This page shows the homework belonging to the curriculum of the first year Jazz & Pop department of the Utrecht Conservatory, 2018-2019.
Click here if you want to study a whole year curriculum (2017-2018)
External participators: pleasy study these special remarks.

Web & Contact

To access to the Fundamentals program and the VMS, go to
Important subdirectories are Sound, Instruments,
Classic Chord Progressions and the VMS-Playalongs.
Use the username and password you received from your teacher.

Downloads of transcription songs and additional material on http://lichtemuziek.hku.nl/Bart
HKU students please use bart.noorman@hku.nl to contact your teacher, or call 020-6974595 / 06-15161425

Your daily ear training routine consists of:
Intervals, triads, sightsinging, scales level 2, seventh chords + 1, Basic Progr & Dictations trainer all categories.

Everything you need is in
VMS> Services > Eartraining centre, in the Ear trainer and in Fundamentals > Harmony & Tools.
The Play What You Hear trainer in the Fundamentals also is available for additional practicing transcription of melodies en rhythm (P2, P4 and P6 recommended), as well as recognizing/sightsinging scales.

Exam planning
The ear training exam for the second semester is on tuesday may 28, the analysis group exam is on may 23.
May 23 is also the deadline for the written assignments.

What are the assignments for the first semester exam?I will give three notes: for cognitive skills (analysis, understanding), for auditive skills (hearing) and for creative skills. The test for analyses will comprise of a transposition exercise (5 saxes fabric) and an analysis of a standard in terms of scale degrees, scales and melodic development.
The ear training test will consist of 10 intervals, 10 triads, 10 scales (level 1) 10 Basic progressions (cat 100-500 in the Ear Trainer of the VMS) plus a dictation (melody and chords).
The note on creativity will be based on your Ooievaar/Guinea pig song and on your solo on Secondary thoughts. Either leave a Logic file or an mp3 plus a score in your personal folder in H105, or send your stuff to lichtemuziek.uc@hku.nl. Please also hand me the score on paper. For creating the solo everything is allowed: you can improvise, compose, repair, have a friend play your lines if your piano skills are limited, etc. As long as the notes are your own! Try to make a solo that is nice to listen to: lines of seconds, motives, nice developments, guidetone lines are your friends of course usually containing the head-butt notes. Virtuosity, vagueness and over-use of alterations is not what we want in this assignment. Your target group is normal people. You can use the playalong track from the VMS, or use iRealPro, Band-In-A-Box, or the swing version from the bass line exercise. Your transcription may be handwritten or in computerprint, but it must be graphically neat: proper enharmonic notation, decent bar distribution (4 bars on a staff makes sense) and of course I want chord symbols. The VMS offers chord sheets, which you can use.

What are the assignments for the propaedeuse exam?1. Write a singable melody consisting ofa number of 8 bar phrases, with traditional elements like a verse and a bridge/refrain. AABA is a good starting form, but I'm open to different formats. Make sure the bridge behaves like a real bridge: contrasting, and connecting properly to the final A-part. In second instance you add harmony to this beautiful melody.

2. Write an AABA chord progression, 32 bars, containing at least a diminished chord, a secondary V of II-V, a spot with Modal Interchange. No blues, no rhythm changes please, and write in the format of the jazz standards. In second instance you add a singable melody to these progressions.

3. Write a solo on one of the classic jazz standards, like Stella, There'll never be another you, etc. No blues, no rhythm changes. The progression must contain harmonic movement, so it would be a good idea to show me first. Of course this solo must be worth listening to and not just fill up the space. We've practiced melodic development a lot, so I'd say you have the tools.

Hand in well readable scores, on paper. If computer programs don't notate what you want I'd rather see a good handwritten chart. Take care of good alignment of the bars, so it offers good overview. For instance: new parts of your song should start on a new staff. Also hand in all three assignments as mp3 - this is for your own good. In class I'll show you how to do that in Logic (File > Bounce is the menu command). Choose clear names, like Peter-Melodysong.mp3, Peter-Harmonysong.mp3 or Peter-Solo.mp3, so that I don't have to figure out who's song it is. Drop them in the green colored folder named 'drop your mp3s here', which I created in the folder of students 2016-2017.

Some final remarks:
- Don't use too many roots in the melody. It is boring an causes ugly parallels;
- You have to add an analysis of the scale degrees of the harmony song and the melody song. This is for your own good. If it can't be analyzed it usually sounds bad...
- Please note that these assignments are style imitations, in the format of the standards.

