Introduction to Jazz Piano

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Introduction to Jazz Piano

  June 7August 1, 2021

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.

Instructor: Steve Million

Million,_Steve_headshotJazz 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.
   photo credit: Harvey Tillis
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.
Introduction to Jazz Piano

Course Code 7501

Steve Million

3 Graduate Credits

$1,065, due in full with registration

Chat Sessions


Required Text(s)

Software/Hardware Requirements
Internet access is required.

MECA Online
is powered by Schoology

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

Summer 2021 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, June 7. Soon after you register, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. On the morning of June 7, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

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.

Online grades will be reported by mid-June. If you need a transcript, please visit the online transcript request page. For faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).

More information about Schoology can be found at


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