Jazz Studies Degree Program

DIRECTORY
Introduction
Jazz Studies Degree Requirements
Jazz Course Descriptions
Suggested Four-Year Degree Plan
Entrance Auditions
Learning Outcomes & Objectives
Music Theory & Piano Placement Exams
Ensemble Placement & Requirements
Jazz Performance Juries
Jazz Studies Resources & Facilities
General Information
Senior Jazz Recital
Jazz Studies Senior Projects
Perspectives on Being a Jazz Major
Orientation for Jazz Majors
Requirements For Becoming a Good Jazz Improviser

Printable Version of the information on this page


The Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies at Sacramento State University is designed to produce performers of unique versatility and flexibility. The program offers a balance of instruction in jazz performance, traditional concepts, and a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of music. The Jazz Studies Program at Sacramento State provides private instruction, classes and ensembles covering a wide range of musical styles. Music students who major in Jazz Studies at Sac State benefit from a program that not only prepares them for careers as professional performers, but also gives them the skills they need to adapt and succeed in a changing world. This program of study is available on Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone, Piano, Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Voice.

For current information regarding Sacramento State music admissions and audition requirements, please visit http://www.csus.edu/music/admissions


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DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies

Total units: 129
Total music units: 78

A. Required Lower Division Core Courses (29 units)

(2) MUSC 001
(2) MUSC 002
(3) MUSC 003
(3) MUSC 005
(3) MUSC 006
(3) MUSC 007
(3) MUSC 009
(3) MUSC 10A
(3) MUSC 10B
(4) MUSC 142

Musicianship I (Corequisite: MUSC 006)
Musicianship II (Corequisite: MUSC 007)
MIDI Sequencing & Notation
Beginning Theory
Intermediate Theory
Advanced Theory
Music of World Cultures
Survey of Music Literature
Survey of Music Literature
Large Performance Ensembles

B. Required Upper Division Core Courses (14 units)

(3) MUSC 110A
(3) MUSC 110B
(2) MUSC 151
(3) MUSC 105
(3) MUSC 106

History of Music
History of Music
Fundamentals of Conducting
20th Century Theory
Form & Analysis

C. Jazz Studies Concentration Requirements (35 units)

(1) MUSC 14D
(2) MUSC 161
(1) MUSC 15
(2) MUSC 108A
(2) MUSC 108B
(2) MUSC 140
(4) MUSC 143J
     MUSC 143V
(2) MUSC 43A
(2) MUSC 43B
(3) MUSC 118B
(2) MUSC 185J
(4) MUSC 50
(8) MUSC 150

Basic Piano for Majors
Jazz Pedagogy
Jazz Piano Class
Jazz Arranging I
Jazz Arranging II
Jazz Theory
Instrumental Jazz Ensembles  OR
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Jazz Improvisation I
Jazz Improvisation II
American Popular Music: Jazz History
Senior Recital - Jazz
Jazz Applied Lessons (lower division)
Jazz Applied Lessons (upper division)

D. General Education Requirement (51 Units)



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JAZZ COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

MUSC 015 Jazz Piano Class
Provides basic instruction in keyboard skills and jazz theory. Includes composing, basic chord voicing, realizing chord progressions at sight, and fitting chords to a given melody. Prerequisite: MUSC 014D or instructor permission. (1 unit)

MUSC 43A Jazz Improvisation I
Part one of a two-semester study of jazz improvisation required of all jazz majors. Provides the student with basic and intermediate skills of creative improvisation styles in the jazz idiom. In order to expand the skill level of improvisation for each particular jazz student, the class will focus on four main areas of concentration: 1) listening, 2) scale and chord, development, 3) repertory development, and 4) transcribing jazz solos. Prerequisite: MUSC 006 or instructor permission. (2 units)

MUSC 43B Jazz Improvisation II
Part two of a two-semester study of jazz improvisation required of all jazz majors. Provides student with intermediate and advanced skills of creative improvisation styles in the jazz idiom. In order to expand the skill levels of improvisation for each particular jazz student, the class will focus on four main areas of concentration: 1) listening, 2) scale and chord, development, 3) repertory development, 4) transcribing jazz solos. Prerequisite: MUSC 043A - or instructor permission. (2 units)

MUSC 50 Jazz Applied: Intermediate - Lower Division Lessons
Individual instruction in jazz performance. Note: May be taken for credit four times. Prerequisite: Approval by jazz area committee and instructor permission. (1 unit)

MUSC 150 Jazz Applied: Advanced - Upper Division Lessons
Individual instruction in jazz performance. Note: May be taken for credit four times. Prerequisite: Approval by jazz area committee and instructor permission. (2 units)

