Curriculum Requirements

DEGREE PROGRAMS

Curriculum Requirements

CJC offers a 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies degree for instrumentalists and vocalists.

Instrumentalists

The CJC awards the Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies to instrumental students who satisfactorily complete 134 – 136 credits of study divided among:

  1. A) Core music courses / 89 credits (pianists) / 91 credits (non- pianists);
  2. B) Elective courses (15 credits);
  3. C) General studies courses (30 credits).  (See Curriculum Requirements Template — Instrumentalists).

Vocalists

The CJC awards the Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies to vocal students who satisfactorily complete 136 credits of study divided among:

  1. A) Core courses (91 credits);
  2. B) Elective courses (15 credits);
  3. C) General Studies courses (30 credits). (See Curriculum Requirements Template — Vocalists).

Residency Requirements

All instrumentalists and vocalists are required to complete a minimum of 34 credits in residence during their junior and/or senior year at the CJC.

Juries

Students are required to take four juries over the course of their studies at CJC as they move from one class level (e.g. Freshman or Sophomore) to the next.

The purpose of these juries is to evaluate students’ progress in private instruction and to confirm their mastery of the material covered in CJC’s core Jazz Theory and Improvisation and Ear Training and Sight Singing curriculum.

The timing of juries correlates with class level. 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, and so on as shown below.

Credits completed Class Level
0 – 34 Freshman

35 – 68 Sophomore

69 – 102 Junior

103 + Senior

Students advancing to the next class level who do not take or pass a jury at the end of that semester will be placed on Jury Probation. While on Jury Probation, students may take classes for one additional semester, and must take and pass their jury at that end of that term, in order to enroll in future semesters. Students who do not pass the required jury at the end of their probationary semester will be dismissed.

Senior Project

Graduating seniors must complete a Senior Project comprising a performance of original compositions and/or arrangements in a full length concert open to the public.

Performance

The Jazz Studies undergraduate degree program has performance at its center.

Instrumentalists are required to take a total of 20 credits of performance ensembles including jazz (10), Afro-Caribbean (2), Brazilian (2), Indian (2) and elective (4). Instrumentalists may also use 4 elective credits toward performance ensembles.

Vocalists are required to take a total of 22 credits of performance courses in both solo and ensemble formats. Repertoire covers a wide range of styles from the Great American Songbook to contemporary jazz, world and popular music. Vocalists may also use 4 elective credits toward performance ensembles.

Public performance is an integral component of students’ tenure at the CJC. 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 over one hundred concerts scheduled at the CJC throughout the year free of charge. The CJC Concert Series features a range of local, national and international artists. Visiting artists of note have included the Heath Brothers, Theo Bleckmann, Kenny Werner, Taylor Eigsti, Peter Erskine, Pete Escovedo, Paula West, John Zorn, Geoffrey Keezer, Ambrose Akinmusire and many others.

Core Music Courses: Instrumental Track

Instrumentalists are required to take 91 (non- pianists) / 89 (pianists) credits of the following Core Music Courses: 20 credits of stylistically varying performance ensembles over eight semesters including: Jazz Repertoire Ensemble (10 credits of PRF100-400 series); Latin American Ensemble (2 credits of PRF030 series); Brazilian Jazz Ensemble (2 credits of 040 series); Indian Ensemble (2 credits of 050 series); and ensembles of their choice (4 credits). Note: 4 Elective   credits may be applied toward performance ensembles. Additional required Core music courses include: Ear Training and Sight-Singing (12 credits); Keyboard Proficiency (2 credits); Jazz Theory and Improvisation (15 credits); Form and Analysis of Jazz Standards (2 credits); Jazz Composition (3 credits); Jazz Arranging (3 credits); Latin American Roots of Jazz (2 credits); Jazz and Cross-Cultural Practice (2 credits); Western European Harmonic Practice (6 credits); Western European Music History (6 credits); Music Technology (5 credits); Business of Music (4 credits); Private Instruction (8 credits); and Senior Project (1 credit).

Core Music Courses: Vocal Track

Vocalists are required to take 91 credits of the following Core Music Courses: 22 credits of stylistically varying performance courses over eight semesters including: Vocal Performance (12 credits); Vocal Jazz Ensemble (4 credits); and Instrumental Performance Ensembles (6). Note: 4 additional Elective credits may be applied to performance. Additional required courses include: Ear training and Sight-singing (12 credits); Keyboard Proficiency (2 credits); Jazz Theory and Improvisation (12 credits); Single Line Soloing (6 credits); Jazz Composition (3 credits); The Great American Songbook (2 credits); Lyric Writing (2 credits); Western European Harmonic Practice (6 credits); Western European Music History (6 credits); Music Technology (5 credits); Business of Music (4 credits); Private Instruction (8 credits); and Senior Project (1 credit).

Electives

All students are required to complete 15 credits of elective courses in fulfillment of requirements for the Bachelor of Music degree. Students may transfer up to 5 degree-relevant elective credits from any accredited institution on a by-approval basis by the Dean of Instruction. Note: 4 elective credits may be taken as Independent Study; 4 elective credits may be taken as Performance.

General Studies Courses

A range of General Studies courses is offered at the CJC. The CJC also accepts select General Studies requirements/electives from any accredited institution. Tuition for General Studies courses at other institutions is additional.

All students are required to take 30 credits of General Studies courses. General Studies requirements include: English Communication (6 credits); Social Sciences (12 credits); Arts and Humanities (6 credits); Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits); and Physical Sciences (3 credits). (See Department of General Studies beginning on page 51.)

Please note: the Social Sciences and Physical Sciences General Studies requirements are not transferable from another institution. These requirements must be fulfilled at the CJC.

Independent Study

Independent Study affords junior- and senior-standing students an opportunity to independently undertake special research-oriented projects extending above and beyond the parameters of the curriculum.

Students may apply up to 4 elective credits to Independent Study. Students interested in pursuing Independent Study are required to submit a proposal in writing to the Dean of Instruction outlining the project scope, objectives, time frame for completion and their preferred faculty advisor.

Upon approval, students are required to sign a contract with their advisor agreeing to complete the project. A letter grade is issued based upon completion of projected objectives within the proposed timeframe.

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. Keyboard proficiency exams are given on a to-be-arranged basis throughout the year.

Workshops and Master Classes

Students have the opportunity to attend a broad range of specialized short-term workshops taught by local and visiting artists throughout the year. Previous workshops by visiting faculty include Bobby McFerrin, Geoffrey Keezer, Christian McBride, Kurt Elling, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Nancy King, Ron Carter, Dave Weckl, Nnenna Freelon, Matt Wilson, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dafnis Prieto, Winard Harper, Taylor Eigsti, Donald Harrison, Uri Caine and others. In addition to attending master classes, students often have the opportunity to schedule private lessons with visiting artists. The cost of private lessons with visiting artists varies and is on a to-be-arranged basis between the student and artist.

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