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Embark on a thrilling musical journey in our Jazz Composition course, tailor-made for adults with a foundational knowledge of music theory. Immerse yourself in the versatile world of lead sheet style composition, where the interplay between melody and chords takes center stage. Together we will explore both traditional and contemporary techniques of theme creation and development, along with empowering insights into harmonic language that breathes life into your melodies. From blues to multi-sectional, we’ll traverse the vast landscape of musical forms, offering a comprehensive understanding of music structure and its impact on melodic storytelling. Throughout the course, your compositional palette will expand, amplifying your unique, creative voice. The course will culminate in an end-of-semester live performance of student arrangements and compositions.

As an engaging jazz pianist, composer and music educator, Carmen Sandim combines harmonically-sophisticated post-bop with traditions from her native Brazil. Originally from Sao Paulo, Sandim studied music at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and the University of Colorado. Sandim first gained attention in the 2000s after moving to Boulder, Colorado. Her debut album, 2011’s “Brand New”, features cornetist Ron Miles. In 2016, she won a grant from Pathways to Jazz to record her sophomore album, “Play-Doh”, released in 2019 via Ropeadope Records. Carmen’s latest project “Mini Brazilian Beasts”, released in 2022 on Octave Records, features jazz luminaries Ron Miles and Gilad Hekselman. Carmen currently lives in Denver and teaches at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and University of Colorado Denver.

Course Registration

This course will have 8 sessions from Jan 20 – March 16, excluding Feb 17 – graduation performance TBD.
Class time 9:00-10:15 am.

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Gift of Jazz—Adult Education Class: Composition and Arranging


March 16
9:00 am - 10:15 pm


MSU Denver School of Music Kalamath Building
800 Kalamath St
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 615-1010

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