MUSC 108A Jazz Arranging I
Part one of a two-semester study of jazz arranging. This course provides basic and intermediate tools of creative writing and arranging styles in the jazz idiom as applied to the small jazz ensemble (jazz combo). Prerequisite: MUSC 003 or instructor permission. (2 units)

MUSC 108B Jazz Arranging II
Part two of a two-semester study of jazz arranging. This course addresses creative writing in the idiom of the large jazz ensemble (big band). Two major projects are required, performed, and recorded. Jazz orchestration is the central focus with special attention to the idiomatic demands from the sections of the big band and how they relate to each other. Prerequisite: MUSC 108A or instructor permission. (2 units)

MUSC 118B American Popular Music: Jazz History
A survey of jazz history. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of different jazz styles and trends, through the study of recorded examples and videos by some of the major artists of the 20th century. Discussion of the social conditions surrounding the evolution of jazz will be included. (3 units)

MUSC 140 Jazz Theory
Introduction to the jazz language: harmony, form, style, chord/scale relationships, and ear training. (2 units)

MUSC 143J Instrumental Jazz Ensembles
Rehearsal and performance of literature written for instrumental jazz ensembles. Placement determined by audition only. Note: May be repeated (1 unit)

MUSC 143V Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Rehearsal and performance of literature written for vocal jazz ensembles. Placement determined by audition only. Note: May be repeated (1 unit)

MUSC 144I Jazz Combos
Jazz combos provide a creative outlet for the beginning improviser as well as the advanced. Students work closely under the direction of faculty within assigned combos to develop proficiency in the art and craft of jazz improvisation and small group jazz ensemble playing. Groups are often organized according to themes where the repertoire of a specific composer or genre is addressed. Placement determined by audition only. Note: May be repeated. (1 unit)

MUSC 161 Jazz Pedagogy
Develops skills in the teaching of jazz in all of its facets and dimensions by a variety of approaches to materials, techniques, and philosophies surrounding jazz education. Choosing, editing, rehearsing, and programming concert materials will be taught. Also taught are scheduling, music, equipment maintenance, basic administration concerns, and other factors pertinent to operating a jazz program. (2 units)

MUSC 185J Senior Recital
A formal recital demonstrating the performance abilities of the student is required of all majors completing the Bachelor's Degree of Music in Jazz Studies. Students must receive permission from the Director of Jazz Studies in order to enroll. Ordinarily, students will have successfully completed the two semesters of Jazz Theory and Improvisation (MUSC 43A & 43B) and the appropriate applied juries prior to registering for the Jazz Recital. (2 units)


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SUGGESTED FOUR YEAR DEGREE PLAN
BACHELOR OF MUSIC IN JAZZ STUDIES
Total Units: 129
Total Music Units: 78
FRESHMAN YEAR
Fall Semester: 17 units
____(3)
____(3)
____(1)
____(3)
____(1)
____(1)
____(1)
____(4)
MUSC 005
MUSC 009
MUSC 142
MUSC 003
MUSC 014B
MUSC 50
MUSC 100
Beginning Theory*
Music of World Cultures
Large Performance Ensemble
MIDI Sequencing & Notation
Basic Piano for Majors*
Applied Lessons**
Concert Attendance***
General Education courses
Spring Semester: 17 units
____(2)
____(3)
____(3)
____(1)
____(1)
____(1)
____(1)
____(5)
MUSC 001
MUSC 006
MUSC 010A
MUSC 014C
MUSC 142
MUSC 50
MUSC 100
Musicianship I
Intermediate Theory
Survey of Music Literature
Basic Piano for Majors II
Large Performance Ensemble
Applied Lessons
Concert Attendance
General Education courses
SOPHOMORE YEAR
Fall Semester: 18 units
____(2)
____(3)
____(3)
____(1)
____(2)
____(1)
____(1)
____(1)
____(4)
MUSC 002
MUSC 007
MUSC 010B
MUSC 014D
MUSC 043A
MUSC 142
MUSC 50
MUSC 100
Musicianship II
Advanced Theory
Survey of Music Literature
Basic Piano for Majors III
Jazz Improvisation I
Large Performance Ensemble
Applied Lessons
Concert Attendance
General Education courses
Spring Semester: 18 units
____(3)
____(2)
____(1)
____(1)
____(1)
____(1)
____(9)
MUSC 110B
MUSC 043B
MUSC 015
MUSC 142
MUSC 50
MUSC 100
History of Music
Jazz Improvisation II
Jazz Piano Class
Large Performance Ensemble
Applied Lessons
Concert Attendance
General Education courses
JUNIOR YEAR
Fall Semester: 18 units
____(3)
____(3)
____(2)
____(1)
____(2)
____(1)
____(6)
MUSC 105
MUSC 110A
MUSC 151
MUSC 143J
MUSC 150
MUSC 100
20th Century Theory
History of Music
Fundamentals of Conducting
Large Performance Ensemble
Applied Lessons
Concert Attendance
General Education courses
Spring Semester: 18 units
____(3)
____(3)
____(1)
____(2)
____(1)
____(8)
MUSC 106
MUSC 118B
MUSC 143J
MUSC 150
MUSC 100
Form & Analysis
Jazz History
Large Performance Ensemble
Applied Lessons
Concert Attendance
General Education courses
SENIOR YEAR
Fall Semester: 16 units
____(2)
____(2)
____(1)
____(2)
____(1)
____(8)
MUSC 140
MUSC 108A
MUSC 143J
MUSC 150
MUSC 100
Jazz Theory
Jazz Arranging I
Large Performance Ensemble
Applied Lessons
Concert Attendance
General Education courses
Spring Semester: 16 units
____(2)
____(2)
____(1)
____(2)
____(1)
____(2)
____(6)
MUSC 161
MUSC 108B
MUSC 143J
MUSC 150
MUSC 100
MUSC 185J
Jazz Pedagogy
Jazz Arranging II
Large Performance Ensemble
Applied Lessons
Concert Attendance
Senior Jazz Recital
General Education courses

