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List of 10 Best Jazz Schools in the US

Are You a lover of jazz music who has the passion to go into jazz music industry, but doesn’t know the best jazz music school to apply for in pursuit of your dream?

Here is a guide that will help you to know and also select the best jazz music in US without stress. Jazz is a uniquely American form of music, and United States does not have shortage of great jazz schools.

Many of the top-ranked programs have been around for decades and offer a range of degrees in all aspects of jazz in the United States. See Best Pre-Med Schools in Virginia

These programs are led by faculty who include some of the most renowned jazz performers around, and scholars have many opportunities to perform in campus ensembles as well as at venues near their schools.

Since the inception of these jazz programs, they have also grown, with many schools now offering masters and doctoral programs in the field.

Scholars can pursue degrees in performance, both vocal and instrumental, as well as jazz composition, depending on the school.

Though Modern music education does not just involve training scholars to become performers, Today, programs have embraced the importance of preparing scholars in all aspects of a career, giving them a background in areas like business.

So many jazz schools have commenced dual-degree programs to enable Scholars pursue their passion as jazz musicians while also earning a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts or other fields.

The 10 best jazz schools in the United States, starting from what degrees they offer to the admissions and auditioning process.

1. University of Southern California Thornton School of Music (Los Angeles, CA)

The University of Southern California’s jazz studies program was one of the country’s first, and its alumni and faculty members have been nominated for prestigious awards like the Grammys.

Jazz musicians can pursue not only undergraduate degrees in the specialty but also graduate degrees, certificates, and diplomas.

USC also offers a minor in jazz studies. Undergraduates can expect to take foundational classes in subjects such as music theory and aural skills along with the university’s regular general education courses. To graduate, they also need to finish a capstone project, which can be a recital.

The music school has five jazz-focused ensembles, including two jazz orchestras. Students also can participate in the Jazz Honors Combo; ALAJE, the Afro-Latin American Jazz Ensemble; and the USC CreSCendo Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

2. The Juilliard School (New York, NY)

The Juilliard school located in New York is the second one of the best 10 jazz schools in the US. Scholars who attend Juillard school learn from highly respected jazz performers.

Moreover, to master their performance skills in private lessons, scholars take a mix of other classes to best prepare them for careers in not only the music industry but also the wider world.

That means undergraduate lessons include music theory and history as well as the liberal arts.

Entrepreneurship also plays a large part in the Julliard experience. The school’s Alan D. Marks Center for Career Services and Entrepreneurship offers various workshops and panel discussions to help students develop skills like public speaking.

The career center also can assist set them up with freelance jobs to gain experience in addition to the various campus ensembles in which they’ll perform.

Ensembles play in Julliard facilities and around New York City, including at the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center.

3. Manhattan School of Music (New York, NY)

The jazz program at the Manhattan School of Music offers bachelors and masters in music plus a doctorate in jazz arts advancement.

Undergraduates can major in various instruments within the jazz program, but vocal studies are only offered at the masters and doctoral levels. The school also offers a master’s degree in jazz composition.

Jazz scholars are needed to participate in ensembles, which include three types of orchestras and a big band, and guest soloists join the groups each season.

Guest artists also routinely visit to conduct master classes in which students can perform and gain feedback.

The jazz school does prescreen applicants for both its undergraduate and graduate programs, and the exact requirements for this depend on what instrument the candidate plays and/or the particular program he or she wants to pursue.

After the prescreening, those who continued with the admissions process undergo an audition.

4. New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA)

New England Conservatory of Music is located in Boston and it is the first fully accredited program of its kind at the conservatory level. The New England Conservatory’s jazz program has trained performers for nearly five decades.

Undergraduates interested in jazz can choose from two bachelor of music degrees, jazz composition or jazz performance.

Double majors let them also earn a degree in music history, music theory, or composition, or they can add a second performance area.

The conservatory also has master of music and doctoral degrees and graduate diplomas in both jazz composition and performance.

The school takes a unique approach to education, with the renowned performers on the conservatory’s faculty mentoring students in private lessons.

When it comes to performing, the conservatory focuses on small ensembles, with faculty guiding 27 student groups that cover a wide range of jazz styles.

5. University of Miami Frost School of Music (Coral Gables, FL)

The Frost School of Music is located in Coral Gables, FL at US, the school has so many jazz degrees available within its Department of Studio Music & Jazz.

