Jazz Studies

Jazz Studies audition requirements

There is no prescreen requirement for any applicants.


Undergraduate applicants

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.) - Jazz Studies Emphasis

  • Play the melody and improvise on two tunes (from memory): one that is not a blues, "rhythm changes" tune, or ballad; and one tune selected from the following:
    • All Things You Are, Confirmation, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Joy Spring, On Green Dolphin Street, Stella by Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?   
  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

Graduate and diploma applicants

Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Performer Diploma, Solo Performance (P.D.S.P.)

  • Play the melody and improvise on the chord changes of one tune from each of the following three lists (from memory):
    • Bebop tunes: Confirmation, Donna Lee, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Joy Spring, Stablemates
    • Standard tunes: All The Things You Are, Alone Together, Have You Met Miss Jones?, On Green Dolphin Street, Star Eyes, Stella By Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?
    • Post-bop tunes: Bolivia, Dolphin Dance, Giant Steps, Inner Urge, Moment's Notice, Moontrane
  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

There is no prescreen requirement for any applicants.

Undergraduate applicants

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.) - Jazz Studies Emphasis

  • Play the melody and improvise on two tunes (from memory): one that is not a blues, "rhythm changes" tune, or ballad; and one tune selected from the following:
    • All Things You Are, Confirmation, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Joy Spring, On Green Dolphin StreetStella by Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?   
  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

Graduate and diploma applicants

Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Performer Diploma, Solo Performance (P.D.S.P.)

  • Play the melody and improvise on the chord changes of one tune from each of the following three lists (from memory):
    • Bebop tunes: ConfirmationDonna LeeGroovin' HighHalf NelsonJoy SpringStablemates
    • Standard tunes: All The Things You AreAlone TogetherHave You Met Miss Jones?On Green Dolphin Street, Star EyesStella By StarlightThere Will Never Be Another YouWhat Is This Thing Called Love?
    • Post-bop tunes: BoliviaDolphin DanceGiant StepsInner UrgeMoment's NoticeMoontrane
  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

Prescreen is required for all applicants.

Applicants may audition on soprano, alto, tenor, or baritone saxophone.

If you are unable to come to campus for any of our audition weekends, you may submit a final audition video recording through the Jacobs School Supplemental Application by March 1, 2021.

  • In your video recording, please include a spoken introduction stating your name, degree interest, hometown, school, teachers, how many years you have played the saxophone, and other instruments you play.
  • Please also upload a résumé indicating your musical and academic accomplishments, your civic activities, private lesson teachers, etc.

Undergraduate applicants

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.) - Jazz Studies Emphasis

Prescreen repertoire requirements

  • Jazz repertoire: Play the melody and improvise on three tunes from memory: one blues tune; one tune that is not a blues, "rhythm changes" tune, or ballad; and one tune selected from the following:

All Things You Are, Confirmation, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Joy Spring, On Green Dolphin StreetStella by Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?

  • Classical repertoire: Two contrasting etudes or movements from standard works (lyrical and technical)
  • Four full-range scales of your choice. Play one scale entirely staccato and the others slurred.

Audition

A rhythm section will be provided.

  • Jazz repertoire: Play the melody and improvise on three tunes from memory: one blues tune; one tune that is not a blues, "rhythm changes" tune, or ballad; and one tune selected from the following:

All Things You Are, Confirmation, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Joy Spring, On Green Dolphin StreetStella by Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?

  • Full-range scales in all keys, including major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished, and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

Graduate and diploma applicants

Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Performer Diploma, Solo Performance (P.D.S.P.)

Repertoire requirements for prescreen and live audition

  • Play the melody and improvise on the chord changes of one tune from each of the following three lists (from memory):

Bebop tunes: ConfirmationDonna LeeGroovin' HighHalf NelsonJoy SpringStablemates

Standard tunes: All The Things You AreAlone TogetherHave You Met Miss Jones?On Green Dolphin Street, Star EyesStella By StarlightThere Will Never Be Another YouWhat Is This Thing Called Love?

Post-bop tunes: BoliviaDolphin DanceGiant StepsInner UrgeMoment's NoticeMoontrane

  • Full-range scales in all keys, including major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished, and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes). For the prescreen recording, play four full-range scales of your choice – one entirely in staccato and the others slurred.
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

There is no prescreen requirement for any applicants.


