Classes & activities
Students on the Master of Arts (MA) and the Master of Music (MMus) participate in exactly the same Jazz Department classes, ensembles and other activities.
The MMus is identical at jazz department level but includes the addition of a Master’s Project, which can be: a concert with commentary; a recording-based project; a dissertation; or a mixture of these.
Jazz Postgraduate Students usually take the two-year MA programme as undertaking their own projects tends to be something with which they are already familiar.
The Master's courses are designed as two-year courses. Based on an applicant’s circumstances and prior experience, we can discuss at audition whether completing the course in one year (named intensive in UCAS) is a suitable option.
- Principal Study
45 hours per year of one-to-one instrumental lessons culminating in an end-of-year recital.
- Second Study (optional)
Provision is available for tuition on a second-study instrument (5 or 10 hours per year). You must apply to your tutor at the start of the academic year.
- Ensemble Projects
These comprise weekly workshops and culminate in a public performance. The programme of concerts will vary from project to project and provides a foundation of core knowledge and experience, enabling you to undertake a broad ensemble schedule throughout your studies. In February there is an intensive Jazz Festival featuring inter-year ensembles with various guest artists.
- Jazz Orchestra
Postgraduate students get a chance to participate in the Jazz Orchestra during their studies. Projects feature a wide range of repertoire, guest soloists, composers and directors, culminating in a public concert in the Academy or at an external venue.
- Professional Development
In an increasingly competitive musical profession, you will need to be equipped with the essential tools to flourish. We have excellent links with the jazz media and industry, resulting in regular seminars with journalists, broadcasters and record label owners. At the end of the BMus and Postgraduate Programmes there is a Professional Development Portfolio that includes many key documents and real-world examples, such as writing funding applications and press releases. You also have the chance to study for the additional LRAM teaching diploma.
- Composition and Arranging
Postgraduate students receive the full teaching from the undergraduate C&A classes, in addition to weekly workshops in the Postgraduate Jazz Composers Ensemble. Students develop a portfolio of pieces written for the group, presenting their work in a public concert in the final term of their graduating year.
- Rhythmic Studies of the African Diaspora (PG1) / Contemporary Rhythmic Skills (PG2)
This introduces non-Western principles of rhythm drawn from Asian, African and Latin American traditions. The course aims to familiarise you with techniques of group co-ordination, and with individual and collective learning methods appropriate to aural/oral methodologies. Teaching areas include case studies of tribal musics; rhythm studies; transcription; composition and arrangement analysis; group movement and co-ordination; ensemble drumming; additive rhythm; and percussion techniques. This introduces non-Western principles of rhythm drawn from Asian, African and Latin American traditions. The course aims to familiarise you with techniques of group co-ordination and with individual and collective learning methods appropriate to aural/oral methodologies.
- Repertoire and Improvisation
You will learn a list of commonly played tunes by ear, all of which typify a particular harmonic or compositional device. You will then use these tunes to explore a variety of improvisational approaches and strategies.
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