Master of Music in Jazz Studies


Master of Music in Jazz Studies

A master’s degree for the 21st century composer-performer, the MM Degree in Jazz Studies is a two-year, 60-credit degree program structured around the small ensemble, providing the professional-level jazz musician with a creative platform to both compose and perform original work.

Taught by the Bay Area’s preeminent artists/educators and by national and international visiting artists, the program is structured around the small ensemble, providing the professional-level jazz musician with a creative platform to both compose and perform original work.

In keeping with historical convention in jazz — from composer-performers Jelly Roll Morton to Wayne Shorter and beyond — the degree’s collective emphasis nurtures the professional jazz musician who aspires to both compose and perform.

Given the music’s inherent multicultural origins and continued development on an international scale, CJC’s MM in Jazz Studies: The Jazz Composer-Performer approaches the study and performance of jazz from a global perspective.



The San Francisco Bay Area’s preeminent composer-players comprise the CJC
MM degree program faculty, artists who excel at performance and teaching:

Laurie Antonioli / Dr. Anthony Brown / Dr. Jeffrey Denson / Erik Jekabson
 / Dr. Jason Levis
 / Jeff Marrs / Kate McGarry
 / Dr. Aaron Mobley / Amy Molinelli / Reto Peter
 / Dr. Michael Zilber / Dann Zinn

Visiting artists include Brian Blade,
Theo Bleckmann, Benny Green, Romain Pilon and Edward Simon, among others.


Course Requirements

CJC’s MM degree program includes the following course requirements:

  • Applied Lessons in Composition (4 credits)
  • Jazz Composition Seminar (4 credits)
  • The Jazz Composer-Performer Ensemble (8 credits)
  • Form and Analysis: Work of 21st Century Jazz Composers from 1920 to the Present (8 credits)
  • Jazz Arranging (3 credits)
  • Advanced Counterpoint (3 credits)
  • History of Twentieth Century Music (3 credits)
  • Form and Analysis: Work by Late 19th and 20th Century Composers (2 credits)
  • Advanced Rhythmic Concepts (3 credits)
  • Applied Lessons (4 credits)
  • Advanced Jazz Theory and Improvisation (3 credits)
  • Studio Recording (3 credits)
  • Teaching Artistry (3 credits)
  • What is Jazz? (3 credits)
  • Pedagogy (3 credits)
  • Elective Courses (6 credits)

In addition, performances are scheduled at the end of each semester and are open to the public; Jazz festivals and national and international tours are scheduled for degree program candidates.



Tuition per semester is $20,000 (Note: all students must be enrolled full-time).


Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) at:

There are two types of Federal Direct Loans available for students pursuing a master’s degree:


Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Eligible students may borrow up to $20,500 per school year. The fixed interest rate for the 2019–2020 academic year is 6.08%.


Direct GradPLUS Loans

Eligible graduate students who need to borrow more than the maximum unsubsidized loan amounts to cover the cost of tuition, plus assistance with living expenses may apply for a GradPLUS loan.

A credit check will be completed during the application process.

Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify. The fixed interest rate for the 2019–2020 academic year is 7.08%.

Repayment of both loans begins 6-months after graduation or less than half-time enrollment. Loan interest begins to accrue at the time of disbursement.

For additional information about federal student loans, visit:



The CJC awards unsolicited partial scholarships and prizes on occasion
 to qualified students based on a combination of artistic merit, financial need and the particular needs of the program at the time of inquiry.

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and earn a C or higher
in all classes, to remain eligible for scholarships. Note: students receiving a scholarship who earn a non-passing grade of C– or lower
in any required courses are responsible for retaking those courses at their own expense.

Scholarships and/or prizes are awarded to CJC students who demonstrate a combination of artistic promise, commitment
to excellence, and financial need on an as-available basis.


Applying for the MM in Jazz Studies

Professional-level jazz musicians seeking to further develop proficiency in both jazz composition and performance are invited to apply.

Applications for 2021 open July, 2020.

Applicants will be required to submit written scores and corresponding recordings of three contrasting original compositions in ensemble format in either MP3 or M4A formats.

Please submit work that best showcases your ability as both composer and performer. You must be among the performers on all recordings. Please identify yourself by instrument / voice in all three recordings.

Application details will be available July, 2020.