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Jazz Policy

Every student pursuing a B.M. in Jazz Studies must take a jury each semester he/she is enrolled in the Division of Music. The Applied Jazz Faculty may excuse students from a jury by majority vote at its discretion.

Students unable to take a jury for medical reasons must present a doctor’s excuse acceptable to the Applied Jazz Faculty before the end of final exam week. Excused students will be given an incomplete which must be made up before mid-term of the next fall or spring semester.

The Applied Jazz Faculty will exercise its prerogative to raise, maintain or lower a student’s current level at the jury examination. Jury levels will be assigned by a vote, with each faculty member in attendance receiving one vote. The majority vote will decide the level. In the event of a tie vote, the student’s major teacher will have the tie-breaking vote. A level may be lowered only after a student has failed to advance at the previous jury examination, as a probationary warning to the student. A cap of one whole level will be the maximum any level can be lowered in a given semester.

A minimum of two professors from the area will be in attendance during the juries. The Applied Jazz Area is committed to having every member in attendance; however, in instances of medical emergency or professional obligations, this may not be possible.

Each professor will forward written comments to the student’s Applied Jazz teacher. The teacher will then distribute these comments to the students. A follow-up appointment with each individual student is the prerogative of the Director of Jazz Studies.

The Criteria for Judging Critical Levels

  • BM in Jazz-Level 10: Students must show a basic mastery of chord/scale theory, jazz repertoire, jazz styles, musical expression, and improvisational techniques. Students should demonstrate a characteristic sound on their instruments. The award of a Level 10 indicates proficiency on the instrument and knowledge of jazz and related styles by which a performer could gain entry to a nationally recognized Master’s degree jazz or improvisation program in the United States. Students must demonstrate musical maturity and artistic sensibility.