The note for 'cognitive' will be based on your analysis, the dim scales and the voice leadings. The note for 'auditive' will be based on the transcription of Till there was you and the group exam. The note for 'creative' will be based one your three writing assignments.

Homework for week 20

This week we continued with the blues. The Blues Section in the VMS is relevant, as well as the horn solos in Thematic solos > Samba Bicicleta.

Homework for next tuesday

Transcribe Samba for Carmen (melody and harmony, real book style). In this time of the year your priority might be somewhere else, but it is my duty to offer practise material. It is a tough tune, but if you know how to combine your ears and knowledge it can actually go fast.

For analysis it's a good idea to re-read the essay about meaningful harmonies on page 16/17 as well as the summarizing pages 167 and 168.

If you want one more song to analyse I suggest In your own sweet way on page 103 in your book.

Homework for next thursday
Work on your three assignments.
Finish the 20 voice leading exercise and the dim-scales.
Work on the eartraining package for the 2nd semester, as always.

Make sure that I saw your transcription of Till there was you.

Homework for week 19

This week we covered the Salsa section in the VMS. The movie with the song Sin Explicación contains lots of interesting harmonic, melodic and rhythmic spots, worth studying in detail. Improvising mambos and copying them 4 times exactly is a challenge for improvisers. Playing in clave is a great way to train your phrasing awareness.

With La Barca we practised combining our ears and knowledge by finding the chord types on top of a given bass note

Homework for next tuesday
If Till there was you gave you some troubles and you feel you can use some more training: make a transcription of De Vlieger - chords and - optionally - the melody. This is an important song in the Dutch cultural heritage, even though it might be not of your musical taste ;-).

Homework for next thursday
Work on the three creative assignments, finish the voice leadings and the dim scales if you haven't yet.

Maintain your ear training program, like scales level 2, seventh chords plus 1, Basic Progressions, dictations, pitch orientation, rhythm notation, etc. Give priority to your weakest spots.

Homework for week 17

This week we discussed the intelligent harmony of Hopelessly devoted to you. I also introduced the harmony song assignment. The template I gave for the transcription of Till there was you is in fact a model for a classic RealBook song, so you can use it for the harmony song.

Homework for next tuesday

Analyse the scale degrees of Sin Explicacion on page 130 if you haven't done so. I'll use it in the next tuesday class.

Homework for next thursday

If you didn't manage to finish Till there was you, spend some more time on it. Use the info it provided you. If you have trouble hearing basses, focus on that. If you can't find the gender of the seventh chords use the seventh chord trainer more intense.

Those who need a similar song can transcribe Just the way you are (melody and harmony, real book style, you best start where the band comes in). I'm not sure if I have the time to treat it in the upcoming class, but I'm happy to take a look.

Work on the harmony song: write a 32 bar AABA chord progression that contains at least a secondary dominant, some Modal Interchange and a diminished chord. Put the bridge in a contrasting key, and bring it back to the final dominant of the A-part, as we practised in class.

Homework for week 16

This week I've treated line clichees, a subject that is by the way no part of the VMS yet. Functionally there is nothing new here, line clichés simply take us back to the horizontal aspects of voices acting together.

Homework for next tuesday

Analyse the scale degrees of Sin Explicacion on page 130. This anticipates a lesson about salsa.

Transcribe Hopelessly devoted to you - melody and chords. Is has a line cliché. It is a smart song, and it is precisely the level you should have reached by now. I recommend a 6/8 time signature.

Homework for next thursday

In the next practicum class we'll do a live transcription. Please be there in time, I need the info to advise you on ear training aspects.

Work on your assignments, like the melody song and the solo, the dim scales and the voiceleadings. Would be good to read the propedeuse assignments below the upper box, as well as the exam data.

Homework for week 12 and 13

This week we practised with Basic Progressions in cat 700.
I hope I gave some inspiration for the first final assignment: lyrics, images, ringtones, birds, you encounter them every day when you're open to it.

Week 12 is re-exam week, see upper box for details.
Nevertheless feel free to come to the practicum room on thursday if you want to work there.