* Music Theory and Piano skills are evaluated during the Music Theory Placement Exam. Generally, students take MUSC 14B in their first semester, unless they place higher as a result of the Exam.

** All BM music majors, regardless of their unit load, shall be enrolled each semester in Applied Music (until they have reached the maximum of 16 units), and in a Large Performance Ensemble (MUSC 142 for the Freshman and Sophomore levels, and MUSC 143J for the Junior and Senior levels) until the Senior Jazz Recital is completed.

*** Music majors are required to attend a minimum of 10 concerts and/or recitals each semester. MUSC 100, Concert Attendance, meets this requirement.




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ENTRANCE AUDITIONS

Admission to the Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies may be granted to a limited number of students upon successful completion of an entrance audition. Prior to scheduling a music entrance audition, students must first be admitted to the University. The Jazz Studies degree program is open to the following disciplines: trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, bass, guitar, and drum set. For detailed information on University admission and scheduling of requirements, students should visit: www.csus.edu/music/admissions. For information regarding the Jazz Studies entrance audition, please visit the Auditions link within the Jazz Studies web site. www.csus.edu/music/jazz


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LEARNING OUTCOMES & OBJECTIVES
  1. All jazz studies majors must demonstrate the ability to perform advanced repertoire on their primary/principal instrument in performance for either faculty (in applied juries) or faculty and the students' peers (in departmental recitals and similar settings)

  2. All jazz studies majors will be knowledgeable of and proficient in basic theoretical skills, both aural and written. These are to include but not limited to major and minor keys, chord progressions, intervals and transposition.

  3. Demonstrate intelligibility, craft, informed expression, and a commitment to independent inquiry in creating and performing improvised music in a variety of styles.

  4. All jazz studies majors must achieve a pre-determined proficiency in basic keyboard (piano) skills by performing various requirements that at the same time demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the foundations of music theory and harmony.



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MUSIC THEORY & PIANO PLACEMENT EXAMS

Prior to registering for music classes, students must first take the Theory and Piano Placement Exams. Placement examinations are given prior to your orientation and advising. These examinations are only given to measure your background in this subject and to help the faculty place you into a level of study in which you can succeed. Study and review may be helpful, especially for students transferring from other colleges, but it is not necessary. There are four levels of theory placement exams. Each placement exam is divided into two parts: harmony or written theory and aural theory or ear training. Your background in music theory will determine the exam you need to take. The piano placement exam is designed to assign you in a class piano level based on a careful assessment of your current ability level. In your placement evaluation we will assess your current knowledge of and ability to do the following: 1) Major and minor scales, 2) Chord progressions, 3) Melodic transposition, and 4) Sight reading. At the time of your piano placement we will also do a brief evaluation of your aural skills. This, along with the aural portion of your theory placement exam, will provide us with an additional, more individual picture of your needs. This evaluation will cover interval identification, sight singing, and rhythm reading. Please Don't Stress! We are aware that placement exams can be stressful for new students, however there is no pressure on you in taking these exams. Our only desire is to get an accurate view of your background in music theory and piano and to help you profit from your experience at Sacramento State. A list of recommended study materials, dates and times in which exams are administered, and other information regarding the theory and piano placement exams can be found at: http://www.csus.edu/music/admissions/placement.htm.


