Be part of one of the nation’s best undergraduate jazz programs. 

Grow your artistry, build your technical facility, and expand your musical possibilities in a community of empowerment, collaboration, and support. Hone and challenge your performance skills with a diverse array of solo, chamber, and ensemble experiences. Dig into the transformational power of music through community outreach. Become the versatile and entrepreneurial musician the world needs. Where will your musical journey take you?

Grow you skills with jazz courses and jazz emphasis degree options.

Learn from celebrated professional jazz musicians with a wide range of expertise.

Discover the many paths open to Conservatory graduates. 

Jazz Ensemble practicing next to a tree on a sunny day

Program Experience

Develop a world of musical, cultural, and artistic understanding. You’ll build all of these foundations together through study, performance, collaboration, and composition. Guided by faculty mentors who are also celebrated performers, travel down an individual path based on your interests. You’ll explore a wide array of jazz traditions and music from around the world. A combination of large and small group practice, improvisation, immersive jazz composition and arranging allow for frequent performance–and recording!–of your work.  

Student plays a guitar with faculty member

Jazz small groups

Small groups and combos are jazz performance classrooms that let you experience an extraordinary exploration of jazz improvisation through performance practice and guided listening and analysis. You’ll meet twice a week in small groups, once for faculty coaching, and once for student-led experimentation. Study classic jazz styles and build on a tradition of innovation by creating arrangements and compositions of your own.

Jazz Weekend performance

24/7 Jazz

You have so many opportunities to perform. From regular recitals and weekly jam sessions in the campus center to Lawrence's signature Jazz Weekend. Plus, hit a high note with a variety of performance groups ranging from small, student-designed ensembles to one of Lawrence's award-winning jazz ensembles.

Student plays guitar on stage

Notes to emphasize

You can choose from concentrated Emphasis in Jazz tracks in both music performance and composition majors.

Student plays saxophone

Perfect Harmony

Combine a world-class college with a world-class conservatory. One of four degree options, the innovative Bachelor of Musical Arts with an emphasis in jazz and contemporary improvisation gives you the flexibility to master your musical craft and pursue other passions that spark your curiosity. 

The Lawrence Jazz Ensemble performs on the stage of Memorial Chapel.


Downbeat Awards for Jazz Ensemble

Lawrence's musicians have been consistently recognized by the prestigious Downbeat Awards.

Student playing guitar on stage

Live from Appleton! 

From works composed by faculty and students to jazz standards, get a taste of the performance experience.

Jose Encarnacion instructing jazz class

Learn from the Greats

Some of the greatest jazz performers in the world perform at Lawrence as part of the Jazz Series and signature Jazz Weekend. You not only have opportunities to see them perform, you can learn from them in master classes.

On Any Given Day... an array of opportunities that await you at Lawrence University.

Music & Arts

The Chicago Gig

Play with your professors in the classroom and on tour. Students hit the road to gig in Chicago and share the stage with the faculty jazz quartet. 

Image of a person playing a grand piano

Jazz Jams

Every Monday in Warch Campus Center, students come together to play jazz from 9:30 p.m. until midnight.

A musical life awaits. Take the next steps by applying and auditioning.

The best way to find out if Lawrence is the university for you is by visiting.

Your virtual tour starts at the Arch but be sure to check out Conservatory, to explore learning and performance spaces.