Jazz Private Lessons

The NEC Prep Jazz program offers private lessons in Jazz and related styles for students from ages 8 to 18, and we accept all levels of experience. Lessons are for all instruments and voice as well as subjects like improvisation/theory, composition, songwriting, arranging, computer music notation, and digital audio production. 
Jazz private lesson teachers are assigned to students by the Jazz department Chair and Assistant Chair after the placement meeting for new students.

The majority of Jazz students take some Jazz classroom courses and Small Jazz Ensemble as well, so the chairs make sure students get the personalized schedule they need and coordinate not only which teacher is assigned to each student for lessons, but when all repeating weekly lessons and Small Jazz Ensembles happen. Only the Jazz classroom course times are fixed.

Private lesson registration of at least 30 lessons triggers a discount of $250 on each Jazz classroom course and a discount of $255 on each Jazz ensemble. Most students in the Jazz program have one private Jazz teacher, but many students choose to have a second additional Jazz teacher on another instrument or subject. Students have the opportunity to study with as many as four different jazz private lesson teachers.

The majority of NEC Prep Jazz students take lessons in person on NEC’s campus, primarily on Saturdays, but there are some faculty that will teach weekday lessons on campus, weekdays at their homes (if it is convenient for both teacher and student), or weekdays at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts campus in Natick (for Walnut Hill students only).

SoundJack (see a prep group jamming with it) allows for remote weekday online lessons, where students and teachers can play together live in real time with high fidelity sound from student homes as long as they live within 500 miles (802km) of NEC. NEC’s use of this technology was featured in DownBeat magazine. This requires specific equipment and setup time. Other technology like Zoom can be used for the visual part of online lessons when using SoundJack. Online lessons can also use Zoom for students living greater than 500 miles away. Equipment for SoundJack is listed here.

Email prepjazz@necmusic.edu with any questions about the Jazz department.

30 Lessons is the standard number of weekly lessons for the Fall/Spring school year, is required for Walnut Hill students and will end in May.
36 Lessons is for students who would like to continue their lessons through June.

When registering for Jazz private lessons, ActiveEducate (NEC’s Prep registration website) requires the word “Jazz” before the subject. So if you are registering for Jazz Piano lessons, that is different from registering for piano lessons in the piano department. The Jazz department has a private Jazz registration “teacher” for new students called “Unassigned Instructor”. This allows students to register for their instrument, voice or subject, before getting assigned a teacher by the Jazz Department Chair.

Click the buttons below for 30 or 36 Lesson links in Active Educate:

30 Lessons

36 Lessons


Pick your instrument, voice, or subject, and under “More (3)” pick a lesson length. New Jazz private lesson students should register for Unassigned Instructor as their teachers, and returning students can register with their previous teacher.

At the end of the school year, the Jazz department has evaluations for all students taking private lessons, so there is a mandatory fee for that listed below. The jazz evaluations consist of playing two contrasting pieces and two brief technical exercises (scales, transcriptions, exercises, etc.). As most Jazz students are playing in ensembles, the students are often performing pieces they are playing in their ensembles, and the evaluation panels consist of faculty that accompany the students, and act as their band. Students that have not been playing in an ensemble can play solo material as well, or they can use the evaluation as a chance to play a piece with an ensemble if they like for one of their pieces. The evaluation performances and panel comments will be recorded and uploaded to NEO, NEC’s learning management system. In addition to giving students feedback on their progress, these recordings are used to place students in ensembles for the following Fall/Spring school year, unless students decide to either meet in person, or send in another set of recordings for ensemble placement prior to ensemble placements.


Private Lesson Tuition*
LESSON LENGTH                 30 lessons      36 lessons
60-minute lessons                 $3,630             $4,356
45-minute lessons                 $2,910             $3,492
30-minute lessons                 $1,950             $2,340


Additional Charges:
Registration fee            $50
 Late registration fine        $50
Student ID replacement fee    $10
Evaluation Fee            $30**
**The Evaluation Fee is required for all private lesson students.




Jazz Placement Information
Embark - For New Students
Link to Jazz Placement Form
Jazz Ensemble Information
Jazz Classroom Course Information
Jazz Certificate Program
Jazz Faculty