Homework for next tuesday in week 13

Let's start with the first propaedeuse assignment:
Write a good and singable melody, suggested form is 32 bars with an AABA structure. The bridge should be a contrast and evoke the longing for the A-part. A pop song format with a verse and a chorus is fine too.
think/play chords (yet). I can't stress this enough: keep it simple, make sure that it is singable and make it beautiful instead of corny.
The melody must be strong by itself, and it should not need fancy chords or grooves to be appreciated. Thinking lyrics is a good idea, but stay away from chords.
Test it on a 'normal' person with no specific musical education.

Homework for next thursday in week 13

Keep working on ear training subjects that need your attention: seventh chords, ear trainer all categories (BP and Dictations), scales level 2. Half an hour per day recommended.

Finishing the practical assignments mentioned in the previous week is a good idea.

Homework for week 11

This week we refreshed diminished chords by studying the VMS-song Diminished Diversity, which shows appropriate use of scales plus lots of improv concepts. I recommend studying that movie in detail, because there is a LOT of information.
We also studied three essential improv techniques hooked up in this Section.

We studied Ave Maria as a song from the classical literature, containing lots of diminished chords, pedal tones, and inversions (especially when the melody is on the root of the chord). Pedal tones can 'justify' harmonic clashes!

I made our mission of this year clear by going over the many techniques you can apply for cracking the code of a song by discussing page 157, General Exercises.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday
Several exercise are now in process, try to finish them in short term:

Homework for week 10

This week was supposed to have introduced 16th figures. But I forgot. The second half of the Notation movie (VMS > Basics > Vocabulary > Explanation) covers the explanation. You can use cat. 6 of the SWYS trainer in the Fundamentals as an addition to the rhythm lab classes.

I introduced the principle of 'watering the plants' and concrete vs abstract phrasing.
As an example we studied Booker Little's great melody on Rounder's mood, as well as the beautiful Cuban song Amsterdam from Estudiantina Invasora.
We repaired the Bad Phrasings in Basics > Phrasing > Exercises.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next thursday
Model your graphically designed solo into the harmony of Weaver of Dreams, you can use the Logic file in your personal folder in H205 for this. We prepared this already in class, would be good to finish the whole chorus.

Finish the voice leading exercise till #10 if you haven't already.

Homework for week 09

This week I introduced the subject of shapes and solo building. Relevant movies are found in Basics > Phrasing > Explanation > Items 5 till 8. The page with Melodic Shapes (p. 32 in your book) on the exercise page is a great and practical improv tool for all players and singers. I suggest you start applying this on your instrument from today!

Homework for next tuesday
Transcribe How deep is your love (melody and chords), a beautiful song with a clearly audible bass line, some intelligent harmonies and various rhythms. You can skip the intro and focus on the main material of the song itself. Beware of sus4 chords!

Explore the trainers for the Seventh chords and Scales a bit further.

Homework for next thursday

Apply the technique demonstrated in the last movie (item 8 Storytelling). Below are some suggestions for this roadmap, which has to be constructed without thinking of any key or chords. Make a completely graphically designed solo. In order to prevent too much complexity you must be able to sing your roadmap for your fellow students and convince us with the clarity of your ideas. Please think medium swing. With complicated 16ths you may get into trouble when we frame these ideas into a jazz chorus.

1. Make a short shape, repeat it, and the third time: extend it. This can be based on your name, as we practised in class.
2. Create three different elements. The connection between these is that the last note of the previous shape forms an interval of a second with the next shape.
3. Write 4 bars of double line technique (verkapte tweestemmigheid).
4. Write two phrases that are based on the same concept of articulation.
5. Write three elements in which an overall ascending line of seconds can be observed (as found in thousands of standards)
6. If you have less than 32 bars, fill it up with connected elements of your own.

The first 10 voice leading exercises are probably already finished. Catch up if you are a bit behind.

Homework for week 08

This week we continued with the subject of alterations/TriSubs.
We discussed the song Subway and the great panflute solo on it.

I also introduced a new movie on tunings in the Sound directory, showing that in equal temperament we play out of tune all the time!

In the thursday class we started with the first steps on voice leading.
Print this pdf if you did not get the papers (p1 is Dutch, p2 is English).

Homework for tuesday:
Complete your chart of Serenade for Sarah with chord symbols, and check your work, then compare and analyse the scale degrees on this pdf.

Practise with cat. 800 in the BP&D trainer and do all 8 dictations.
Start working with the Seventh chord trainer.
Both trainers are in VMS > Services > Ear training center > Ear trainer > relevant tabs.

