This study investigates and suggests a coherent method/curriculum of teaching the
basic principals of ‘chord-scale theory’ to elective music students in high schools with
a view of increasing and enhancing their skill and understanding of modern jazz
harmony and improvisation. The teaching was delivered as a series of eight lessons to
a group of Year 10 elective music students in a school in NSW, Australia. In doing so,
the purpose of the study was not only to provide information to the students on the
harmonic implications of this theory (chords), but also to suggest improvisational
possibilities (scales), and to record their personal or group responses to these lessons.
The conclusions reached are the results of questionnaires, class recordings, class and
individual participation, the students’ general enthusiasm for the subject, and the
relevance of the lessons to statements about improvisation in the Music syllabuses of
the NSW Board of Studies.