Music Conservatory of Illinois


Intro to Jazz and Cocktail Piano

For piano students age 15 and older, who can play at an intermediate level or higher (must be able to read music)

Students should have at least some knowledge of scales and chords.


Date/Time

Thursday Evenings, 7-8 PM

June 23, 30, July 7, 14,


Materials Will be Provided

Maximum Class Size: 6


If you want to learn how to play jazz and cocktail piano like Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall, Erroll Garner, George Shearing, and others, if you've always wanted to create your own piano arrangements of songs made famous by such singers as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat "King" Cole, this class will help get you started. In four sessions you'll learn how to create simple, yet professional sounding arrangements of jazz and cocktail standards from the Great American Songbook using only a written melody and chord symbols.  

The instructor, Nancy DeHaven, has been playing piano in hotel lobbies, at corporate events, and on boats docked at Navy Pier for over 25 years. In addition, she was one of the original staff pianists at Nordstrom Old Orchard. She studied jazz privately with Alan Swain and earned her B.A. in music at DePaul University. When she’s not playing piano, she keeps her nerd credentials current by maintaining a podcast and website (not music related) and teaching herself Ancient Greek.





Intro to Jazz Improvisation

For piano students age 15 and older, who can play at an intermediate level or higher (must be able to read music).

Students should have at least some knowledge of scales and chords.


Date/Time

Thursday Evenings, 7-8 PM

July 21, 28, August 4, 11


Materials Will be Provided

Maximum Class Size: 6


Do you want to learn how to improvise jazz, but you don't know where to start? Have you searched for information online and in books, only to find that it's too complicated? In this class you will learn how the great jazz musicians do what they do when they improvise solos, starting from the basics. In a friendly, no-pressure environment, you'll learn how to find the notes that will always sound good, how to find the "pretty" notes that add a little extra zest to your playing, and you'll learn some techniques for putting notes together into meaningful musical phrases so you aren't just playing notes at random. 

The instructor, Nancy DeHaven, has been playing piano in hotel lobbies, at corporate events, and on boats docked at Navy Pier for over 25 years. In addition, she was one of the original staff pianists at Nordstrom Old Orchard. She studied jazz privately with Alan Swain and earned her B.A. in music at DePaul University. When she’s not playing piano, she keeps her nerd credentials current by maintaining a podcast and website (not music related) and teaching herself Ancient Greek.



Please contact admin for more information: admin@musicconservatoryofillinois.com