Sep 27, 2022
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)
Music Theory and Aural Skills (16 credits)
Music History (12 credits)
Functional Piano (4 credits, not required for pianists)
Applied Music (27-30 credits)
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.
Students majoring in instrumental jazz performance must complete both a jazz jury and a classical jury on their primary instrument each semester with the exception of the semester in which they perform the Senior Recital. The typical sequence would allow for a check jury in the fall semester and a level jury in the spring semester. Instrumental jazz performance majors are required to pass Jazz Jury Level 3 and Classical MUE Jury Level 3, prior to performing their Senior Recital.
Students majoring in vocal jazz performance must take a jury every semester with the exception of the semester in which they perform the Senior Recital. The typical sequence would allow for a check jury in the fall semester and a level jury in the spring semester. Students must take a classical Proficiency Level 1 jury at the end of two semesters of study, and a classical Proficiency Level 2 jury at the end of four semesters of study. In addition, they must perform at least two classical pieces in Recital Class. The first classical piece will be performed prior to the completion of their sophomore year and the second prior to the completion of their senior year.
For instrumental jazz students, the Junior Recital should consist of 25 minutes of jazz repertoire. The Senior Recital should consist of 25 minutes of jazz repertoire and 25 minutes of classical repertoire. The Senior Recital may be performed after the successful completion of both Jazz Jury Level 3 and Classical Jury Level 3. Recital jazz repertoire shall demonstrate the student’s skills at improvisation, composition/arranging and their technical proficiency and musicianship. Programming for both recitals should be chosen under the guidance of their applied instructors.
For vocal jazz students, the Junior Recital should consist of 25 minutes of jazz repertoire and may be performed after the successful completion of the classical Proficiency Level II jury. The Senior Recital may be performed after the successful completion of Jazz Jury Level 3. Recital repertoire shall demonstrate the student’s skills at improvisation, composition/arranging and their technical proficiency and musicianship. Programming for both recitals should be selected under the guidance of their applied instructor.
Ensembles (8 credits)
Students should take a minimum of .5 credits 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.
- Major Ensemble, non-Jazz (4 semesters) Credits: 2
- (University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Concert Band or Symphony Orchestra)
- Large Jazz Ensemble (8 semesters) Credits: 4
- Chamber Jazz Ensemble (4 semesters) Credits: 2
Additional Music Courses (17 credits)
Additional Non-music courses (9 credits)
- One approved course from the School of Business Credits: 3
- Electives from any college: Credits 6
Admission is based on the following criteria:
- Performance audition on the applicant’s major instrument.
- Tests of aural comprehension, rhythmic recitation, and sight singing administered individually by a member of the staff.
- A diagnostic written test of music fundamentals, including intervals, scales, chords, and key signatures.
USM Core Requirements
The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements.
Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fulfilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor. For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.