Jazz Performance, Minor

Program Code: JAZZP_UMNR

Program Description

Administered by faculty from the College of Arts and Architecture's School of Music, the minor in Jazz Performance is designed to give Music majors and non-Music majors experience in the performance, theory, and history of jazz music.

Students will perform in a variety of the jazz ensembles offered by the School of Music, take private instruction in jazz improvisation with a designated jazz instructor on the School of Music faculty, and take courses in jazz history, improvisation and pedagogy. For Music majors, the Jazz Performance minor will provide: 1) a course of study in jazz at a higher level and with more detailed instruction as a supplement to their studies in classical and traditional music; 2) training in a very important and prevalent musical genre for careers in performance or teaching; and, 3) for those students who may already participate significantly in the jazz offerings, an official recognition on the student record of detailed study in jazz that will provide credentials when seeking employment.

For non-Music majors, the Jazz Performance minor will provide: 1) an opportunity to continue formalized study in an area in which they have been highly active before college, such as music lessons, ensembles, and choirs 2) an opportunity to build music into their lives as a stimulating and balancing influence; and, 3) for those students who may already participate significantly in the jazz offerings, an official recognition on the student record of study in jazz that will indicate versatility and artistic activity when seeking employment in another field.

For both Music majors and non-Music majors, the Jazz Performance minor will provide a deeper musical experience in and greater awareness of a musical art form that derives from African-American culture.

You Might Like This Program If...

You are interested in performing, recording, composing, creating and arranging within various jazz and contemporary music genres, this minor might be for you. Instruction in the history, theory and the musical skills needed to improvise and create is delivered in this 18 credit minor. This minor provides an opportunity for non-majors who were active in their high school music programs to continue and deepen their experience in the JCM genres. Activities such as: jazz big band, small combos, jazz vocal ensemble, recording projects and various performances, on and off campus, are a part of the experience. Music majors do not have to audition for this minor, but must declare it as well as fulfill the required coursework. Non-majors must audition for the minor with an aptitude level approximately equivalent to that which is required to participate in the school of music JCM ensembles.

Entrance to Minor

Non-Music majors must audition for acceptance into the Jazz Performance minor. Music majors are not required to audition for the Jazz Performance minor.

For non-Music majors, an audition is required for admission to the Jazz Performance minor. Because all tracks of the Music major require an audition for admission, current Music majors will not need to audition for the Jazz Performance minor. Music majors may complete their Jazz Performance minor along with their Music major with careful selection of ensembles, electives, and additional courses.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MUSIC 84Jazz Ensemble Keystone/General Education Course 12
MUSIC 181Jazz Improvisation I2
MUSIC 182Jazz Improvisation II2
MUSIC 421Jazz Combo Class 12
MUSIC 422Jazz Harmony and Arranging3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
AFAM 207NJazz and the African American Experience Keystone/General Education Course3
or MUSIC 7 Evolution of Jazz Keystone/General Education Course
JAZZ 100Jazz Performance Studies 12
or JAZZ 110 Jazz Performance Studies
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Take 2 additional credits in the jazz or commerical music area in consultation with jazz faculty and adviser2

MUSIC 84 and MUSIC 421 are to be taking twice to earn 2 credits for each course


Students will repeat JAZZ 100, a 1-credit course, for a total of 2 credits

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Margret Higgins
Academic Adviser
104 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802


University Park

N. Allen Rd.
Music Building I
University Park, PA 16802