School of Music

BM in Performance - Jazz Studies

This degree concentration is designed as foundation studies for those who wish to prepare for careers in jazz or commercial music performance and/or jazz instruction and those who plan to pursue graduate work in jazz studies. This program aims to instill a thorough understanding of this unique American art form and its relationship to contemporary society. Applied music, jazz improvisation, jazz arranging, jazz history, and jazz ensembles are emphasized. A basic understanding of the standards and performance opportunities for professional performance leads the student to realistic expectations for a career as a performer or teacher.

The minimum number of credits required for the degree is 120.

Music CORE 28-32 credits Credits
Music Theory and Aural Skills (16)  
     MUT 100 Music Theory and Aural Skills 1 4
     MUT 101 Music Theory and Aural Skills 2 4
     MUT 200 Music Theory and Aural Skills 3 4
     MUT 201 Music Theory and Aural Skills 4 4
Music History (12)  
     MUH 105 Multi-Cultural Perspectives of American Popular Music  
          and Jazz 3
     MUH 222 Music History Survey 1 3
     MUH 223 Music History Survey 2 3
     MUS 206 Jazz History 3
Functional Piano (4) not required for pianists  
     MUS 150 Piano Class 1 1
     MUS 151 Piano Class 2 1
     MUS 252 Jazz Piano Class 1 1
     MUS 253 Jazz Piano Class 2 1
Applied Music 27 credits  
     Private Lessons (8 semesters) 24
     MUP 390 Junior Recital 0
     MUP 490 Capstone: Senior Recital / Seminar 3
     MUS 442 Recital Class (8 semesters) 0

Students in the jazz concentration will divide their 24 credit hours of applied music equally between classical applied studies and jazz applied studies by taking either a 2-credit or a 1-credit lesson in each area every semester.
Jazz students must take a jazz jury each semester and a classical jury during the spring semester. They are expected to pass a level 3 jury in each area prior to giving their senior recital.

Students in the jazz concentration must satisfactorily complete a 30 minute recital in the junior year and a 50 minute recital in the senior year. The junior recital should consist of 30 minutes of jazz repertoire, and the senior recital should consist of 25 minutes of jazz repertoire and 25 minutes of classical repertoire. The jazz repertoire shall demonstrate the student's skills at improvisation, composition, and arranging, and should be chosen under the guidance of their applied jazz instructor.

Ensembles 8 credits  
     Major Ensemble, non-Jazz (4 semesters)   2
            University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Concert Band
            or Symphony Orchestra
     Large Jazz Ensemble (8 semesters) 4
     Chamber Jazz Ensemble (4 semesters) 2

Students should take a minimum of .5 credit of the appropriate section of MUS 406 Chamber Music - Jazz during each of their first two academic years. Students who are not selected for MUS 407 Jazz Ensemble may substitute additional credits of MUS 406 Chamber Music - Jazz with permission of the director of jazz studies. Guitarists and pianists may fulfill the Major Ensemble requirement by taking MUS 452 Accompanying or any small ensemble outside the jazz idiom.

Additional Music Courses 17 credits  
     MUS 337 Jazz Arranging   3
     MUS 380 Jazz Improvisation 1 3
     MUS 381 Jazz Improvisation 2 3
     MUS 374 Jazz Pedagogy 2
     Electives 6
Additional Non-music courses
     One approved course from the School of Business 3
     Electives 6


Admission to the jazz degree concentration in music is based on the following criteria:


  1. Performance audition on the applicant's major instrument. For most instruments, one selection should be from the jazz idiom and one from the classical genre. While performing jazz selections, the candidate should demonstrate their jazz improvisation abilities.
  2. Tests of aural comprehension, rhythmic recitation, and sight singing administered individually by a member of the staff.
  3. A diagnostic written test of music fundamentals, including intervals, scales, chords, and key signatures.

Audition Information