Junior Jazz

A jazz musicianship course for 14 to 18 year olds.

The Junior Jazz course was established in 2003 to help to develop students of school age with a strong interest in jazz.

The closing date for applications will be 14 April 2020.

To make an application for Junior Jazz please click here.

Due to COVID-19, the Junior Jazz auditions will no longer take place live on Sunday 26 April.  Instead we will be asking applicants to submit a video for our audition panel to the Academy’s online platform by Sunday 10 May. Full details on the content of the video and how to upload it will be sent to all applicants on Wednesday 15 April.

We will also be extending the closing date for applications to Tuesday 14 April.

We welcome applications from the following:

  • Piano
  • Bass
  • Drums/percussion
  • Guitar
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Saxophone
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Voice

Course leader and combo tutor - Gareth Lockrane
Combo tutor Matt Anderson
Course administrator: Karen Ingram
Tel 020 7873 7380
Email juniorjazz@ram.ac.uk


Fees for the academic year 2019/20 will be £492 per term (£1,476 pa), and there will be a modest percentage increase for 2020/21.

A limited amount of bursary assistance is available for students who can demonstrate financial need.


The course is nominally a two-year programme and places on the Junior Jazz course are offered subject to continuing satisfactory progress and commitment. The student’s best interests are the priority and they will be placed in the most appropriate ensemble accordingly. A full term of notice in writing is required for withdrawal from the course or a term’s fees are payable in lieu of notice.

There are three terms of eleven teaching weeks, following the normal pattern of school terms, with a half-term Saturday break in the middle of each term.

The Course

The course places young musicians into small ensembles where most of their learning and performing is done. Work is largely practical, focusing on improvisation, study of harmonic and rhythmic elements and playing in a variety of styles. The importance of the ‘ear/instrument relationship’ in jazz performance is strongly emphasised and listening across genres is encouraged throughout the course. The course also includes the arrangement of standard jazz tunes for ensembles. An appreciation of the key events and musicians who have shaped the development of jazz in the past is given due emphasis.

The Junior Jazz course also provides the invaluable opportunity to meet and make music with like-minded young players. Although the course cannot guarantee subsequent entrance to the undergraduate Jazz course at the Academy, an aim of the provision is to prepare students thoroughly for further specialist study at Higher Education level and graduates of the Junior Jazz course have had an almost 100% success rate of gaining entry to one of the UK Conservatoire jazz courses. There are close links with the Senior Academy Jazz Department (director Nick Smart) and senior students regularly work with the Junior Jazz course.

Tuition and performance

Teaching sessions take place on Saturdays at the Royal Academy of Music, from either 10am–1pm or 2–5pm.

Since 2006 the summer term concerts have been at Soho Pizza Express or Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club with John Parricelli, Gerard Presencer, Norma Winstone, Julian Siegel, Stan Sulzmann, Mike Walker and Soweto Kinch, Tim Garland and Julian Arguelles.

Workshops and masterclasses have been led by some of the UK’s leading performers and educators including the original patron of the course, the late great Kenny Wheeler, and also the likes of Dave Liebman, our new patron Dave Holland, Jason Rebello, Pete King, Bokani Dyer, Adam Glasser, Gwilym Simcock, Nikki Iles, Paul Clarvis, Phil Robson, Sam Lasserson, Gene Calderazzo, Jim Hart, Pete Churchill, Gareth Williams, Stephen Keogh, Martin France, Mike Gorman, Matt Skelton, Paul Booth, Andrew Bain, Karl Rasheed-Abel and Steve Watts.

In Autumn 2014 the students performed a special concert at London’s Kings Place to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the course.

Regular jazz course concerts are also held at the Royal Academy of Music throughout the year.

Every year a leading ensemble spends a day working with the students on the repertoire of that particular group and participating in masterclasses with the three student groups as well as frontline workshops with the horn players and rhythm section workshops. These have included Perfect Houseplants, Stan Sulzmann’s Neon Trio, Partisans, Jason Rebello/Jean Toussaint Quartet, Iain Ballamy’s Anorak, Bobby Wellins/Liam Noble Quartet, Jim Mullen’s Organ Trio, Michael Janisch’s Paradigm Shift and the Peter King Quartet. Through the senior department many international artists are also available to Junior Jazz and students have participated in masterclasses with Dave Liebman, Mark Turner, Bokani Dyer, Mike Moreno, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas and Dave Holland.

The progress, involvement and commitment of all students is monitored throughout the course.