This paper examines what goes on in an improvising jazz combo in a secondary school in Scotland, where teaching follows Rogoff's three-stage sociocultural process, moving from an initial apprenticeship model through one of guided participation to one of participatory appropriation. Using a case study research design and interpretative phenomenological analysis, and drawing on sociocultural perspectives, the music-making and participation of three participants is discussed and presented through narrative account. Three key themes emerged as perceived benefits: (1) personal effects, (2) social effects; and (3) jazz effects. The development of confidence was seen as the main outcome of learning in the jazz combo. This study suggests that learning in an active participatory jazz combo with pedagogy more appropriate to an informal learning style may help to foster the development of learner voice and help enable a creative disposition, in line with the philosophy of Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).