Program Director

Dr. Joseph Carucci

Bliss Hall 3010 

330) 941-1439

Program Description

The Master of Music (MM) in Jazz Studies degree emphasizes collaborative interaction, individual creativity, musical proficiency, and pedagogy, as well as historical and cultural perspectives through a unique and comprehensive curriculum.

Collaborative interaction is encouraged and realized through a balanced approach between small and large jazz and commercial ensemble experiences. Applied Jazz instrumental study and Applied Jazz Composition provide the students a guided opportunity to build their individual creativity. In addition, historical and cultural perspectives, as well as research skills, are addressed in the one semester Selected Topics in Jazz History seminar and Research in Music seminar. The First Year Recital and the Second Year Recital are the capstone experiences of the degree. Students are expected to perform, compose, arrange, and improvise music which can include original compositions and/or arrangements of the Blues, American Songbook Standards, and jazz compositions. Students are encouraged to record studio and live performances for inclusion in a portfolio or publication on the internet.

The intensive applied curriculum provides students with skills they will use throughout their careers. Our MM in Jazz Studies graduates have performed with the US Navy Commodores Jazz Band, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Buddy Rich, Tommy Dorsey, Harry Connick Jr., Glenn Miller, Néstor Torres, Joe Lovano, Christine McBride, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, Chuck Mangione, Blood, Sweat, & Tears, The Eagles, Max Weinberg, Barry Manilow, and many more.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to graduate study in the Master of Music degree must present a baccalaureate degree in music from an accredited college or university. Admission requires a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.7 (on a 4.0 scale). 

Jazz Studies requires an audition as well as examples of original compositions and arrangements.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and work critically with historical information (MUHL). Assessment: MUHL 6946 course-based project
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of specialized knowledge of at least one aspect of Music Theory (MUTC). Assessment: Final exam in MUTC 6936 or MUTC 6935
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to write in a scholarly manner about their area of specialization within music. Assessment: Final Project in MUHL 6960
  4. Students will demonstrate proficiency in their applied and composition areas. Assessment: First and second year RECITAL of 25 minutes and 50 minutes of music, respectively.

Successful completion of 30 semester hours and all requirements specific to each degree.

Upon admission and before the start of the first semester of graduate study, each student must take a diagnostic examination in music history and music theory. Students who score at least 70% on the theory diagnostic exam will test out of the remedial 6921 Graduate Analysis I. The history diagnostic test is intended to assess students’ critical reading, thinking, and writing in advance of 6977 and 6960. Failure to take the diagnostic examinations will result in the addition of 6921 Graduate Analysis I and one music history elective within the degree. 

Students in Performance, Music Theory and Composition, and Music Education will take core courses in Philosophies of Music (6977), Graduate Analysis II (6922), and Research in Music (6960). 

In performance degrees, students will also take applied lessons, ensembles, and two seminar electives. Performance degrees will culminate in a 50-minute recital. Candidates in Voice Performance are expected to be proficient in two foreign languages or else take two semesters each of two different languages (Italian, French, or German). 

In Jazz Studies, students will take core courses in Jazz Theory (6935), Jazz Composition (6936), Jazz History (6946), and Research in Music (6960). Students will also take applied lessons on an instrument and in composition as well as small and large ensembles. The degree requires two 50-minute recitals.

In Music Theory and Composition degrees, students will take seminar electives as well as Thesis I (6990) and Thesis II (6991). A thesis and an oral defense of the thesis are required. Music Education degree students may elect either the thesis or a significant research project. Thesis students who have completed all requirements but have not defended the thesis are required to register for one hour of 6991, if they expect to receive advisor or committee assistance or utilize University services (e.g., library, computer, parking, and so forth).

Students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to remain in “good standing.” Any course grade of D or F must be repeated and passed with a grade of A or B and no more than 6 semester hours of coursework with a grade of C may count toward the minimum graduation hour requirements.

Core Requirements12
Research in Music
Jazz Theory
Jazz Composition
Selected Topics in Jazz History
Applied Lessons13
Total Semester Hours30
Applied Lessons
Students should take 6901, 6902 and 6903 on instrument or voice. Applied lessons are offered on: Bassoon (BASS), Baritone Horn (BHFN), Cello (CELL), Clarinet (CLAR), Flute (FLUT), French Horn (FHRN), Guitar (GUIT), Oboe (OBOE), Organ (ORGN), Percussion (PERC), Piano (PIAN), Saxophone (SAX), String Bass (SBSS), Trombone (TROM), Trumpet (TRUM), Tuba, Viola (VIOL), Violin (VION), Voice (VOIC). For example:
Advanced Composition
Advanced Composition
Students should take two semesters each of MUEN 0023 and MUEN 0030; the last ensemble should be either MUEN 0023 or MUEN 0030
Jazz Ensemble
Jazz Combo