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JAZZ ENSEMBLE PLACEMENT

Prior to registering for Jazz Ensembles (MUSC 143J), or Jazz Combos (MUSC 144I), students must first perform a placement audition. Auditions for ensembles are held during the first week of classes. For specific times and locations contact Steve Roach.

LARGE PERFORMING ENSEMBLE REQUIREMENT - MUSC 142

All Jazz Majors must enroll in a traditional Large Performing Ensemble (LPE) each semester until they reach their Junior year. Students can elect to enroll in either Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Orchestra, Marching Band, or Choir to satisfy this requirement. Participation in these ensembles is determined by audition only. Ensemble auditions take place at the beginning of each semester. Please contact the particular ensemble director for specific dates and times of these auditions. Once the jazz major reaches the Junior year, they must enroll in a Jazz LPE until the Senior Recital is completed. Jazz LPE's consist of MUSC 143J (Jazz Ensemble), or in some special cases MUSC 144I (Jazz Combos).


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PERFORMANCE JURIES

JAZZ STUDIES PERFORMANCE JURIES

All jazz majors enrolled in applied performance courses for credit must take jury examinations. The performance jury is the final examination in applied music for the student's major instrument. Juries are held at the end of each semester of study and are required until the Senior Recital is completed. The jury is ten minutes in length, except for the Jazz Studies Recital Hearing, which is twenty minutes in duration. The jury panel will consist of all the instructors from the jazz studies program. The jury provides the student with regular evaluation of his/her performance ability by faculty in addition to his/her major professor, as well as giving the student experience in performance. Students not accomplishing minimum requirements for the semester will remain at their current applied level. Music to be used on the jury should be decided early during each semester in consultation with the applied jazz instructor. Refer to the jazz jury requirements for specific instruments below. Before performing a jury, music students must fill out a Jury Form. Forms and information regarding Jury Schedules are available at: www.csus.edu/music/admissions

Note about the Repertoire List: In addition to the standard jazz jury requirements, students must also compile a three ring binder of tunes that have been memorized throughout the course of each semester of study. A portion of the jury grade will be the completion of this "Memorized Tune List", with accompanying lead-sheets, so that the jury panel may call upon any of the listed tunes to be performed by memory. Students must learn and memorize approximately twenty tunes per semester. Therefore, by the end of the four-year program of study, jazz majors will have compiled roughly eighty tunes in their binder. Suggested tunes should be selected from the Jazz Jury Repertoire list.

Jazz Jury Requirements
Trumpet
  Guitar
Trombone
  Bass
Saxophone
  Drums
Piano
 
Suggested Jazz Jury Repertoire List
Jazz Jury Repertoire List



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JAZZ STUDIES RESOURCES & FACILITIES

FACILITIES

All music classes are held in the Music Building (Capistrano Hall). Most faculty and staff offices, performance areas, and ensemble rehearsal rooms are located on the first floor. Classrooms are on the second and third floors; practice rooms are located on the fourth floor.

JAZZ RECORDINGS

The main library at Sacramento State has over 3500 jazz CD's in their collection. Jazz majors and university students are granted access to these recordings. For a compete list of current recordings available - click here.

JAZZ STUDIES CLASSROOM - Room 303

Room 303 is the designated jazz studies classroom. Most jazz classes and small group rehearsals will take place in this multi-purpose room. The room is equipped with a drum set, baby grand piano, amplifiers for bass and guitar players, and a 12 channel sound system. The room is also equipped with a computer station that holds an extensive jazz play-a-long recording and lead sheet collection.

PLAY-A-LONG CD / MIDI PRACTICE ROOM - Room 305

Room 305 is a designated practice room for all jazz majors. The room is equipped with a computer station that holds an extensive jazz play-a-long recording and lead sheet collection. Students can use this multi-purpose room for personal practice or to work on projects using Finale, Band-in-a- Box, or MIDI. Only jazz majors will be granted access to this room. Entrance to room 305 is through a punch-code lock system. Codes for the room will be issued to jazz majors at the beginning of each semester through Glenn Disney, room 121.

DRUM SET PRACTICE ROOM - Room 307

Room 307 is a designated practice room for drum-set majors. The room is equipped with a 5-piece drum set and appropriate hardware. Students must provide their own cymbals. Only jazz drum set majors are granted access to this room. Keys for room 307 will be issued at the beginning of each semester through Glenn Disney, room 121.

