Cool Gig. The sweet summer sounds of jazz online

Posted: April 16, 2015 6:00 a.m.

David Dick, principal trombone player with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, teaches Jazz Appreciation at the U of R.
David Dick, principal trombone player with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, teaches Jazz Appreciation at the U of R. Photo: Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography.

Jazz fans now have the opportunity to learn more about the music they love – and get credit for it as well.

Jazz Appreciation (MU204) is one of dozens of courses available online through the University of Regina’s Centre for Continuing Education.

The Jazz class is taught by Dr. David Dick.

“Jazz is usually an art form only available in large urban centres. An online jazz class is an excellent opportunity for someone in a remote part of the province to get a chance to participate in something that would otherwise not be available to them,” says Dr. Dick who is principal trombone player of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, as well as lead trombone player for the Regina Jazz Orchestra.
The course covers the history and development of jazz, tracing the performers and style periods from 19-century African-American origins to the present.

“There are a lot of aspects to the history of jazz that could be explored in great depth,” says Dr. Dick.

“The course strives to scratch the surface of this wonderful music genre with the hope that students will come away from the class with an appreciation for jazz and a desire to continue to explore the art form,” he explains.

The course includes required listening assignments that correspond with the lecture notes and videos.  

“The biggest advantage to an online environment for a jazz history class is that much of jazz history has been video recorded, and the videos can be embedded into lecture notes about artists or styles,” says Dr. Dick.

The course includes quizzes and question forums online, as well as a paper that is submitted electronically. A written final is required and is invigilated at one of the regional colleges affiliated with the U of R as well as in Regina and Saskatoon. 

Best of all, students will connect with an instructor who is  passionate about jazz.

“I love that jazz in an art form that is created in the moment. I love that you can hear such a wide variety of interpretations of the same piece of music between different jazz musicians,” says Dr. Dick who received his Bachelor of Music Degree from the U of R, his Masters of Music degree from McGill University and his doctoral degree from the University of Memphis.

Students taking this course may only receive credit for one of the MUHI 204, MU 204 and MU 110. It is not available for credit in the Bachelors of Music Education Program.

The spring semester begins May 4.

The University of Regina strives to reach out to students across Saskatchewan. Take courses anywhere you are through the U of R's Centre for Continuing Education.

The music department is one area of study offered by the U of R’s vibrant Faculty of Fine Arts which also offers programs in Creative Technologies, Film, Theatre, Visual Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.