The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music offers a unique course of study in which a passionately engaged faculty of professional artists, drawn from New York City’s renowned jazz community, guides serious and talented students toward high standards of achievement and the ongoing development of the individual creative voice. Our curriculum is based on the respected tradition of artist-as-mentor, and is taught by accomplished, active artists with significant links to the history and evolution of jazz, blues, pop, and new genres. Our students—the emerging performers, composers, and arrangers who will take their places among the best practitioners of jazz and its related genres—combine the expertise traditionally linked to conservatory training with the generative spirit and vigor of jazz. The school sees its mission as “respecting tradition, embracing innovation.”
The widely varied backgrounds of both The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music students and instructors — as well as curricular depth — have resulted in The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music receiving international recognition as a leading center of arts education today. Bachelor of Fine Arts students do their core work in classrooms and private studios with exceptional musician-educators. Here they gain direct exposure to modern music's traditions and practices in an intellectual context that encourages exploration and innovation. Students in Jazz are also provided numerous opportunities for cross-registration in classes ranging from classical theory, composition, counterpoint, and musicology to music therapy, management, and liberal arts. The opportunity to take courses at Mannes College The New School of Music adds great depth to our students’ curriculum and provides an additional standard of professionalism against which students can measure their achievements and progress.
Other divisions of The New School add a special dimension to our Jazz students’ educational experience. Jazz students may register for a range of arts and humanities classes through these divisions and program, and students are encouraged to participate in artistic collaborations and performances with them as well. And, of course, all of this enrichment takes place in New York City, whose vast cultural and intellectual environment offers unmatched opportunities for creative development and inspiration.
Our curriculum is based on the age-old tradition of artist-as- mentor, and is taught by accomplished, active artists with significant links to the history and evolution of Jazz, blues, pop, and new genres. Our students — the emerging performers, composers, and arrangers who will take their places among the best practitioners of Jazz and its related genres — combine the expertise traditionally linked to conservatory training with the generative spirit and vigor of Jazz. With a large percentage of our students attending from outside the United States, New School Jazz is a truly multicultural universe. This environment extends past the walls of the school and into the streets and studios, clubs and concert halls of New York City – Jazz capital of the world.
In master classes apart from listed coursework, but integrated in the curriculum, which students attend regularly. These scheduled lectures/performances/workshops have featured artists including: Jon Faddis, Barry Harris, Lee Konitz, Wynton Marsalis, Jim Hall, and Jimmy McGriff among many, many others.
The curriculum's core of interdisciplinary studies includes courses in performance, music history, and liberal arts, providing more flexibility and focus as students advance toward graduation. Senior students are afforded invaluable opportunities to apprentice with one or more Jazz and/or contemporary music masters, gaining realistic views of the musical forms through their daily applications and through close observation of the artists’ work and philosophy.
The key to the success of New School Jazz lies in its use of experienced professionals to guide the intense involvement of students in the challenges of small group playing. Students in The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music work with the creators, not just the interpreters, of Jazz and its offshoots — music that continues to stretch toward and reach ever-new expressive and artistic horizons.
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