Concentration in Jazz Studies

The Concentration in Jazz Studies is intended to help students interested in jazz to develop the skills necessary to be a marketable professional jazz and studio musician.

Students in the program will study jazz styles, history, improvisational techniques, arranging and composition, and have opportunities in a recording studio both performing and recording their own work.

Students also receive private lessons from professional jazz artists on their instrument. The regular requirements of the primary music degree are not affected; the jazz courses only apply to electives.

Any student completing a music degree with the jazz studies concentration will be a highly diverse performer, having experience as a soloist, a member of a band or orchestra as well as with playing in large and small jazz ensembles. Graduates will possess the necessary skills to arrange and compose for jazz and studio ensembles, and will be prepared to work in almost every musical arena available today.

All of the jazz studies courses are taken in addition to all other requirements, fulfilling music elective requirements only.

This concentration is best suited with a Bachelor of Music or a Bachelor of Arts in Music, but a very hardworking Bachelor of Music Education student could receive it, although extra time may be necessary.

Jazz Concentration Requirements:

  • MUS 010: Jazz History, 2 credit hrs.
  • MUS 012: Jazz Theory and Keyboard, 2 credit hrs.
  • MUS 055: Jazz improvisation I, 2 credit hrs.
  • MUS 056: Jazz Improvisation II, 2 credit hrs.
  • MUS 133: Jazz Arranging and Composition, 2 credit hrs.
  • MUS 144: Studio Recording Techniques, 2 credit hrs.
  • MUS 145: Jazz Ensemble (2 semesters), 2 credit hrs.
  • MUS 181-320: Jazz Combo (2 semesters), 2 credit hrs.
  • Applied Jazz courses (2 semesters), 2 credit hrs.*

TOTAL: 18 credit hrs.

The concentration is designed to be a manageable addition to the class load. One 2 credit course will be taken in each of six consecutive semesters. The other requirements will be combo, big band and lessons, which do not have to be taken every semester.

*The applied courses are taken from the following:

  • MUS 183: Jazz Piano
  • MUS 184: Jazz Bass
  • MUS 196: Jazz Guitar 
  • MUS 197: Jazz Drums
  • MUS 198: Jazz Wind instruments (trumpet, trombone, saxophone)

These applied studies are taken along with any other applied requirement, and do not replace them. Private jazz lessons are essential to address each students individual needs. The approach to every jazz instrument has unique qualities that can be only effectively taught by someone who plays the instrument. Prerequisite is completion of Mus 003 and 004 (2nd semester music theory). You may only take .5 credit of lessons per semester.

For further information or if you have questions, contact Andrew Classen.

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