Jazz Comprehensive and Jazz Education
Posted by Chase Sanborn

logogifThe Jazz Comprehensive and Jazz MusEd streams offer tailored programs of study within the Jazz Program at U of T.

Jazz MusEd
Jazz MusEd combines much of the Jazz Performance curriculum with a rich and varied offering of Music Education courses designed to prepare thoughtful, musically sensitive, and technically skilled music educators. Music Education graduates currently teach in settings from preschools to universities and in a variety of community organizations. Some have pursued graduate work in music; others have chosen to combine careers as artist-teachers or have gone into related fields in the arts where their broad musical background has been an asset. For those students wishing to teach within the school system, a Bachelor of Education degree at a Faculty of Education must be completed following graduation.

Jazz Comprehensive

The Jazz Comprehensive stream has two primary objectives:

  • To provide curricular flexibility to candidates whose primary interest is jazz performance, but who may have additional interests or goals.
  • To provide flexibility within the jazz program to deliver instruction that is relevant and appropriate for a wide range of ability and experience.

Comprehensive retains much of the Jazz Performance curriculum while offering students freedom to design part of their program of study around individual interests that may not otherwise be accommodated through our specialized degree programs. The flexibility in the program makes it well suited to students wanting to complete a major in a discipline in the Faculty of Arts & Science. Combining a core music program with an emphasis on breadth in musical disciplines and interdisciplinary flexibility opens up a range of music-related careers and graduate study options such as arts management, music journalism, entertainment law, audio recording and music business.

What are the similarities and differences between the three streams?

  • All jazz students take Ear Training, Materials, Applied Lessons and Large Jazz Ensemble (LJE) in Years 1 & 2, and Jazz History in Year 2. (Note: any student not placed in a large ensemble will fulfill the required credit by playing in a Small Jazz Ensemble (SJE). See Jazz Workshop.)
  • Jazz Performance and JazzEd students continue in years 3 & 4 with LJE and Applied as required courses. These courses are available as electives for Jazz Comprehensive students.
  • Jazz Performance majors take Improvisation as a required course in Years 1 & 2. Advanced Improvisation is available as an elective in Years 3 & 4. For Jazz Comprehensive and JazzEd students, Improvisation is an elective subject to approval of the instructors. (see Jazz Workshop)
  • Jazz Performance students are required to play in a Small Jazz Ensemble in years 1 and 2. SJEs are available as electives in years 3 & 4.
    Small Jazz Ensembles are available as electives for Jazz Performance and JazzEd students, subject to audition. (see Jazz Workshop)
  • All jazz students play a jury at the end of years 1 and 2. The repertoire requirements are reduced for JazzEd and Jazz Comprehensive students.
    Jazz Performance students play a recital at the end of Years 3 and 4. There is no recital requirement for JazzEd and Jazz Comprehensive students.

Can Jazz Comprehensive and JazzEd students switch to Performance?
Jazz Comprehensive and JazzEd students may request an audition at the end of the first year to determine whether they are eligible to switch to Performance for the following year.

Jazz Workshop
One of the Small Jazz Ensembles is designated as a Jazz Workshop. While this ensemble will have the opportunity to perform during the year, the primary focus is on learning within an ensemble setting, focusing on the core elements of jazz improvisation and performance. Most JazzEd or Jazz Comprehensive students not assigned to a Large Jazz Ensemble will be assigned to the Jazz Workshop to fulfill your required ensemble credit. All other JazzEd and Jazz Comprehensive students (or Performance students who feel they would benefit) are strongly encouraged to take this course as an elective credit in your first year. It will provide important groundwork should you wish to take Improvisation as an elective in future years (or transfer to Performance), and will reinforce the concepts taught in Ear Training and Materials.

Do Jazz Comprehensive and JazzEd students feel that they are part of the ‘jazz family’?
Very much so. Much of the curriculum is the same, and the bulk of your time, both structured and unstructured, will be spent with your fellow jazz students. You have the same opportunity to hang, jam with and learn from your fellow students, and you have the possibility of auditioning into the Performance program in coming years. In fact, some of our most advanced Performance students have gone the other way, transferring into the Comprehensive program in order to take advantage of the flexibility offered by that program. The biggest hurdle is getting into the Jazz Program to begin with; once that hurdle is crossed the options remain open.

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