RECORDING STUDIO

The Sacramento State music department has recorded Downbeat Magazine Award-winning CD's using its own in-house digital recording studio. The studio is based around a Tascam FW-1884 Digital Recording Console, and Digital Performer, E-Magic Logic, and Pro-Tools are all available on a Macintosh Dual-Core G5 computer for audio tracking, MIDI sequencing, editing, mixing, and mastering professional quality recordings of our student musicians and ensembles.


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GENERAL INFORMATION

CONCERT ATTENDANCE

Music majors are required to attend a minimum of 10 concerts and/or recitals each semester in which you are enrolled in applied lessons. MUSC 100, Concert Attendance, meets this requirement. Students are not required to enroll in MUSC 100, however, students are responsible for completing the requirements of attending the 10 concerts and abiding by the course syllabus guidelines. Each student will be required to attend a minimum of ten concerts approved by the Music Department and submit a portfolio of programs attended. Written reviews are required for a determined number of the ten concerts attended. Concert Attendance forms are available in the wooden hallway rack opposite the bank of lockers by the first floor elevator. Students must pick up this form at the beginning of each semester. Students must read the front and back of the Concert Attendance form completely. The Concert Attendance form is self-explanatory. If a student still has questions after completely reading both sides of the form, then they may go to the Department offices, Rooms 103, or 105 and get clarification. Students will need a 9x12 manila envelope in which to create their Concert Attendance packet. The packets are to be turned in no sooner than the Monday of Finals Week. Students lose one letter grade for each day the packet is late. Thursday of Finals Week is the last day packets will be accepted.

MUSIC SERVICE FEE CARD

All students enrolled in music classes (except Music 18, 39, 118, 119, 127, and 129) must purchase Music Service Fee Cards each semester. Students will be billed automatically for this service upon registration. This card is essentially a lab fee that helps the department purchase and maintain equipment used in our classrooms and performance halls. The fee card is $40 per semester for those enrolled in music major courses, or $20 for those enrolled only in general education courses.

LOCKERS

Lockers for books and/or instruments are available to Music Service Fee Card holders and are located on the first floor of the Music Building. The Events Manager (Room 121) will assign you a locker. Lockers may be renewed from fall to spring, as long as you still have a current Music Service Fee Card. All lockers are cleared out each summer, and their combinations are changed for the fall. Lockers can be checked out again beginning in mid-August.

INSTRUMENT CHECKOUT

Instruments are issued for use in specific classes in which the student is officially registered. The instructor of the class or faculty member must provide an official authorization for the issue of an instrument or equipment. The Music Service Fee mentioned above must be purchased prior to any instrument checkout. Instrument checkout Authorization forms are available at the Instrument Repair Office, Room 133. All instruments and equipment are to be turned in on or before the contract expiration date. The contract signed by the student when the instrument is issued is considered legal and binding. The student will be billed for the cost of repair for damage incurred and agrees to fully reimburse the University if an instrument is lost, stolen, or damaged. For further information on instrument use, please see Baldwin Wong in Room 133. If an instrument is not returned by the contracted date, an academic hold on grades and transcripts will be placed on the student's records.

SACLINK EMAIL & MY SAC STATE

SacLink is the Sacramento State universal authentication, email, and Internet access mechanism available to all students. It is your computing and networking electronic ID. Please check this frequently for important information on registration, billing, class scheduling, and departmental information.


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SENIOR JAZZ RECITAL

A formal recital demonstrating the performance abilities of the student is required of all majors completing the Bachelor's Degree of Music in Jazz Studies. Students must receive permission from the Director of Jazz Studies and their private applied instructor in order to enroll. Please note: JAZZ MAJORS ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND ALL JAZZ RECITALS. Attendance will be taken!

PREREQUISITES

Ordinarily, students will have successfully completed the two semesters of Jazz Improvisation (MUSC 43A & 43B) and the appropriate applied juries prior to registering for the Senior Jazz Recital.

JAZZ STUDIES RECITAL HEARING

In order to be approved for public performance, students must first receive a satisfactory evaluation by members of the jazz studies faculty by presenting a recital hearing. The recital hearing will take the place of the standard end-of-the-semester jury and will last twenty minutes in duration. Students should plan on presenting several of the songs proposed for their recital program, including at least one original composition or arrangement. Students must schedule their recital hearing in the semester that precedes the anticipated recital date. On the basis of the hearing the faculty may elect to approve or disapprove the recital for presentation. Please consult with your applied teacher for guidance in the planning and preparation of the recital hearing.