Homework for thursday:
We already worked on the file called Voice leading exercises, which is stored in your personal folder in H205. Try to finish the first 5 exercises. Feel free to do them first on paper, if you feel you can learn from it.

Homework for week 07

This week I treated the subject of alterations. Relevant items to study:
The essay called alterations in your workbook on page 161-162.
The TriSubs explanation on p96 provides a summary of the analysis.
VMS > Sections > Tritone Substitutions > Explanation > first four items
Fundamentals > PWYH trainer > P6 tracks 049-060 (locate in Start With mode)
The collage movie on TriSubs on the Classic Chord Progressions page.

In practicum class we de-altered a solo on Autumn Comes to compare inside vs outside.

Homework for tuesday:

Fill in the scale degree puzzles on page 99 on TriSubs;
Analyze Body and Soul on p101.
Analyze the One note samba on p104.

Homework for thursday:
Transcribe melody and chords of Serenade for Sarah, knowing that it consists of many I-V-I constructions as well as lots of II-Vs, in which pretty much all V7s are altered, and the alterations occur in the melody. You can do it if you let your ears and your knowledge cooperate!

Finish the de-alteration excercise (Autumn altered) which is your personal folder.

Add cat. 800 of the Ear Trainer (TriSubs) to your routine and practise a bit with BPs.

I recommend practicing the altered lines of the PWYH trainer on your instrument if you want to learn the their sound. Playing the altered solo (or writing one!) is also a good idea. Scores are available for all instruments!

Homework for week 06

Please find you exam work in your mailbox in the main building and bring it class.We'll discuss it in class.

Homework for tuesday:

Make a double staff system and transcribe the melody and the bass of Serenade for Sarah, a great Michel LeGrand (RIP) song. I use it to introduce alterations. 16 bars should be doable. It's good for writing syncopations and tuning in on the bass layer. You may use the piano for pitch.

Homework for next thursday

Whatever you need to grow...

Homework for week 02 and 03

Last week was all about summaries and exam training. For heaven's sake was a good song for practicing scale degrees, scales and melodic analyses.

If you are preparing for the exams: Remember that each section has an overview page with appropriate scales: p 48, 62, 63, 81, (96 on TriSubs).
Summaries on all harmonic building blocks are on pages 167 and 168 (to be treated in the final Tuesday class)

We did not discuss every standard in the workbook, but if you need more practice you'll easily find answers to remaining songs in the VMS on the Analyze/Harmonize pages.

The various ear training resources are all meant to get insight in the way melody, harmony and rhythm interact. The many questions I asked in terms of bass motion, melodic lines and patterns, changes in function, harmonic colours etc. hopefully improved your functional hearing. On a row:

Homework for next tuesday jan 8:

No class on thursday jan. 10, school is closed!

So week 3 is exam week, see the upper box for details.

Homework for week 51

This week we continued with diminished chords. These are tough, because:

Paul Simon's I do it for your love showed us that meaningful harmonies not always fit the scale degree system perfectly. It also contained some beautiful effective diminished chords, worth analysing. Click for video and score.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next thursday:

Homework for week 50

Last week we finished the Modal Interchange subject. We sang the lines on p79 on the harmonies on p78 for getting familiar with the harmonic flow. I recommend doing that on your instrument as well, in multiple keys.
We studied the collage of Neapolitan and bII chords on de CCP page.
We studied many ST-contributions and learned from them.

Furthermore we studied the basic principle of diminished chords. The first movie on the affiliated explanation page in the VMS pretty much covers the essence. Scales are in most cases formed by the notes of the diminished chord plus the triad of the resolution chord. Auxiliary chords can use an octatonic scale (whole-half).

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next thursday

Next practicum class we will do a little pre-exam: a couple of intervals, triads, scales, Basic Progressions and a dictation, so that you can see how the flag is hanging.

Some students want/need more children's songs, since they are so transparent in their melody and harmony. In Bart's Best of collection you'll find many songs that can all be transcribed without the piano. Feel free to practice with them till the exam, I guarantee that it will help.

Homework for week 49

This week we got a little deeper into Modal interchange. Louis Prima's Buona sera is a swinging example with typical Moll-Dur clichees.
We also studied the Neapolitan chord and its counterpart bII, with the Godfather as a classic example.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next thursday

Homework for week 48

This week we started with Modal Interchange (MI): the 2 movies on sound and scales in the affiliated Section are easily found in the VMS.
We discussed scales and melody of Ceora. Find my melodic analysis here.
In practicum class we discussed Chet's solo and his phrasing principles, we experimented intensely with melodic shapes, and we started with MI in the Ear Trainer.

