Rhythm-A-Ning The Vocal Instrument:
Building Towards Singing With a Rhythm Section

Because of the nature of singing, most vocalists develop a strong lyrical approach. Once that is enhanced, another dimension of jazz singing can be explored. Rhythmic concepts with and without lyrics can be strengthened as singers practice one-on-one with each instrument in a rhythm section (plus horns) i.e., voice and piano, voice and bass, voice and drums, voice and sax, voice and trumpet, voice and bone, etc. The experience of listening, hearing and singing with one instrument at a time helps stretch the singers’ ears. Also, being one instrument with another enhances the vocabulary of the jazz singer as the voice takes on the colors and articulations of the instrument in the duo setting. Then, when the singer joins the entire rhythm section as a whole, the voice is truly another instrument.