A word from Bloom School of Jazz founder, David Bloom:

Much of my teaching philosophy I received from my icon–of-education father, Benjamin Bloom. He believed that there is only a very small group of people that can’t learn at a high level. His work proved most can learn under the right conditions. I always look at each student as someone who can learn to make music at a professional level if they have the passion. What’s given me great pride is having developed a teaching pedagogy that allows virtually anyone who puts the work in to ascend to a deeply fulfilling level. Helping students to find their own individual voice is always the ultimate goal. In jazz, individuality is critical.

True educators put the responsibility of teaching on themselves, not the students. It easy to blame the student for the laziness or incompetence of the teacher. Although it is true that students who don’t do the work won’t learn,  it is equally true that a successful outcome will happen if you start a serious student at the correct level and then move the student linearly and incrementally, not skipping the steps that many teachers miss. Teaching at the right speed is crucial. If you’re too fast you alienate, and if you’re too slow you bore. When learning is fun and the student doesn’t have to wait for weeks or months to feel improvement there is a strong impetus to continue. 

Students from all levels of accomplishment have come to my school; beginners who want to get in on the magic of music through professionals who want to present their music at a world-class level.  

-David Bloom


founder of the Bloom school of jazz and Jazz Institute of Chicago's 2017 "jazz Educator of the Year"

July 13-15, 2018

David Bloom blends his famed father's theories of "mastery learning" (See Bloom's Taxonomy) with four decades of his own teaching, playing and listening experience to create a music education platform that profoundly transforms students of any instrument, genre or ability.  To hear it straight from his students, see David Bloom Testimonials.


  • Registration fee: $275 (plus processing fees if paying via Paypal)
  • Scholarships available for those on a tight budget - contact us for details.
  • Please choose one of the following payment methods:
    • Mail check for $275 made out to Hot Spot Music to Hot Spot Music, Attn: Martha Larson, 910 Union Street,  Northfield, MN 55057 or
    • Purchase via credit card with the Paypal link below. (Please note: Paypal purchases include a 2.9% + $0.30 Paypal processing fee.)


Know you can play, but want to take your skills to the next level?  Still relying on the same old licks? New to jazz and looking to decode its mysteries?  Chicago-based master jazz educator David Bloom, founder of the Bloom School of Jazz and winner of the 2017 Jazz Institute of Chicago Educator of the Year award, will awaken your musical sensibilities and raise your playing to new heights. For samples of Bloom's teaching, check out these links:


Friday July 13 (7:00 - 9:30 PM) -  All students meet together for an opening reception and a series of "quick hit" sessions on specific topics such as listening to the masters, effective arranging techniques, and more.  

Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 (time varies) - Students will be grouped into combos according to instrumentation and ability.  2 hrs. each day will be spent playing with your combo under Bloom's tutelage.  2 hrs. each day will be spent observing and critiquing another combo (optional but encouraged).  Participants will record and listen to their own playing, learn how to develop captivating, layered arrangements, and elevate their ability to create meaningful musical phrases on the spot. Prior to the workshop, you will receive an email with a schedule for the weekend including your exact session time.

All events take place at Hot Spot Music, 801 Division Street S. Northfield, MN 55057


A selection of the following topics will be covered during the Friday evening introductory session. Pending enough interest, Bloom would come a day early to dig in further with dedicated 60 min. workshops on these focused topics. Contact us if interested.

  • Listening to the Masters: through thoughtful examination of recorded works, find out what makes a world-class solo
  • 'Comping Like a Pro: awaken to the art of active accompaniment, open to all instruments
  • Guitarobics: get that guitar in gear with improved accuracy, finesse and melodic chords (guitars only)
  • Arranging for Small Combos: engage your audience, engage yourselves with interesting arrangements
  • Theory & Ear Training: basic chord and scale building boot camp for those who need a refresh
  • Virtuoso Chops: learn how to play like a pro on any instrument
  • Perfecting Motifs: nail your solos to the wall with use of motifs, create impact with effective tension and release


We will make every attempt to group students by ability.  Please let us know if you have a particular focus you would like to develop during the workshop.


beginner / adv. beginner

These combos will be comprised of musicians adept in any genre who want to dig deeper into the profound language of improvisation. Learn to tell dramatic musical stories rather than ramble around the instrument without a plan or a purpose. This course will awaken each participant's musical aesthetic and raise them to new heights of creative awareness. Each student will learn how to hear and create musical statements with meaningful grammar and syntax using Bloom's Ten Commandments of Jazz soloing and Master Improvisational Exercises. Solos will be recorded and assessed by Bloom and fellow participants to help cement lasting learning outcomes. Listening and execution skills will be greatly elevated, and students will never hear music the same way.  After this workshop, you will:

  • Have a basic road map for consistent creation of meaningful jazz solos
  • Understand how and why certain scales and chords function well within a particular tune
  • Listen to recordings of yourself and learn how to constructively critique your own playing and that of your fellow musicians
  • Meet other musicians and be a part of the local jazz community
  • Be equipped to perform a well-prepared set with your combo

Prerequisites - All participants should be able to play or sing major scales. Guitar and keyboard players must be able to play 7th chords.


intermediate / advanced

Intended for pros, semi-pros who perform regularly in front of an audience, this session will breath new life into musicians who feel plagued with redundancy. It will cover the same material as the beginner course but with more sophisticated material such as enhanced scale colors and altered chords. Students will leave feeling enthused about exploiting the many expressive opportunities they have been missing. They will experience a much larger palate of colors to use for more varied expression and deeper audience engagement.


established ensemble

This format is intended for existing ensembles with an established musical rapport.  It focuses on elevating the playing and listening skills of each individual musician as well as crafting a compelling group presentation.  For groups who often find themselves drifting into auto-pilot, this course will miraculously transform ordinary performances into a highly dramatic journey for both the music makers and the audience. Students will learn Bloom's Laws, a highly specific set of performance rules that demand the highest level of quality.  They will leave this course with both the tools and awareness to create interesting arrangements that highlight the full range of weights and timbres specific to each ensemble.  Arrangements will then be assembled into a performance set that relays a musical arc rich with interest, variation and expression.  This course is guaranteed to replace those same old sounds with a world-class performance.  Your audience will thank you for it.

David Bloom Biography

David Bloom is an American guitarist, flautist, composer/arranger, educator, author, and director. In 1975 Bloom founded the Bloom School of Jazz in Chicago where he continues to teach. Notable musicians who have attended the Bloom School include Ryan CohanSteve RodbyJon Weber, Cliff Colnot, and Rob Mazurek, with workshops from John Scofield and Mike Stern.   Bloom authors jazz instruction books distributed by Hal Leonard and has produced a portfolio of original albums. Along with composing, arranging, writing, and spearheading The Bloom School of Jazz, Bloom directs documentary films about essential human values. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Bloom is native to the Chicago jazz scene and a former student of guitarist, Buddy Guy.  Bloom's father was the late educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom, who made major contributions to the classification of educational objectives and to the theory of mastery-learning. Bloom's own applications of mastery-learning have made him one of the most sought after jazz educatiors today.