Junior Jazz helps jazz musicians aged 14 to 18 to develop their skills, confidence and passion for jazz

Previous students include Joe Armon-Jones, Jacob Collier, Kit Downes, Nubya Garcia, Michael Kiwanuka, Femi Koleoso and Alexandra Ridout.

Working under the direction of Gareth Lockrane and Matt Anderson, you will receive a weekly small-ensemble session and, over the course of the year, take part in masterclasses and workshops with renowned jazz performers and educators. In recent years, students have had the opportunity to work with Pete Churchill, Bokani Dyer, Adam Glasser, Dave Holland, Nikki Iles, Pete King, Dick Oatts, Jason Rebello and Gwilym Simcock, among others.

You will also enjoy numerous performance opportunities, including a summer term concert at Soho Pizza Express or Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

We welcome applications for the following:


Work is largely practical, with most learning and performing happening in small ensembles. You will focus on improvisation, the study of harmonic and rhythmic elements, and playing in a variety of styles.

The course also includes the arrangement of standard jazz tunes for ensembles, and the importance of the ear/instrument relationship in jazz performance is strongly emphasised. You will be encouraged to listen to a wide range of genres and will learn about some of the musicians of the past who helped to shape the development of jazz.

One of our key aims is to prepare students thoroughly for further specialist study, and graduates of the Junior Jazz Programme have had an almost 100% success rate of gaining entry to one of the UK conservatoire jazz courses.

We have close links with the senior Jazz Department, led by Nick Smart, and junior and senior students regularly work together.

The course is aimed at ages 14 to 18 and is nominally a two-year programme. Places on the Junior Jazz course are offered subject to continuing satisfactory progress and commitment.

Grades are not a specific requirement to be on the jazz course, but the general instrumental entry level tends to be Grade 6 or 7 and above, with a good level of aural ability, rhythmic internal groove, sight-reading skills and playing in an ensemble.

Rhythm section players will definitely benefit from prior experience of playing in groups (and picking things up by ear in that environment), reading rhythms and lead sheets with chord symbols.

Academic Yearper termper annum

Fees are payable each term on receipt of an invoice.

A full term’s notice in writing is required for withdrawal of a pupil from the course. A term’s fee will be charged in lieu of such notice.

There are no set requirements for the Junior Jazz audition. It will take the form of a workshop, similar to that which you will experience on a weekly basis if you are offered a place on the course. Throughout the audition workshop, our course leaders will assess your skills and ability to interact with other players.

Candidates do not need to prepare any particular pieces or scales. The following, however, will definitely help your ability to be relaxed, flexible and interactive on the day:

  • A prior knowledge of core jazz jam session repertoire (blues, rhythm changes, Autumn Leaves, All the Things you are, Take the A train, Perdido etc)
  • Some extensive listening to jazz and other jazz-related music (starting to find players you particularly like)
  • An understanding of basic jazz harmony and relevant scales/chord tones/chord symbols

Applications for entry in September 2024 are now closed.