Whether you want to try something for the first time, or dive deep into your area of study, our courses offer you the opportunity to shine a light on what interests you. 

Please note: The Course Catalog should be used for all official planning. 

The jazz program at Lawrence offers a wide array of courses and thoughtful sequencing as part of our jazz emphasis major options.

MUJI - Jazz & Improvisational Music

MUJI 130: Contemporary Electronic Music Production

This course utilizes digital audio workstations in the creation of songs, soundtracks and unique compositions. It will also explore the intersection of improvisation and composition through the recording and editing of rhythmic, harmonic and melodic layers.
Units: 3

MUJI 150: Applied Musicianship I

A comprehensive focus on fundamental theory and aural skills, sight-reading, dictation, and singing through improvisation and composition with an emphasis on learning contrasting genres and theory at the instrument.
Units: 6

MUJI 250: Applied Musicianship II

A comprehensive focus on fundamental modes, form, analysis, and expanded rhythmic studies through improvisation and composition exploring jazz, pop, global music, and traditional genres with an emphasis on learning at the instrument.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: MUJI 150 or instructor approval

MUJI 350: Advanced Musicianship III

A comprehensive focus on modal/scalar studies, jazz and pop chord/scale associations, and harmonic progressions through improvisation, composition, aural skills, singing and dictation. This class serves as a transition to Advanced Improvisation (MUJI 410) and Jazz Theory and Analysis (MUJI 420).
Units: 6
Prerequisite: MUJI 410 and MUJI 420

MUJI 410: Advanced Improvisation

Advanced improvisational concepts and performance practices with a focus on creating an individual style embracing modal, microtonal, traditional, global music, and non-style specific approaches.
Units: 3
Prerequisite: MUJI 150 and MUJI 250 and MUJI 350 or instructor approval

MUJI 420: Advanced Jazz Theory and Analysis

Survey and analysis of music growing out of the hard bop jazz era. Extensive study of extended jazz harmonies (playing outside) and analysis of compositions by Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock. Discussion and application of non-functional harmonic material. Learning assessed through active participation, performance, assignments and a final project.
Units: 3
Prerequisite: MUJI 350

Music Theory

Jazz Theory and Aural Training
A comprehensive introduction to jazz scales, modes, chords, harmonic progressions, nomenclature and notation. Emphasis on linking essential jazz theoretic functions to performance practice, composition and arranging. This course serves as a prerequisite for MUCA 220 (Jazz Improvisation I) and MUCA 230 (Small Group Jazz Composition and Arranging). Sophomore status or consent of instructor. 3 units.

Improvisation, Composition, and Arranging

Jazz Improvisation I

An introduction to the fundamentals of jazz improvisation. Exploration of jazz repertoire through scale/chord/mode associations, rhythmic and linear development and solo transcription/ analysis. Recommended for students with previous experience in jazz improvisation. Required for candidates who plan to audition for the Emphasis in Jazz Performance. 3 units. Prerequisite: MUTH 240 Jazz Theory and Aural Training.

Jazz Improvisation II

Continued exploration of jazz repertoire using more complex forms and progressions, intermediate linear concepts and solo transcription/analysis. 3 units. Prerequisite: MUCA 220

Small Group Jazz Composition and Arranging

Essentials of composing jazz music and writing for the jazz small group. Fundamentals of notation, orchestration, rhythmic embellishment, melodic development, jazz harmony, vertical sonorities, basic forms, 2-5 part densities. 3 units. Prerequisite: MUTH 240 Jazz Theory and Aural Training or consent of Instructor.

Large Ensemble Jazz Composition and Arranging 

Scoring techniques for the jazz big band and expanded chamber jazz ensembles. Focus upon melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, textual and formal variation in the large jazz ensemble format. 3 units. Prerequisite: MUCA 230

Advanced Jazz Writing Skills
A continuation of MUCA 230 and MUCA 330 that focuses upon special recital, concert, recording and honors projects in jazz composition and arranging. May be repeated for credit. 3 units. Prerequisites: MUCA 330 and admission to an emphasis in jazz studies or consent of instructor.

Ensemble Performance Study

Jazz Small Group Studies

Year-long study and performance of jazz small group repertoire for ensembles chosen by audition. A maximum of 6 units of jazz small group (chamber) music, beyond departmental requirements, may apply to degree requirements. 1 unit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Jazz Workshop

Study and performance of music for large jazz ensemble. Membership determined by audition. 1 unit.

