February 27, 2014 | CJC News

A message from Founder and President Susan Muscarella

Welcome to California Jazz Conservatory!

If you’ve arrived at this site expecting to see the former Jazzschool masthead, you may be surprised by our new name and logo.  I am delighted to share with you the exciting news that has initiated this change.

Over the past four years, the Jazzschool Institute (our degree-granting program) has undergone a rigorous accreditation process administered by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).  Founded in 1924, NASM is the accrediting agency for educational institutions providing training in music and music-related disciplines.  The organization establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials, and represents some 647 accredited schools, conservatories, colleges and universities.

Accreditation signifies that the institution has met the high artistic, pedagogical, academic and administrative standards set by NASM.  Having successfully met these criteria, our four-year Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies program takes its place among the nation’s leading music academies; and, as a qualified institution of higher learning, California Jazz Conservatory becomes the only accredited free-standing music conservatory devoted to the study and performance of jazz and related styles of music in the United States.

In addition to offering a comprehensive education in jazz, the Conservatory will now qualify for U.S. Government student loan programs and be eligible to admit students from abroad – two measures of advancement that contribute to growing a rich and diverse artistic community long into the future.

As we approached this important milestone, our Board of Directors felt that the school merited an identity that aligns with the standards of excellence manifested by NASM accreditation, and one that is consistent with our mission. California Jazz Conservatory clearly articulates the seriousness and purpose of our objectives, and therefore, this month the institution transitions to the new name.

The California Jazz Conservatory will continue to be home to the Jazzschool Community Music School (JCMS), where a distinguished faculty of professional musicians and music educators teach dozens of instrumental, vocal, ensemble, composition, theory and improvisation courses in the non-degree-granting program each quarter.  Enrollment in the JCMS is now close to capacity.  As the heart of the Bay Area jazz community’s continuing education scene, the JCMS provides a forum for creatively minded practitioners as well as the enthusiastic audience member.  Short-term workshops and concerts will continue to complement the coursework at the California Jazz Conservatory, as well.

I want to thank the faculty, staff, students and board members of the California Jazz Conservatory who contributed their time and talent through the accreditation process.  We had set a high and worthy goal for ourselves and reached it through our collective passion for the music.

I welcome you to share in the extraordinary music-making that has become a hallmark of California Jazz Conservatory and look forward to seeing you in our classes and workshops, and at our concerts!


Susan Muscarella