Homework for next tuesday:

Homework for next thursday

If you want you can already start with your creation of a solo on Secondary Thoughts (recording and transcription). In two weeks it's supposed to be finished. Find simple phrasing, with nice and clear construction elements. I really don't care if you improvise, compose and/or repair. See the exam description for details.

Homework for week 47

This week I introduced you to the Instruments directory. We did these transposition exercises for saxophones (Q and A are both in the pdf). A similar exercise will be part of the theory exam.

Another subject was melodic analyses, in which we discussed this additional page.
We analysed the melody of Secondary Thoughts to get familiar with techniques.

In the practicum room checked the walking bass lines of ST, we worked with its guidetone lines, and we improvised to prepare for the solo assignment coming up.

Homework for tuesday:
Finish p. 55: Scale degrees and scales of Ceora. Please do this exercise not only 'mathematically' but also try the different possible tone supplies on the piano.
Also analyse the melody of Ceora, if you didn't receive it in class print the theme here.

Homework for thursday
Transcribe Chet Bakers's solo on In your own sweet way (melody only) which starts on 1'43". You may use an instrument for the pitch. The key is Bb-major. Spend about 2 hours on it. Simplify ornamentations with turn signs (dubbelslag in Dutch), that makes things easier.

Homework for week 46

Last week our focus was on melodic analyses and phrasing. We
We studied the essay Sounding Interesting on p165/166, and solo on Secondary Thoughts in detail. In the practicum room we compared our Ooievaar/Guinea pig melodies, and we learned about walking bass (p158).

Homework for tuesday:

Let's take some time for reconsideration: think which subjects need your attention most. For eartraining select those subjects from the upper box and practice them short and often rather than once and long.

If you need it: The pages below (easily found in Basic Forces and Vocabulary, with answers in the VMS) could help refreshing basic knowledge of chords, scales and keys. I won't treat them in class, but I'm happy to answer any questions.

Homework for thursday

Finish the walking bass line on Secondary Thoughts in the computer room. Make sure the bass hits the root on the beat where the new chord enters. Study the essay on p158 for explanation.

Improvise a bit on Secondary Thoughts. You'll find the score and mp3 for your instrument in VMS > Sections > Secondary Dominants > Song page and Play along page. For downloading you can go to the VMS-Playalongs. Apply the techniques you learned (guidetone lines, arpeggios, melodic variations, shapes, etc).

Practise with the movie and mp3 about Secondary Dominants in the computerroom or in the Classic Chord Progressions folder. Practice suggestions are on the opening page. This way the sound of sec. dominants will settle in your ear.

Homework for week 43

This week we continued with secondary dominants by studying Secondary Thoughts. From the Phrasing chapter of the VMS we discussed the movies on harmonic and rhythmic magnetism.
The cool movie with advanced voice leading examples is here.
We also enjoyed each others contribution to the writing improv assignment on II-V-Is in all keys.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday

Homework for week 42

This week I introduced secondary dominants. We sang many practical voice leading situations, we studied the first two movies in the explanation section of Secondary Dominants in the VMS, and we watched the affiliated movie from the Classic Chord Progressions page.

In practicum class we discussed melodies on II-V-I on their compositional elements. Many examples are in Fundamentals > M&R > PWYH trainer > P6. The essay Sounding interesting on 165-166 is worth reading too.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday

Homework for week 41

This week we covered Guidetone lines (p159/160), and we did several assignments with the famous II-V-I-progression. Autumn Comes (in VMS > Sections > Sequence of descending fifths) is the VMS-song that demonstrates the essence.
We also studied the phenomenon of Resonance. You'll easily find the relevant movie in the Sound directory.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday

Go to VMS > Services > II-V-I facilities > Play along and locate the various II-V-I tracks in major (swing or bossa).
Practise the guidetone lines, play them on a piano, vary around them, try bridging the modulation in an adventurous way, and improvise away. The week after next week I will ask you to make a recording, so find out how you can do that technically (smartphones, laptops, zoom devices, etc.). Help each other!

Keep practising with the BP&D trainer in cat 100 and 200. You find it in VMS > Services > Ear training centre > BP&D-tab.

