Associate of Arts Vocal Track


Associate of Arts Vocal Track

The CJC Jazz Studies Vocal Track offers students an opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts degree in a vocal program unique to the California Jazz Conservatory.

Vocalists participate in an in-depth program of jazz study and performance, comprised of the first two years of CJC’s Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, a program proven to transform musicians into artists.

Vocalists are immersed in a jazz-centric curriculum, from the core music courses to the general studies requirements.

Courses are focused on vocal performance, repertoire building, technique, improvisation, lyric writing, band leading, creating individually tailored arrangements, as well as other jazz-related classes and instruction.

Led by Vocal Chair Laurie Antonioli, the vocal jazz faculty includes the Bay Area’s preeminent teaching artists. Vocalists will learn and perform both the standard jazz repertoire (Great American Songbook), as well as create and perform their own original work.

The CJC Vocal Track offers students the unique opportunity to learn from and perform with professional instrumentalists on a regular basis, often with a rhythm section (piano, bass and drums), comprising the Bay Area’s top jazz musicians.

The California Jazz Conservatory is proud to offer these extraordinary opportunities to the aspiring professional jazz vocalist, and invites you to apply now for Associate of Arts in Jazz Studies.


Curriculum Requirements

The CJC awards the Associate of Arts degree in Jazz Studies to vocal students who satisfactorily complete 68 credits of study divided among:

  • Core music courses 48 credits
  • Elective courses (2 credits)
  • General studies courses (18 credits)


Residency Requirements: Vocalists are required to complete a minimum of 17 credits in residence during their third and fourth semesters at the CJC.



Students are required to take two juries over the course of their studies at the CJC: the first at the end of the first year, and the second at the end of the second year. The purpose of these juries is to evaluate students’ progress in private instruction, and to confirm their mastery of the material covered in the Jazz Theory and Improvisation and Ear Training and Sight Singing curricula.

Students must take a jury when advancing in class level to continue their studies at the CJC. Class level is determined by the total number of credits earned towards their degree: students who have earned between 0 and 34 credits are considered Freshmen; students who have earned between 35 and 68 Credits are considered Sophomores.


Vocalists are required to take 12 credits of Vocal Performance. Repertoire covers a wide range of styles, from the Great American Songbook to contemporary jazz.

Vocalists may use 2 Elective credits toward performance ensembles.

Students perform for the public a minimum of twice per year. Performances include concerts at the CJC, dates at clubs throughout the Bay Area, and appearances at specially scheduled events.

Additionally, students may attend concerts scheduled at the CJC throughout the year, free of charge. The CJC Concert Series features a range of local, national and international artists.


Core Music Courses / Instrumental Track

Vocalists are required to take 48 credits of the following Core Music Courses:

12 credits of stylistically varying performance ensembles over 4 semesters including:

  • Vocal Performance (12 credits)
  • Students may use 2 Elective credits toward Performance

Additional required Core courses include:

  • Ear Training and Sight-Singing (12 credits)
  • Keyboard Proficiency (2 credits)
  • Jazz Theory and Improvisation (12 credits)
  • The Great American Songbook (2 credits)
  • Lyric Writing
(2 credits)
  • Music Technology (2 credits)
  • Private Instruction
(4 credits)



Vocalists are required to complete
2 credits of elective courses in fulfillment of requirements for the Associate of Arts degree. Students may transfer up to 2 degree-relevant elective credits from any accredited institution on a by-approval basis by the Dean of Instruction.


General Studies Courses:

Students are required to take 18 credits of General Studies courses. General Studies requirements include:

  • English Communication (6 credits)
  • Social Sciences (12 credits)

The CJC accepts the English Communication General Studies requirements from any accredited institution.

Tuition for General Studies courses at other institutions is additional.

Note: the Social Sciences requirement is not transferable from another institution. This requirement must be fulfilled at the CJC.


Keyboard Proficiency:

All students must demonstrate a basic level of keyboard proficiency to graduate, either by completing Beginning Piano for Non-Pianists and Jazz Piano for Non-Pianists, or by passing an equivalent keyboard proficiency exam.


Workshops and Master Classes:

Students have the opportunity to attend a broad range short-term workshops – two, free of charge – taught by local and visiting artists throughout the year. Students may schedule private lessons with visiting artists on a to-be-arranged basis between student and artist.