Preparatory Workshop for the Theoretical Entrance Exam - Jazz

Improve your theoretical and ear training skills

by Walther Stuhlmacher

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10 lessons for 10 assignments for the ear training test at the CvA. 
Every lesson corresponds with one assignment on the test. So... practice and make yourself feel safe about this part of the entrance exam!

Preparatory Workshop for the theoretical entrance exam - Jazz

These video lessons will guide you through all the assignments of the Ear Training Test that forms part of the Theory Entrance Examination of the Jazz Department of the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
In these video lessons, the assignments of the Ear-training Test are explained and demonstrated.
All the lessons start with an example to give you a clear idea about what you can expect in the test and what we expect you to know.
You will receive advice for how you can prepare yourself for the test.
The lessons contain exercises for self study with a strong emphasis on the development of your inner ear and your analytical listening skills.

Video's: 3 hours

Skill Level: Beginners

Language: English



Lesson 1

Tonality & time signature

This lesson offers an introduction for the 10-lesson course and focuses on recognizing the tonality of a certain fragment, which is assignment #1 on the ear training test of the CvA.


Overview of this 10-lesson course
Example assignment
How to? Tips and strategies for practising
The tonic chord
Practice material


Lesson 2


In this lesson we focus on scales, which is the 2nd assignment on the ear training test. Lots of musical examples are offerend to show you the characteristics of certain scales.


The scales to know for the ear training test
Example assignment
How to? Tips and strategies for practising scales
Characteristic examples
Practice material


Lesson 3


The third assignment on the entrance ear training test is about intervals. We’ll discuss using ear training apps and show the ways to visualize the different scales in order to help you recognize them.


Example assignment
Advantages and disadvantages of ear training apps
How to separate interval tones
Reference songs
Visualisation of the scales
Practice material


Lesson 4


This lesson mainly focuses on recognising triads, which is the 4th assignment on the ear training test.  


Recognizing triads and bass notes
Example assignment
How to? Tips and strategies on how to identify chords
Triad types, inversions, types, chord symbols
Musical examples
Practice material


Lesson 5

Seventh chords

This lesson covers the 5th assignment of the Ear Training Test: the richer and ‘jazzier’ sevenths chords. 


Recognising seventh chords by ear
Example assignment
How to? Tips and strategies on how to identify seventh chords
7th chord types
Exercises and practical tools
Practice material


Lesson 6


Rhythm and rhythm notation is what we talk about in this lesson. In the ear training test notating rhythm is the 6th assignment.


Example assignment
Memorizing the melody: how to?
Analyzing the rhythm
Rhythm notation: do’s & don’ts
Swing notation
Musical examples
Practice material


Lesson 7


The 7th assignment in the test is about notating a melody. This courses will offer you an insight in which skills will help you to do this.



Example assignment
Skills to develop for analyzing the melody
Pitch, interval relation, position in the scale
Example exercises 
How to? Tips and strategies on how to develop this skill
Preparation & practice material


Lesson 8

Bass Lines

To recognize bass lines you need a certain skill that is most easily described as manual focus; the capacity to ‘zoom in’ into the bass lines. This lesson will offer you guidance in how to do that.


Example assignment and solution
How to listen to bass lines?
Autofocus vs. manual focus
Exercises & answers


Lesson 9

Chord progressions

While hearing chord progressions many skills come together; hearing separate chors, using degrees, hearing the bass lines. This is the 9th assignment in the test and we’ll talk about it in this lesson.


Example assignment and answer
Focussing on the chords itself
Techniques and skills
More exercises & solutions


Lesson 10

Melody and chords

This last lesson is where it all comes together: writing down a complete piece of music; melody, harmony and rhythm. You’ll get lots of exercise material for this challenging assignment in the test.


Tips on how to transcribe
Exercises, answers and explanation