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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Fall 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Introduction to Jazz Piano


September 18-December 8, 2023

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits*


$1,125 is due in full with registration. A $15 Early Bird Discount will be applied until August 31.


This course is ideal for jazz educators, beginning jazz pianists, and non-pianists who have basic musical skills to explore the piano from a jazz perspective. You’ll learn the basic concepts of jazz piano, including playing 7th chords, understanding modes and scale/chord relationships. You’ll also learn how to apply these concepts to repertoire, beginning improv, and understanding the different basic rhythms of jazz music.

* This course is offered at two course levels. Students enrolled in the MMEd program at VanderCook are eligible to enroll for the 500 course number. Students not enrolled in the MMEd program who wish to earn graduate credit as a MECA Continuing Education student should register for the four digit course number. The difference in credits earned and tuition cost is attributed to the difference in tuition rates for the MMEd and MECA Continuing Education programs. If you are unsure which section is best for you, please contact us directly at [email protected].


Chat Session

Tuesdays at 8PM central beginning 9/19.


Basic piano skills

Required Text(s)

None. Materials will be provided by the instructor.

Learning Platform Information - Online Courses Only

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

The evening  before your class begins, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. 

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

More information about Schoology can be found at

Please see specific software/hardware requirements in the course description.

Online course grades are available within two weeks of the course(s) completion.  If you need a transcript, please CLICK HERE to access the online transcript request form. For a faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).


steve million

Steve Million

Jazz pianist, composer and jazz piano instructor Steve Million has lived and worked in Chicago since 1988, having previously lived and worked in Kansas City, MO, and New York. He has taught jazz piano privately at Merit School of Music since 2002, has developed an innovative jazz piano class, and leads the Honors Jazz Combo, made up of some of the finest young musicians in Chicago. From 1995 until 2002, Million taught jazz piano at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. In 1988, he was a semi-finalist in the internationally renowned Thelonious Monk Piano Competition. Since 2005, Million has held a steady gig performing five nights a week with the Eric Hochberg Trio at the popular downtown Chicago restaurant Catch 35. Among the artists who have performed with the trio are Dee Alexander, Sarah Marie Young, Greg Ward, Andy Brown, Pat Mallinger, Geof Bradfield and Victor Garcia. Million has three CD releases on Palmetto Records: Million to One (1995), Thanks a Million (1997) and Truth Is (1999). These recordings featured Million’s writing, playing and arranging skills in the company of artists such as Randy Brecker, Chris Potter, Dick Oatts, Steve Cardenas, Ron Vincent and Micheal Moore. His other releases include the trio recording Poetic Necessities (2002, BluJazz Records) and a solo piano release, Remembering the Way Home (2008, Origin). In addition Million co-leads a band with trombonist Andy Baker called BakerzMillion that released a CD in 2010 entitled Mood Point. The band has a new digital release to be released this fall on the esteemed Delmark Records label.

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2023 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
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