JAZZ STUDIES RECITAL REQUIREMENTS

All jazz studies degree candidates must present a full recital in either the fall or spring semester of their senior year. This recital should contain 50-60 minutes of music. An intermission is permitted but not required. Students must study with their jazz applied teacher in the semester of the recital and confer with their instructor about the content and programming of the recital repertoire. Recital material must be approved by the coordinators of the jazz studies program in consultation with your applied jazz teacher. The recital should reflect all aspects of the students' consummate development, such as improvisation, composition and arranging, ensemble playing, leadership, programming, instrumental ability, stylistic versatility, and the ability to select and organize assisting players. The jazz recital should be approached primarily as a solo recital, focusing on a single player rather than as an ensemble recital (this approach may be varied somewhat in the case of bassists and drummers, since their function as members of the rhythm section carries considerable responsibility). Therefore, solos should be restricted to primarily feature the student giving the recital. Under no circumstances should the recital be approached in the manner of a loosely organized jam session. Brief solos by supporting members may be included, but they must not dilute the overall effect of a solo recital. The assisting players will generally comprise a small group (rhythm section plus optional horns), but a variety in this respect, such as unaccompanied solos, duos, trios, or even large ensemble selections is encouraged. Original compositions and arrangements by the student presenting the recital are most appropriate. The program may include some classical literature if the student's background and training seems to dictate that it would be appropriate. Students must arrange a rehearsal, recital date and time that is convenient for their applied teacher to attend. Students are responsible for reserving the venue and equipment needed, securing the musicians who will accompany them, and submitting the program information in a timely manner. Detailed information including important deadlines can be found in the "Student Recital Packet", available from Glenn Disney, Events Manager, located in room 121. Students should plan on picking up this packet during the first week of classes in the semester that they plan to perform the recital.

Dress: No jeans, t-shirts, or tennis shoes by any of the performers! Dress appropriately.

JAZZ RECITAL - COURSE OBJECTIVES

1. Performance

  • The Senior Recital should be the culmination of the student's performance career at Sacramento State University. It should demonstrate the musicianship needed to perform a variety of jazz styles while emphasizing the student's improvisational abilities.

2. Composition and Arranging

  • To demonstrate adequate skills as an arranger and composer in a small group context.

3. Organization & Leadership Skills

  • Ability to secure the venue, plan activities and direct rehearsals leading up to the recital.
  • To coordinate the engaging and rehearsing of the accompanying musicians.

4. Good Programming

5. Publicizing & Promotion

EVALUATION

The applied teacher is responsible for grading the student. The grade will reflect the student's success at achieving the course objectives and requirements listed above.

RECITAL PROGRAM INFORMATION

Students must provide accurate information for the recital program. This includes accurate spelling of composers and/or arranger's names, dates of the composer's birth and death, and any other pertinent information related to the selected repertoire. Students may also choose to include short biographical sketches on composers but it is not required. (Refer to the Student Recital Packet for information on recital program submission and content)

RECORDING THE RECITAL

Students are responsible for recording the recital. A final compact disc recording, and a copy of the recital program must be submitted to the Director of Jazz Studies one week after the performance. (Refer to the Student Recital Packet for information on recital recording policies)

RECITAL CHECK LIST
 Schedule a recital hearing, to take place in the semester that precedes the anticipated recital date. Notify your applied teacher and the Director of Jazz Studies of the date, time, and place of the hearing. Bear in mind that the hearing is not a rehearsal, but a presentation of the final level of performance.
 Submit a proposed program to your applied teacher and Director of Jazz Studies for approval.
 Select and reserve a date and time for the recital by conferring with Glenn Disney, Events Manager, located in room 121. Do this early, as the calendar dates fill up quickly.
 Submit the program information to the Events Manager in a timely fashion for printing.
 Be sure that you are enrolled in applied lessons in the semester of your recital.
 Promote and advertise your Recital. Have some sort of poster or flyer made and get them distributed and posted on campus and in the windows of local businesses, music stores, record shops, and lounges.
 Notify all members of the jazz faculty and fellow jazz majors of the recital date as soon as you know it.
 Call and write to friends and relatives who might be able to attend.
 Be sure to schedule several rehearsals leading up to the recital date, as the jazz faculty will probably want to assist with fine-tuning the program and content. If you plan to have a dress rehearsal, be sure to reserve a time.
 Take care of all equipment needs, such as sound system, electric piano, synthesizer, staging needs, etc., well in advance, so that you can concentrate on the music during the last week before the recital.
 Be sure to consider stage deportment, for yourself and for the group. Learn to bow gracefully, to observe others, and to acknowledge your audience. Decide how the group will enter and exit the stage, and whether they will precede or follow you on and off stage. Decide whether or not you will say anything to the audience anytime during the program, and what you will say, if anything. Do this well in advance. Plan ahead!
 Consider whether or not you will enlist the help of friends to move equipment during the performance. If so, request that they be dressed appropriately for the task.
 Consider how you and your supporting musicians will dress for the recital. Look professional. Dress for Success!
 Make sure that you have arranged for the recital to be recorded and videotaped.
If you expect jazz majors to attend your recital, then you should attend theirs.