Jazz Band

Study and performance of music for large jazz ensemble. Membership determined by audition. 1 unit.

Jazz Ensemble

Study and performance of music for large jazz ensemble. Membership determined by audition. 1 unit.

Music Education and Pedagogy

Jazz Pedagogy

Structured to prepare teachers of elementary, middle school and high school students. Jazz education philosophies, teaching improvisation/ aural skills/interaction, fostering composition/ arranging in the school program, small group development, large ensemble rehearsal techniques, repertoire/programming and public presentation. 1 unit. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor

Musicology

Jazz History

A study of the contributions of select jazz artists through analysis of recordings, historical films, solo transcriptions, scores and readings from texts. 6 units. Enrollment limit 20. Prerequisite: MUHI 202 or consent of instructor

Music Repertoire and Performance Studies

Functional Jazz Piano

An introduction to jazz piano voicings, basic piano comping techniques and the role of the keyboard in the jazz rhythm section. Designed to accommodate upper class students who have been admitted to the Bachelor of Music degree program with an emphasis in jazz studies, sophomore Bachelor of Music students planning to apply for the emphasis in jazz studies and experienced student jazz performers with consent of instructor. 3 units. Enrollment limit: 9. Prerequisite MUCA 222 or consent of the instructor

Applied Music Individual Instruction

Private jazz instruction for credit is available by permission of instructor, based on interview or audition. Studio assignment and placement for Bachelor of Music degree candidates are determined upon matriculation. Students requesting non-required private lessons are accommodated to the extent faculty schedules permit.

Please note: Before admission to the jazz emphasis, Bachelor of Music performance candidates are required to study each term with the respective classical applied instructors but may elect added applied study with the respective jazz applied instructor. After admission to the jazz emphasis, candidates performing on saxophone, piano and guitar are required to study each term with the respective jazz applied instructor in each discipline but may elect to continue applied study with the respective classical instructor. Candidates performing on trombone, trumpet, bass and percussion are required to study each term with the applied instructors in their respective discipline after admission to the jazz emphasis.

Credit

Credit is granted as follows: with the exception of MUIN 102-120, 3 units per term for one 1/2-hour lesson per week; 6 units per term for a one-hour lesson per week; 6 units maximum per term in any one course.

Jazz Emphasis Degree Options

Major in Composition with Emphasis in Jazz and Improvisational Music

Admission to the Bachelor of Music in Composition with an emphasis in jazz and improvisational music may be granted to a limited number of students upon successful completion of qualifying examinations and with the approval of a candidate selection committee. For detailed information on admission and scheduling of requirements, students are referred to the chair of the jazz and improvisational music department.

Specific courses required for the emphasis are as follows:

1. Music theory in addition to the core courses required for the B.Mus. degree:

a. MUTH 411: Orchestration I (6 units)

b. MUTH 510: Analysis of 20th Century Music (6 units)

2. Music composition and arranging:

a. MUCA 230: Small Group Jazz Composition and Arranging (3 units)

b. MUCA 330: Large Ensemble Jazz Composition and Arranging (3 units)

c. MCA 530: Advanced Jazz Writing Skills (12 units at 3 units per term)

d. MUCA 300: Techniques of the Contemporary Composer (6 units)

e. 3 units from MUCA 250, 350, 550: Composition

3. Supporting courses for the emphasis in jazz studies:

a. MUTH 240: Jazz Theory and Aural Training (3 units)

b. MUCA 220, 221: Jazz Improvisation I, II (6 units)

c. MURP 320: Functional Jazz Piano (3 units)

d. MUHI 455: Jazz History (6 units)

e. MUEP 305: Jazz Pedagogy (1 unit)

f. MUEP 120: Basic Audio Recording (1 unit)

4. Performance: a minimum of 24 units in applied individual instruction and 6 terms on the major instrument or voice

Please note: Before admission to the jazz emphasis, Bachelor of Music composition candidates are required to study each term with the respective classical applied instructors but may elect added applied study with the respective jazz applied instructor. After admission to the jazz emphasis, all candidates  are required to study each term with their respective jazz applied instructor in each discipline but may elect to continue applied study with their respective classical instructor. 

5. Ensemble coaching/rehearsal techniques:

1-3 terms directing or co-directing a jazz small group (one 60-minute rehearsal per week) or serving as student assistant conductor of Jazz Workshop (frequency TBA) after admission to the emphasis in jazz studies.

