Beginning Improvisation
Teacher's Page

It's so exciting for me to be able to offer other music educators my method to teach improvisation! It can be adapted for use with beginners - using just a few notes to start, to advanced level students - using all the notes of the scales in all octaves in their instrument's range.

Your students can be skilled improvisers!

Why E-Books? You can download them - there are no shipping costs or fossil fuels used in delivery. They also save paper because you can print out one section at a time, only using what you need right now. That's really good for our environment. Individual sections keep your students more focused on the task at hand because they won't be tempted to jump ahead before you decide they are ready. Each download entitles you to print up to five copies of the e-book for classroom use. That's cost effective for schools with tightening budgets.

As a private music teacher, I was looking for a method to use with one of my students. He was very interested in learning the blues and jazz. I wanted a method that broke everything down to the simplest level so that any of my students could start with a solid foundation and build their skills from whatever level they are starting from, like I had learned in my private lessons with Dave Burns in New York. He'd record the chord changes on his piano at our lesson so I could practice improvising at home.

I could not find what I was looking for through the major publishers,
so I decided to create what I was seeking.

Then it occurred to me that other teachers would probably be interested in having these tools use with their students as well.

Whether you have a private studio or a jazz ensemble, a beginning band or a string player with an interest in jazz, you can use the Beginning Improvisation method to help your students become more proficient improvisers, and have fun while doing it!

The key to this method is breaking down the elements into smaller, more manageable pieces, and then combining them into the whole progression. Once these skills are learned in the first key, it becomes easier to learn the more challenging keys.


Beginners start with using just the first few notes of each scale to play over the chord. By limiting their first step, you encourage them to experience successes and empower them to add more notes with confidence.

Intermediate students are limited to one octave to start out, and then add more of the notes they've learned as they grow in confidence.

Advanced students use the notes they know in the full range of their instrument. Playing solos over the rhythm section playing the backing chords individually and then in the progressions will prepare them to use the tools they've learned and apply them to a practice concert setting.

My private guitar student Deron is currently using Beginning Improvisation to learn his first blues progressions. For him, it is a dream come true! This eager young man inspired me to create this method and make it available to other teachers and their students so they can share in the joy of creating their own melodies in the moment.

Imagine how I was filled to overflowing with joy when I saw the light bulb go on in his mind when everything clicked for him in the first key! As a dedicated music teacher yourself, you know there's no better feeling in the world than that moment. Except maybe the next key, and the one after that...

The Beginning Improvisation method has been set up in two sections.

Part One features the Blues Scales, the Dominant 7th Chord to improvise over plus 12-Bar Progressions to play solos with a rhythm section in all 12 keys.

Part Two features Dominant 7th Scales & Chords and the 12-Bar Progressions to use those elements to improvise solos with a rhythm section in all 12-keys.

If a student needs more practice time over any chord or progression, you can set the repeat function on your MP3 or CD player for that track. The student can practice that track over and over until they are confident and can move on to the next step.


If you are teaching a student of an instrument not listed yet, you can use a substitute book. For example, bassoon could use the trombone book, oboe the flute book, viola could transpose from the violin part or just use the listed note names. Violists could practice writing the scales to their clef. Pitched percussion can use the piano part, etc...

The Beginning Improvisation method can also be used in a full jazz band or in small groups. Each instrument begins in Concert C, then Concert F, Concert G, etc. through all 12 keys. By the end of the method, your students will have greater mastery of their instrument through learning the fundamentals and using the necessary scales.

When a student practices smaller parts of a piece and then adds those pieces
together, they learn to master what's on the page.
When a student practices scales and then uses their notes to improvise melodies,
they learn why practicing the scales is important
to the mastery of their instrument.

By using a few notes to begin and then adding a couple more until they've mastered the use of all the notes of a scale, they are mastering the practical use of notes in a performance situation and developing their own unique improvisational creativity.

Artmuse Records is offering great package rates
for music educators!

Each PDF/MP3 book/audio = $25 each BUT when you order the Educator's Package - the whole method for all 12 instruments, the cost is only $250.00 (CA residents add sales tax). That's a savings of $170 off the retail price if you'd bought each e-book with MP3s, the Full Scores and the hard copy audio CDs separately. We'll even throw in free shipping of the practice CDs when you order the whole enchilada.

If you're a private teacher and only need Strings, we have a package rate for that too. Order the Strings Package to receive the violin, cello, piano, guitar and bass e-books and MP3s for only $100. That's a savings of $25 - like getting a free

Private teachers can also order the Woodwind/Brass Package to receive the Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Trumpet and Trombone e-books and MP3s for only $150. That's also a savings of $25 - like getting a free e-book.

Private students' home practice PDF e-book/MP3 audio packages cost only $25 each (CA residents add sales tax).

Choose individual instruments, a package or the whole enchilada. I want to give back to music teachers because I know first-hand how challenging it is to purchase materials for your student groups. We teachers often spend out of our own pockets or write our own arrangements to make ends meet.

I also support Music Education in the United States, so a portion of the proceeds from sales of Beginning Improvisation will be donated to MENC and other music education advocacy organizations to support their good works on our behalf.

Julie C. Larson

Order Beginning Improvisation now!

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Artmuse Records
PO Box 278
San Leandro, CA 94577

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