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JAZZ STUDIES SENIOR PROJECTS

DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE STUDENT MUSIC AWARDS APPLICATION

By December 31st of the senior year, all jazz studies candidates are required to submit an application and compact disc recording (a minimum of 10 minutes or 3 selections) for the Jazz Soloist category in the annual Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards. Students should consult with the applied jazz studio teacher in order to determine the proper repertoire for the recorded submission. Please refer to the Downbeat Magazine application for details and deadlines. Other categories such as blues/pop/rock soloist, small group, original songs and arrangements can be considered as well. To download an application, go to: www.downbeat.com.

ASSEMBLY OF SELF-PROMOTIONAL CD AND/OR WEBSITE

Over the course of the candidate's final two years in the degree program, a media project containing recordings of the student's performances must be assembled. Students may choose to (1) create a self-promotional demo recording of their performances on compact disc, and/or (2) develop a self-promotional website containing audio files of the students' performances. Both projects must include 30-60 minutes of recorded performances by the candidate. The candidate, the Director of Jazz Studies, and the applied jazz studio teacher will choose media project material jointly. The selected project(s) must be presented to the Director of Jazz Studies no later than the conclusion of the final term of study.


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Perspectives on Being a Jazz Major

Material borrowed from Jerry Coker's
"The Teaching of Jazz"

Amidst countless distractions, it is difficult to retain one's perspective with regard to being a student in a university degree program. For starters, you are here to learn, so make a firm commitment to all of your courses. Be punctual, give each class or rehearsal your full attention, submit all assignments on time, study consistently, and let nothing deter you from the successful completion of each and every course. If your schedule seems overwhelming, organize your time so you can cope with it. If you get "burnt-out" with being a student and feel you must at least have a break in the action, try to anticipate your needs, so that you complete the term you are in at the time, in a graceful way. It will serve no purpose to simply "flake" in the middle of a term - to the contrary, you may find that you have burned your bridges, foregoing the option to return at will. If you decide to take a "breather" from school, be sure that you really need and deserve it, and that you make good use of the time while you are away.

Respect your teachers. They're obviously not in their activity for money, fame, or even your gratitude. They're in it because they believe in education, creativity, and YOU!

Respect the cost of your education, regardless of whether it is paid for by you, your family, or the school. The monetary cost, even at an inexpensive school like this one, is one of the largest investments that will be made in your behalf for the remainder of your life. Don't blow it!

Finally, remember always that your future is already being shaped by your present actions. Your adult life is already underway, like it or not, so that your present behavior is already affecting your future, for better or worse. Your effectiveness as a musician and your reliability as a person are already affecting whether or not you are recommended for playing gigs, graduate assistantships, composing/arranging assignments, and teaching positions. The game of life requires that we make accurate, honest assessments of people we recommend for anything. Otherwise we lose our credibility, people don't call on us anymore for recommendations, and countless opportunities are lost for others. Your future is now!


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ORIENTATION FOR JAZZ MAJORS

Welcome to the Jazz Studies Program at Sacramento State University. As you expect a certain level of commitment from your teachers and jazz faculty, please understand that we expect a certain level of commitment from you as well. What comprises this commitment?

  • APPLIED LESSONS   There are very few instances of 'one-on-one' situations in your education. This is one of them. Appreciate the individualized nature of your applied lessons. They are for you and you only. Don't miss lessons. If you're ill, call your instructor and let them know (ahead of the lesson time - not after). Don't be late for lessons - and show up prepared.

  • CLASSES   Every class is important, having been carefully prepared by the instructor, with new information, hand-outs, announcements, exercising of skills (especially in music), tests, opportunities to ask questions, etc. You deprive the other members of the class of your contributions when you're absent. Nothing takes precedence over being there, including gigs of the night before, lack of sleep for any reason, a work schedule, etc. If you can't control your life's schedule, you have a very serious problem...one that will cost you a lot of gigs and opportunities for the rest of your life. Do well in all of your classes.

  • ENSEMBLE REHEARSALS   If every class is important, then multiply that importance several times more for ensemble rehearsals, as ensembles presume 100% attendance in order to function at all. When you're late, or miss a rehearsal, you let down every member of the group, not just the instructor and yourself.

