Jeffrey Kern, Program Director
The Jazz Studies instrumental curriculum provides a direct and pragmatic education for students interested in establishing a career in jazz and/or contemporary music. The goals of the program are to develop critical- thinking, problem-solving, literate, and highly skilled artists, entrepreneurs, and educators who will significantly effect their art form and society.
Students receive weekly, one-hour private lessons in their major area with renowned artist teachers. Performance opportunities are plentiful in the School’s award-winning jazz, ethnic, and popular music ensembles. The core of this curriculum is spread over four years and includes theory and musicianship (foundational, jazz, and advanced), piano, improvisation, technology, and music business. Additional study topics include recording, acoustics, orchestration, arranging, and an array of music history and literature courses.
Students can also select from courses in a wide variety of music, performing arts, visual arts, and business topics, and minors in music education, music business and technology, and other areas across the University.
Ensemble and performance opportunities play a critical part in the student’s education by sharpening technical and improvisation skills and increasing the student’s command of repertoire and styles. The School’s numerous performance ensembles represent a wide range of styles and categories of jazz, American, classical, contemporary, ethnic, and world music. Students are involved in a rigorous schedule of performances, with over 150 concerts and recitals presented each year.
Students graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies in Vocal Performance will:
- demonstrate outstanding aural musicianship;
- demonstrate outstanding cognitive musicianship and theoretical knowledge;
- understand music in its historical and sociological context;
- express understanding of music in verbal and written form;
- be musically literate and technically proficient performers and composers;
- possess knowledge and experience in a diversity of musical styles and cultures;
- acquire the skills to use and integrate current technology in support of their musicianship;
- use all of the above as the basis for creative output.
Academic plans provide a semester by semester suggested course sequence. Plans can be customized through discussions with academic advisors.
Program Requirements (120 credits)
Required Courses (69 credits)
Discipline History (9 credits)
Select 3 courses from the following:
Liberal Arts Distribution (33 credits)
First Year Writing (6 credits)
Students will complete a writing placement exam to determine their composition sequence. Students who do not complete the exam may be placed based on standardized tests scores (if available) or high school GPA. Some students may be required to complete additional developmental coursework.
Students will complete one of the following sequences:
Critical Approaches to the Arts and Culture (9 credits)
- Select 3 courses from subject CRIT
Scientific Inquiry Foundation Track (3 credits)
- Select 1 course from subject SIFT
Liberal Arts Electives (15 credits)
- Select courses from subjects:
- AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
- ARAB (Arabic), FRCH (French), ITAL (Italian), LITT (Literature)
- PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
- MATH (Math), SCIE (Science)
- ANTH (Anthropology), PHIL (Philosophy), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
- STCU (Cultural Studies), STDA (Dance Studies), STGS (Gender & Sexuality Studies),
STMU (Music Studies), STPF (Performance Studies)
- Select courses from : Art History or LA Elective.
Electives (9 credits)
- Complete 9 credits of free electives. This requirement is satisfied by any undergraduate course that isn’t required by the program.