Jazz Studies at The University of Toronto is a close-knit community of creative spirit located in the heart of Canada’s largest and most diverse urban centre.
At U of T Jazz, the best and brightest young musical minds form lifelong bonds with like-minded peers while they interact closely with a faculty comprised of accomplished professional jazz musicians, all of whom are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and passion.
At the core of the program is a philosophy of honoring the jazz tradition while incorporating current trends in modern jazz performance and composition. With an emphasis on team spirit and individual creativity, U of T Jazz students acquire the knowledge, skill, freedom, responsibility and encouragement to forge musical paths into the future. Graduate programs (MM and DMA) offer academic challenges consistent with the University of Toronto’s high standards, while allowing creative musical growth to be enhanced through self-directed curriculum opportunities.
Students enjoy abundant playing opportunities in large and small ensembles. There are many performances throughout the year on and off campus, and rehearsal space is abundant. Weekly masterclasses feature world-class performing artists and speakers from all walks of the music business.
The social experience is as important as the musical at U of T Jazz. Students are highly supportive and push each other towards higher musical goals. Personal expression and innovation is encouraged and celebrated. Intelligent and individual thinking is readily on display; while jazz is the shared passion, conversations in the ‘jazz lounge’ run the gamut of topics.
U of T Jazz students enjoy the benefits of a small, focused program within a highly respected and multi-faceted institution of higher learning, ranked as one of the 25 best universities in the world by the prestigious ARWU. The opportunities for personal growth within the University of Toronto are boundless.
All told, the students, the faculty and the location make the University of Toronto one of the premier locations to study jazz in North America.
Visit the Faculty of Music website for information on all music degrees offered at the University of Toronto:
In addition to meeting University of Toronto general requirements for admission, applicants for the jazz program are chosen via audition. Step one is the submission of a pre-screening DVD and supporting materials. Successful applicants will be invited to audition in person. Click the link below for more information on the audition process.
JAZZ DOWNTOWN WORKSHOPS
U of T Jazz offers one-day workshops during the school year, and a four-day workshop in the summer. This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring jazz students to interact with U of T Jazz faculty, students and alumni, improve their jazz skills and knowledge, and pick up valuable tips on preparing for a university audition, all while getting a first hand view of the U of T Jazz experience.
Everyone on the U of T Jazz faculty is a working professional musician; many are award-winning recording artists. Since students are taught by musicians who are actively involved in the business, the information and advice they receive is relevant and current. Small class sizes guarantee a high degree of personal interaction between students and faculty.
The U of T Jazz students represent some the best and brightest young minds on the musical horizon. A high percentage of the most prominent young jazz musicians in Canada today are graduates of this program. Camaraderie is strong; students share a love of jazz in its myriad forms and challenge and encourage each other to learn, improve, and innovate. At U of T, the jazz stars of tomorrow will become your friends and colleagues today. The relationships that are forged here will last a lifetime.
Each student receives 24 hours of private instruction per year. Lessons deal with not only the technical and musical aspects of playing your instrument and improvising, but also all facets of managing a musical career. Your teacher will become your mentor, a source of advice and inspiration.
Classes cover theory, jazz composition, jazz arranging and orchestration, improvisation and ear training. Click the links below for specific course information.
U of T Jazz boasts three jazz orchestras, a composer’s workshop 12tet, 13 small ensembles, 2 graduate ensembles and a vocal jazz ensemble. Each student plays in at least two ensembles. Performance opportunities are numerous throughout the year, at The Rex Jazz Bar, Hart House, Walter Hall and MacMillan Theatre. Each ensemble has the opportunity to record at the end of the year. Click the link below for more information.
A weekly masterclass series brings in musicians and representatives from the music business. These are lively sessions filled with questions. A short list of musicians who have visited the school includes: Tim Hagans, Lee Konitz, Donny McCaslin, David Binny, Jim Black, Kenny Werner, Jim McNeely, Kenny Wheeler, Fred Hersch, John Aebercrombie, Bill Reichenbach, Kurt Elling, Jim Snidero, Ian Froman, Scott Robinson, Maria Schneider, Scott Colley and Rich Perry.
U of T is located in the heart of downtown Toronto, one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world. You are steps from great shopping and restaurants and the subway stops at our door, giving you quick and easy access to everything that Toronto has to offer. While the Jazz Program is small and intimate, you are very much a part of the overall U of T community and in the center of the city action.
U of T Jazz offers an Outreach Program. Our students will come to your school to perform for and work with your students. This peer-to-peer interaction is extraordinarily effective for all. Your students see what is possible to achieve in just a few years with hard work and dedication, and our students get valuable experience teaching what they have so recently learned. Outreach groups can range from a quartet all the way to a jazz orchestra.