Class Act Music Productions


Group Lessons, Classes, Workshops and Festival Adjudication

 The courses listed below are instructed by Janice Finlay.  Many of them have been developed in response to specific requests; if you have an idea for a course you'd like offered, please contact us.

Jazz Appreciation Level I & II

Theory for Jazz Improvisors

Summmer Camp for Sax Doublers

Festival Adjudication

School Clinics

Destination Jazz School Workshops

Professional Development for Teachers

 Jazz Appreciation Level I & II

 Intended for non-musicians who want to learn more about jazz music, these courses are offered on an ongoing basis throughout the year.  Level I is a suggested pre-requisite for Level II.

 Jazz Appreciation Level I

If you are someone who sometimes thinks of jazz as a “bunch of noise” then this is the course for you! Believe it or not, there is underlying musical logic to what is referred to as “jazz” music and this course will start to unravel its mystery for you. Through guided listening, demonstration and discussion, the instructor will examine the components of jazz performance, provide an overview of its development and suggest ways to listen which will enhance your experience of the music whether you are new to jazz or a die-hard fan! This is an introductory course aimed at non-musicians.

The next Jazz Appreciation Level I course will begin in May 13/15 in Headingley,Manitoba                (5 minutes from the west perimeter and HWY 1). Contact the Macdonald-Headingley Recreation District to register: 204-885-2444 or

 Past participants have said:

 “Well focused to ‘beginners’ ...explanations were basic and easily understood.”

 “A most enjoyable course, content and presentation. More!”

“Excellent introductory course.”

“Sorry it’s over.”

“Very well presented in an enthusiastic, knowledgeable manner.”

“I have already recommended it to several friends.”

  Jazz Appreciation Level II

Jazz Appreciation Level II consists of a series of eight lecture/demonstrations by accomplished local jazz artists. Each guest artist will provide an in-depth look at his/her respective instrument along with information on its luminaries, development and place in jazz history. This is a follow-up course to Jazz Appreciation Level I, which is the recommended pre-requisite for Level II.

Please e-mail us if you would like to be notified when the next Level II course is scheduled.

Past participants have said:

 “All the classes were special – I waited each week for the class.”

 “You have helped my understanding; you have opened my ears and you have nourished my soul!”

 “Great coordinator and an opportunity to meet and hear some of Winnipeg’s best. Really enjoyed the course and ready for more.”

 "Delightful series! First class!”



New course offering, starts October 2013 and runs for 8 Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8 p.m. in central Winnipeg.

This course is designed to provide students with the theory foundation needed in order to create better jazz solos. Topics include chord symbol interpretation, common chord progressions and relationships, jazz scales, basic harmonic analysis and reharmonization, as well as melody construction.

All classes will be taught by award-winning jazz educator JANICE FINLAY.

Space is limited – maximum 6 students per class. Please contact us for more information on schedule and fees.


Has your son or daughter finished their first year of band and been offered the chance to switch to or double on saxophone?  This is an intensive saxophone study course designed to give students a great start and a solid foundation so that they can be up-to-speed when they return to band class in September.  The early July course date helps reduce the likelihood of students developing bad habits when they explore the instrument on their own, while also allowing for ample practice time between the session and the start of school.

The Doublers summer session runs half-days Monday through Friday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. and take place at the Winnipeg Conservatory of Music, 61 Picardy Place (conveniently located near the intersection of Broadway and Portage Avenue). The dates for this year's camps will be announced soon!!

In a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, students will participate in group saxophone  master classes, in addition to participating in small ensemble settings that will allow them to apply what they have learned.  The session will be directed by award winning educator and saxophone artist Janice Finlay.

Minimum registration is required and the deadline for registration is Friday, June 21, 2013.  All students will require an instrument for the session and we are happy to recommend brands prior to rental or purchase.  Please contact us for more information on fees and registration for this unique opportunity.


Janice Finlay is a popular choice for adjudication of concert bands, jazz bands and small ensembles. Her musical knowledge, obvious enthusiasm and unfailingly tactful manner ensure that participants leave the stage feeling proud and inspired.

Janice has been an active adjudicator throughout Manitoba and northern Ontario for the Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals for more than 15 years, and has adjudicated at the Brandon Jazz Festival a number of times in the past decade. She has also judged a number of scholarship and talent competitions in addition to past work for the Manitoba Band Association’s Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Parents often express their appreciation for the treatment their budding musician receives from Janice, and repeat requests for her adjudicating skills are common.

 Please contact us to inquire about booking Janice for adjudication.


School Clinicsare available in a variety of areas, and are easily modified to meet your program's specific needs.

CONCERT BAND options include, but are not limited to, general woodwind workshops (beginner level students and up), saxophone, flute and clarinet master classes, and sectional rehearsals for specific music preparation.

JAZZ BAND options include, but are not limited to, sectional rehearsals, full band rehearsals, jazz improvisation workshops and master classes on jazz articulation or jazz transcription

If your program has additional requirements not listed here, please contact us to discuss other options.


Sometimes moving your jazz band to a different environment with a focused educational agenda is just what you need to move your band to the next level.  Perhaps going out of town is simply too expensive or too time-consuming for your students, or perhaps you are already so busy that setting up a jazz day seems a little overwhelming.

We offer a one-day intensive for your jazz students.  The day includes full-band rehearsals with award-winning jazz educator Janice Finlay, break-out sectionals and master classes lead by some of Winnipeg’s best jazz artists and educators, and a lunch-time performance by a live professional jazz ensemble!  The workshop takes place at the Winnipeg Conservatory of Music in central Winnipeg....and the best part is that one call is all it takes! Once booked, program director Janice Finlay organizes the day, procures the instructors and attends to all the details so busy band directors have one less thing to worry about!

This is a great opportunity to focus your jazz band’s work in preparation for festival performances, or just to jump start your year.  Limited bookings available.  Please contact us for schedules and fees.


Professional Development for Music Teachers is available by request. Sample courses available include:

Jazz 101: How to Teach Improvisation First offered in January 2001 in co-operation with the Manitoba Band Association (M.B.A.) this 2.5 hour class will help band teachers feel more confident about teaching jazz improvisation. Past participants have commented on how glad they were to take away techniques they could apply immediately in their class rooms, and also how much they appreciated the "hands on" nature of the workshop.

An intermediate level course is also available.

Clarinet - Not as Easy as it Seems! Looks at common pitfalls young clarinetists encounter and how to deal with them. 1 hour course.

Have you got another woodwind or jazz area you'd like specialized help in? Please let us know and we will consider developing it for you.