  • RECITAL ATTENDANCE   It is inconceivable that you would not attend recitals, especially those given by your friends in the jazz program, but also those given by your music faculty, visiting artists, honors recitals, non-jazz music student friends, etc. You will one day present a recital. Watching others will help you prepare and may insure that you won't be playing for an empty room. If nothing else - attend to support your friends.

  • RECITAL PARTICIPANTS   If you accept an offer to play on someone's recital, and you should, make sure that it is an unwavering commitment. There will be rehearsals and a recital hearing as well as the recital itself. Don't let everyone down by accepting outside gigs (or work schedules) at times when you agreed to rehearse or perform. It's good to accept gigs, but keep your integrity in check by setting your priorities straight when potential dates conflict.

Please Note:

If the foregoing list of commitments overwhelms you, then perhaps the jazz program, your development as a creative player, and your ensuing career is also too much for you. Perhaps you should look for something less challenging in which to major. This is a good program and it is joyously creative. But anyone who tells you that it is going to be easy - is ignorant of the facts. Be prepared to work hard and to be challenged by many rewarding experiences throughout your studies at Sacramento State! Stay focused and be present - and good things will come your way!

ORIENTATION FOR JAZZ MAJORS - WHAT IS JAZZ?

  • Jazz is a musical art form, recognized as such around the world.

  • The key element of jazz is the craft of improvisation.

  • Improvisation is a musical skill, requiring considerable time to develop. The theory and musical tools of improvisation may be mentally understood in a relatively short space of time, but the honing of the performance skills requires years. Successful levels of performance might be reached within a few years, but mastery is elusive and the improviser who continues to practice continues to improve for a lifetime.

  • Jazz is a very creative, personal sort of music. It is a musical democracy in which diverse approaches abound and are generally accepted. Though there are traditions and common- sense elements, the individual has the relative freedom to express himself or herself at will with respect to the utilization of the tradition.

  • Jazz is highly communicative and extremely spontaneous in that communication. The highest level of group jazz performance requires that the individual members listen carefully to one another to the point of being able to spontaneously produce music that has collective merit and creates a unified whole. Even the audience can affect the musical outcome through their response, their musical tastes, and by their sheer numbers or lack of the same.

  • As a musical style, jazz is very elusive, often confounding the critics, entrepreneurs, and audiences when they try to label and categorize the music as jazz or non-jazz. Some feel that the music is only jazz if it contains improvisation. Many feel that rhythmic swing and/or jazz phrasing is the determining factor. Others feel that the only jazz is a particular style within jazz, such as Dixieland. Still others are liable to call any music jazz that is not classical music.

  • Elements of the jazz style have permeated nearly all known musical styles and musical functions. Similarly, the 'open door policy' of jazz has caused the music to absorb and reflect elements of virtually all non-jazz styles, yet retain a sort of diverse identity.




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REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A GOOD JAZZ IMPROVISER

  • A STRONG DESIRE   You must be more than mildly interested to succeed. At some point, perhaps even from the outset, the desire to improvise well should be obsessive!

  • ATTUNEMENT TO STYLE   Listen to and assimilate the best of jazz through recordings, old and new. Listen thoroughly and repeatedly! Attend live performances, ranging from the jazz recitals of your classmates to concerts by local and touring jazz greats. Jazz is an aural art form. Constant listening is of paramount importance in order to grasp and understand the language.

  • WILL   The human will can accomplish anything! If you fail to utilize the will, you risk accomplishing nothing. The will is responsible for such characteristics as perseverance, patience, and consistency.

  • ENERGY   All music should contain some type of energy in performance. Energy levels are affected by life-style, attitude, nutrition, health, and a careful ordering of priorities.

  • METHOD   You must have a plan, if you are to reach your goals. The plan should be reasonable, efficient, and thorough.

  • THEORY UNDERSTOOD   The mind must thoroughly understand each musical principle undertaken.

  • THEORY APPLIED   Any theory understood in the mind but left unapplied is not learned, it will not appear in your improvisations, and it will soon be forgotten. In order for a theoretical principle to become useful, the mental understanding must be transferred and/or extended to the ears, hands, and voice.

  • THEORY CHALLENGED AND MASTERED   Work toward speed, accuracy, control, and flexibility of all theoretical principles, patterns, licks, scales, keys, etc.

  • THEORY UTILIZED   Exaggerate the use of all new items by practicing them with appropriate play-a-long exercises (not tunes), but simulate creative performance mannerisms as well.

  • THEORY UTILIZED IN CONSUMMATE CREATIVITY   Play many appropriate tunes that contain exaggerated use of harmonies, which accommodate the theoretical principles taken up.


    For a printable version of the above information, click here.