Undergraduate applicants

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.) - Jazz Studies Emphasis

  • Jazz repertoire: Play the melody with chord changes, comp chord changes, and solo in the right hand with chord changes in the left hand on two tunes (from memory): one that is not a blues, "rhythm changes" tune, or ballad; and one tune selected from the following:

All Things You Are, Confirmation, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Joy Spring, On Green Dolphin Street, Stella by Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?

  • Classical repertoire: Play three contrasting classical pieces (from memory), including:

A Prelude and Fugue from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (either Book 1 or 2)

A first movement of a classical sonata from Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven (excluding Beethoven's Op. 2/1, Op. 49/1, and Op. 79)

A short work from the nineteenth or twentieth century

  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

Graduate and diploma applicants

Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Performer Diploma, Solo Performance (P.D.S.P.)

  • Play the melody and improvise on the chord changes of one tune from each of the following three lists (from memory):

Bebop tunes: Confirmation, Donna Lee, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Joy Spring, Stablemates

Standard tunes: All The Things You Are, Alone Together, Have You Met Miss Jones?, On Green Dolphin Street, Star Eyes, Stella By Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?

Post-bop tunes: Bolivia, Dolphin Dance, Giant Steps, Inner Urge, Moment's Notice, Moontrane

  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

Prescreen is required for all applicants.

Undergraduate applicants

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.) - Jazz Studies Emphasis

Prescreen

Submit a video recording, including:

  • Perform the melody, comp chord changes, and improvise on two tunes (from memory):
    • One that is not a blues, "rhythm changes" tune, or ballad
    • One selected from the following: All Things You Are, Confirmation, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Joy Spring, On Green Dolphin Street, Stella by Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?   
  • Perform one solo jazz guitar piece (chord melody). This can be an original arrangement of a jazz standard or a transcription.
Live audition

Prepare all prescreen repertoire, plus:

  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished, harmonic minor and ascending melodic minor scales (and their respective modes). All of these scales should be played in two positions on the fingerboard.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate your chord voicing knowledge and comp in various styles including: four-to-the-bar (sometimes referred to as Freddie Green comping), bebop comping and Latin styles such as Bossa Nova and Samba.
  • Be prepared to sight-read single note lines and chord progressions.

Graduate and diploma applicants

Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Performer Diploma, Solo Performance (P.D.S.P.)

Prescreen

Submit a video recording, including:

  • Perform the melody, comp chord changes, and improvise on one tune from each of the following three lists (from memory):
    • Bebop tunes: ConfirmationDonna LeeGroovin' HighHalf NelsonJoy SpringStablemates
    • Standard tunes: All The Things You AreAlone TogetherHave You Met Miss Jones?On Green Dolphin Street, Star EyesStella By StarlightThere Will Never Be Another YouWhat Is This Thing Called Love?
    • Post-bop tunes: BoliviaDolphin DanceGiant StepsInner UrgeMoment's NoticeMoontrane
  • Perform one solo jazz guitar piece (chord melody). This can be an original arrangement of a jazz standard or a transcription.

Live audition

Prepare all prescreen repertoire, plus:

  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished, harmonic minor and ascending melodic minor scales (and their respective modes). All of these scales should be played in two positions on the fingerboard.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate your chord voicing knowledge and comp in various styles including: four-to-the-bar (sometimes referred to as Freddie Green comping), bebop comping and Latin styles such as Bossa Nova and Samba.

There is no prescreen requirement for any  applicants.


Undergraduate applicants

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.) - Jazz Studies Emphasis

  • Play the melody, walk the bass line, and improvise on two tunes (from memory):
    • One that is not a blues, "rhythm changes" tune, or ballad
    • One selected from the following: All Things You Are, Confirmation, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Joy Spring, On Green Dolphin Street, Stella by Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?
  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

Graduate and diploma applicants

Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Performer Diploma, Solo Performance (P.D.S.P.)