Homework for week 40

This week we completed the grammar of tonal harmony with one additional movie:
VMS > Basics > Basic Forces > Explanation > The I6/4 chord. The Para dormir
movie illustrates this circular principle of the 'holy trinity'.
We enjoyed Willeke Alberti's Telkens weer as the ultimate example of the sequence of descending fifths in major and in minor.
We also managed to find the chords of The Sound of Silence. with lots of plagal cadences, and - very special - no V7 and no leading tones.

Earlier we watched the first movie in the Classic Chord Progressions. The first collage with sequences of descending fifths was shown in class.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday

Homework for week 39

This week we covered VMS > Basics > Basic Forces > Explanation > items 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The overview of all scales and scale degrees in major and minor on p 169/170 has biblical qualities!

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday

Homework for week 38

This week we started with learning something about the Physics of sound,: the movie on Harmonics/Overtones in the Sound directory.
I also introduced the modal scales. Miles Davis' Flamenco Sketches is a beautiful example of modal music, but Gregorian monks are also worth listening to.

The answer to the transcription of The Sound of Silence is in the lichtemuziek directory (see upper box). All answer pdfs appear there.

Homework for next tuesday

Homework for next thursday- See the box above for details.

Homework for week 37

I introduced both programs, and explained the basic principles of sightsinging.
All logins are activated, don't hesitate to contact me if you can't access the site.

Please obtain 12 staff music paper, pencil (3B hardness recommended), stuff, sharpener, and the VMS Workbook in your language.

Homework for next tuesday:
Fill in page 9 (intervals) in the workbook.
Fill in page 12 (transpositions).
Learn the circle of fifths by heart.

If you don't have the workbook yet print them from Fundamentals > Theory > Exercises (print only the 1st page, p2 is bass clef).
If you need to refresh your knowledge on the Circle of Fifths and on Intervals, study the two relevant movies in the Theory menu of the Fundamentals.

Homework for next thursday
Study Fundamentals > M&R > Sing What You See > Explanation > Sightsinging movie.
Additionally work a bit with the Sing What You See trainer too.
Work on intervals in Fundamentals > H&T > Harmony trainer.

Transcribe both voices of Simon and Garfunkels Sound of silence (15 bars cover the melody, use a double staff system) without using an instrument (only for a final check). Key is Eb minor. This key is no big deal, as I demonstrated in class. Use the lines of seconds, recognize the patterns! Simplify the rhythm if 16ths are a bit too hard.

Please bring headphones to all thursday classes.
It is a good idea to find yourself an ear training buddy...

Good luck,



September 2018 - note to external students

Dear external students,

Before the real homework starts on september 7 I'd like to make a few important remarks. Please study them carefully.

Target group
I write the homework page for my students, referring every now and then to the things discussed in class. This means that you won't always be able to follow exactly what I mean. I will try to keep things as clear as possible, but please accept a certain percentage that you won't be able to pick up. I am not unwilling to respond to e-mails with questions, but don't be disappointed if you don't always get an answer.

Piano lessons
The conservatory students have piano lessons - most likely you don't. The piano offers a great overview, and of course you can play chords on it. My own piano skills are pretty limited due to lack of motorical talent, but I recall one exercise as extremely useful: playing II-V-Is in a certain convenient voicing. When I skip through songs this is the technique I use for it, playing basic seventh chords with left, and melody or scales with right.
I have described it in the introduction of Melodies To Harmonize Level 2, Section of Secondary Dominants (exercise page). I strongly advise to invest in this basic skill and simply learn to play II-V-Is in all 12 (can't help it) keys as soon as possible.

Math vs ears

Doing analytical exercises in a way is mathemetical fun, since music is structured so beautifully. However: your musical capabilities will benefit much more from it if you also play the material on an instrument. Knowing which scales to play on a certain type of chord progression is pretty meaningless if you have no idea how it sounds!

Studying the movies
Studying a movie can be done in two ways: lean back and see if you get the general message, or go through it bar by bar, checking if you understand each scale, all remarks, trying out things on the piano, making summaries, etc. This last approach gives the best results.

Mental matters
Finally: the curriculum is for people who want to become professional musicians, and they follow an intensive program requiring a steep time investment. Whenever you feel you loose track, never let this discourage you! It is not a shame if you need more time for certain elements, and even if you would pick up say 30% of the material, that 30% is definitely worth the work. I'm not a psychologist, but I think you'll get the message. Always remember this slogan:
With VMS you can study music at your own pace with a teacher you can rewind!