Scholars can earn a bachelor’s degree in either vocal or instrumental studio jazz, taking classes in performance and more technical subjects, such as composition and improvisation.

Opportunities for graduate students are abundant, with a master of music and doctorate degrees in both vocal and instrumental jazz performance available. Other master’s degrees include studio jazz writing and jazz pedagogy.

Outside the classroom, jazz students have 13 ensembles to choose from, giving them a chance to perform different styles of jazz in both large and small groups.

The experience seems to prepare scholars well for life after Miami. Frost says that within six months of graduation, 91.3% of graduates either obtain a full-time job or move on to graduate school.

6. Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA)

Berklee College of Music offers lots of degree options, including undergraduate and graduate, not only at its original Boston campus but also online and at several Berklee satellite campuses spread around the world.

These degrees offered include the bachelor of music in jazz composition, in which they learn about the history of jazz, attend live performances, and learn the various techniques involved in writing music.

Undergraduates also can pursue a minor in the theory of jazz and popular song. At the graduate level, Berklee offers a master of music focusing on global jazz at its Boston campus, in which students learn through a special performance program, the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.

Berklee has several music and performance-focused student clubs and organizations, including the co-ed vocal jazz group Point of Departure.

7. The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (New York, NY)

The New School’s jazz school is located in New York, NY. The school is relatively new, having opened in 1986 with the goal of having professional musicians teach the next generation of performers.

Scholars in the school can earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in jazz and contemporary music in which they focus on either an instrument or vocals.

Or, they can pursue the dual-degree track, a five-year program in which they earn the BFA as well as a liberal arts bachelor’s degree.

Those who have interest in graduate studies have a few options, including a five-year program in which students earn the BFA and then a master of arts in arts management and entrepreneurship.

The New School also has two graduate programs that span different parts of its College of Performing Arts, the master of arts in arts management and the master of music in performer-composer.

8. University of North Texas College of Music (Denton, TX)

The University of North Texas’ College of Music currently celebrated its 75th anniversary of its jazz program, which offered the first jazz studies degree in the world.

Since starting its first laboratory band in 1946, the school has become known in part for its Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band.

Presently, the school is home to several academic divisions, including jazz studies, in which students can focus on vocals, composition, or different instruments. In addition to the bachelor of music in jazz studies, the UNT offers two graduate degrees.

In the master of music in jazz studies program, students can take either the jazz performance or jazz composition track. Students pursuing a doctorate in performance can choose the jazz concentration.

It is mandatory for all applicants to make a pre-screening audition video available, and those who are qualified then must take an aural skills and jazz theory test, which they will take the day of their audition.

9. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (Bloomington, IN)

Jazz study is one of 22 subjects students can pursue at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where they’ll learn about not only performing jazz music but also its history, composition, and other topics that provide an intimate understanding of the musical genre.

Undergraduates can earn either a bachelor of music in jazz studies or a bachelor of science in music and another field with a jazz emphasis, while the graduate program offers both a master’s degree and a doctorate in music.

The music school has numerous instrumental and vocal ensembles, including five focusing on jazz, including the All-Campus Jazz Ensemble, which is open to everyone on campus, even non-music majors.

Aspiring students must do a live audition and interview with the university. Depending on their instrument, candidates may also need to submit a pre-screening recording of their performance before they move on to the audition phase.

10. Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Oberlin, OH)

Oberlin College is made up of two divisions, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music, the conservatory of music commenced in 1865. The conservatory has just 540 scholars and a low student-faculty ratio of 6:1.

They can choose from 42 areas of private study, including jazz composition and jazz performance, and participate in over 30 Scholars ensembles.

Oberlin conservatory of music also offers a dual-degree program in which music students can earn a bachelor of arts in addition to a bachelor of music.

This makes it possible for them to earn a degree not only in an area like jazz performance but also history, law, and other topics.

Applicants should get ready for the audition to earn a place in the conservatory, which they can do in person or by recording.

They also must submit two letters of recommendation from music teachers or someone who can provide insight into the applicant’s musical talent and history.

All the best 10 jazz music school in US. has been listed in this article as a guide, to help jazz music prospective students to select the ones that are best for them. Don’t hesitate to ask your question in the comment box if you have any.

Last Updated on June 4, 2023 by Admin

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