  • Play the melody, and improvise on the chord changes of one tune from each of the following three lists (from memory):
    • Bebop tunes: Confirmation, Donna Lee, Groovin' High, Half Nelson, Joy Spring, Stablemates
    • Standard tunes: All The Things You Are, Alone Together, Have You Met Miss Jones?, On Green Dolphin Street, Star Eyes, Stella By Starlight, There Will Never Be Another You, What Is This Thing Called Love?
    • Post-bop tunes: Bolivia, Dolphin Dance, Giant Steps, Inner Urge, Moment's Notice, Moontrane
  • Major scales (and their modes), whole tone, diminished and ascending melodic minor scales (and their modes)
  • Possible sight-reading of chord changes and typical jazz ensemble parts

Prescreen is required for all applicants.

Prescreen

Submit a video recording, including repertoire listed below.

Live audition

Auditions are by invitation only based on prescreen review. In addition to an audition, applicants should also be prepared for a 15 minute interview.


Undergraduate applicants

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.) Jazz Studies Emphasis

Prescreen and live audition
  • Snare Drum
    • One solo or etude from Delecluse, Albright, Cirone, Peters, Goldenberg, or equivalent
  • Drum Set
    • One prepared piece: big band chart, transcription, or published solo
    • Demonstration of time and soloing in the following styles: medium swing, up-tempo swing, rock, bossa nova, and samba
    • Play-along tracks are preferred
  • Vibraphone
    • One jazz standard, transcription, or solo work (2 or 4 mallets)
  • World Percussion
    • Demonstrate basic skills and techniques on the world percussion instrument of your choice (conga drum, timbales, djembe, dumbek, etc.) with an emphasis on good time and feel.  Knowledge of the appropriate musical context is expected.  

Graduate and diploma applicants

Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Performer Diploma, Solo Performance (P.D.S.P.)

Prescreen and live audition
  • Snare Drum
    • An advanced level etude/solo of your choice
  • Drum Set*
    • One prepared piece: big band chart (with play-along track), transcription, or published solo
    • Demonstration of time and soloing in the following styles: medium swing, up-tempo swing, rock, bossa nova, and samba
    • Play-along tracks are preferred
  • Vibraphone
    • An advanced-level jazz vibraphone solo (jazz standard, transcription, or solo work), 4 mallets preferred
  • World Percussion**
    • If you have any experience with World Percussion (Afro-Cuban hand-drumming, Steel Pan, Brazilian, etc.), a short performance is encouraged.

*For graduate students seeking Associate Instructorships, a drum set solo (and experience in drum set instruction) is mandatory.

**Those applicants seeking an Associate Instructorship in the area of World Percussion should include a performance on the World Percussion instrument of their choice.

Prescreen is required for all applicants.

Guidelines for all applicants

Prescreen repertoire requirements (for undergraduate, graduate, and diploma applicants)

Submit a video recording, including:

  • Two jazz standards of contrasting tempo and style:
    • One from the Great American Songbook (Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers, etc.)
    • One that includes vocal improvisation (scat singing)

Undergraduate applicants

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.) - Jazz Studies Emphasis

Live audition

Please select repertoire that you did not perform on your prescreen. You may perform with or without a microphone.

  • A piece of your choice in 12-bar blues form (such as Billie's Bounce, Centerpiece or Straight, No Chaser) with two or three improvised choruses
  • A jazz standard of your choice (such as Autumn Leaves, All the Things You Are, Oleo) with improvised choruses
  • A selection of your choice with a contrasting tempo and alternate style (funk, samba, bossa, pop, etc.)
  • Jazz sight-reading

Graduate and diploma applicants

Master of Music (M.M.) in Jazz Studies, Performer Diploma, Solo Performance (P.D.S.P.)

Live audition repertoire
  • Perform a minimum of six pieces of jazz repertoire (of your choice):
    • Blues, ballad, swing tune, bop tune, Latin tune (preferably in Portuguese), scat solo transcription
  • Perform one additional tune of your choice, which could be an original composition.
Live audition requirements
  • Your pieces should represent standard forms (AABA, etc.), as well as standard jazz compositions.
  • You must play piano on one or more of your selections.
  • You must demonstrate a minimum of one-and-one-half octave range including successful negotiation of the passaggio.
  • If you have a "gig" book, please bring it to the audition, as well as a jazz repertoire list (which may be the index for your "gig" book). You may also include a classical repertoire list if you wish.

70+degree programs

Explore your department

9:1student-to-faculty ratio

Meet our faculty