Out of curiosity i ordered a copy of the Jazz piano exams (Grade 1) and it arrived this morning. I've always taught mainly classical but have had a few students of late, both kids and adults, asking about more jazzy pieces plus i feel i'd personally like to branch out a little into something different. My knowledge of jazz is pretty limited and it's something i've just never delved in to. However..... i absolutely love the pieces! It's kind of given me a new enthusiasm and i have a couple of students in mind who i'm sure would love the tunes. I've spent most of the afternoon playing them, and the scales are interesting too. I was quite surprised at how difficult the pieces are for Grade 1 in comparison to the standard Grade 1 exam pieces.
I guess i'm just looking for opinions on the Jazz exams from those who have experience. The improvisation in the tunes is something i'll have to work on. They give some notes, but are you limited to only those or can you add extra ones? If so, how do you know which notes will sound ok? I'm assuming it's in relation to the given chord, but what about passing notes? Jazz has always been a bit of a mystery to me i'm afraid, but i'm really impressed with this book.