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Jazz Curriculum

A variety of courses and performance opportunities are available to all EIU students. Auditions for all EIU jazz groups are held at the beginning of each fall semester. Auditions consist of sight reading and prepared material. Improvisation is optional for big band auditions but required to play in a combo.

The Jazz Studies Concentration

For those students who may be interested in pursuing a college degree in jazz, Jazz Studies is available as a concentration within the Bachelor of Music Degree. This degree program is designed to offer the student a comprehensive study of jazz music from academic and performance perspectives. It is well known in the region for its high quality instruction and successful graduates. We offer a strong foundation in improvisation, jazz history and theory, arranging, and ensemble performance. Our staff is comprised of established performers, writers, and teachers such as arranger Allan Horney and jazz pianist Paul Johnston.

Admission Requirements

Students who wish to become Jazz Studies majors are required to perform the standard instrumental audition, plus demonstrate improvisational ability and jazz skills related to their particular instrument.

Teacher Licensure

Jazz Studies Majors may also elect to pursue teacher licensure by completing all requirements listed in the University General Catalog.

Courses Offered in the Jazz Curriculum

  • Jazz Improvisation I
  • Jazz Improvisation II
  • Jazz Improvisation III
  • Applied Jazz Studies
  • Jazz Seminar
  • Jazz History
  • Jazz Arranging
  • Composition
  • Jazz Theory I
  • Jazz Theory II
  • Combo
  • Advanced Combo
  • Jazz Lab Band
  • Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Studies Course Sequence

The Jazz Studies Course Sequence (pdf) outlines classes students take during a 4-year course of study.  All students study privately with an applied teacher. In addition, jazz studies majors have the opportunity to study jazz privately on a weekly basis as part of the curriculum. For more detailed information please see the EIU Jazz Handbook.