6. Ensemble: completion of the requirement must include:

a. 3 terms MUEN 248: Jazz Small Group Studies after admission to the jazz emphasis (3 units)

b. 3 terms of MUEN 295: Jazz Ensemble, or MUEN 293: Jazz Band, after admission to the jazz emphasis (3 units)

c. Additional ensembles, specific to major instrument, as follows:

Winds/Percussion:

6 terms wind ensemble/symphonic band;

3 terms chamber music

Strings:

9 terms symphony orchestra (3 terms required participation after admission to the emphasis in jazz studies);

3 terms chamber music

Piano:

3 terms symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert choir, women's choir, or chorale;

3 terms supervised accompanying

Guitar:

3 terms symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert choir, women’s choir, chorale, or chamber music

7. Presentation of required degree recitals:

Half recital (30 minutes maximum stage time) during junior year

Full recital (60 minutes maximum stage time) during senior year

8. Presentation of Media Project (see below)

Major in Performance with Emphasis in Jazz and Improvisational Music

Admission to the Bachelor of Music performance major with an emphasis in jazz and improvisational music may be granted to a limited number of students upon successful completion of qualifying examinations and with the approval of a candidate selection committee. For detailed information on admission and scheduling of requirements, students are referred to the chair of the jazz and improvisational music department.

Specific courses required for the emphasis are as follows (please note that these requirements are in addition to the core courses required for the B.Mus. degree):

1. Performance: 54 units

-36 units of applied individual instruction (MUIN) in piano, strings, winds or percussion, numbered 361-380 or 561-580 during the freshman and sophomore years (before admission to the jazz emphasis)

-18 units of MUIN 560 after admission to the jazz emphasis (candidates may elect more than 18 units)

Please note: Before admission to the jazz emphasis, Bachelor of Music performance candidates are required to study each term with the respective classical applied instructors but may elect added applied study with the respective jazz applied instructor. After admission to the jazz emphasis, candidates performing on saxophone, piano and guitar are required to study each term with the respective jazz applied instructor in each discipline but may elect to continue applied study with the respective classical instructor. Candidates performing on trombone, trumpet, bass and percussion are required to study each term with the applied instructors in their respective discipline after admission to the jazz emphasis.

2. Supporting courses for the emphasis:

a. MUTH 240: Jazz Theory and Aural Training (3 units)

b. MUCA 220, 221: Jazz Improvisation I, II (6 units)

c. MUCA 230: Small Group Jazz Composition and Arranging (3 units)

d. MUCA 330: Large Ensemble Jazz Composition and Arranging (3 units)

e. MUCA 530: Advanced Jazz Writing Skills (3 units)

f. MURP 320: Functional Jazz Piano (3 units)

g. MUHI 455: Jazz History (6 units)

h. MUEP 305: Jazz Pedagogy (1 unit)

i. MUEP 120: Basic Audio Recording (1 unit)

3. Piano majors must complete either MURP 451 and 452 Literature of the Piano I

and II or MUEP 301 and 302 Piano Pedagogy I and II

4. Ensemble: completion of the requirement must include:

a. 5 terms of MUEN 248: Jazz Small Group Studies after admission to the jazz emphasis (5 units)

b. 6 terms of MUEN 295: Jazz Ensemble, or MUEN 293: Jazz Band, after admission to the jazz emphasis (6 units)

c. Additional ensembles, specific to major instrument, as follows:

Winds/Percussion:

6 terms wind ensemble/symphonic band;

3 terms chamber music

Strings:

9 terms symphony orchestra (3 terms required participation after admission to the emphasis in jazz studies);

3 terms chamber music

Piano:

3 terms symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert choir, women's choir or chorale;

3 terms supervised accompanying

Guitar:

3 terms symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert choir, women’s choir, chorale or chamber music

5. Presentation of required degree recitals:

Half recital (30 minutes maximum stage time) during junior year

Full recital (60 minutes maximum stage time) during senior year

6. Presentation of Media Project (see below)

7. Ensemble coaching/rehearsal techniques:

1-3 terms directing or co-directing a jazz small group (one 60-minute rehearsal per week) or serving as student assistant conductor of Jazz Workshop (frequency TBA) after admission to the emphasis in jazz studies.