Music Department Admissions - Graduate Jazz

Requirements for Admission to the Graduate Jazz Degree Programs

The admission requirements on this page are for the M.M. with concentration in Jazz Studies in the following tracks:

  • Jazz Performance
  • Jazz Arranging

Please see Apply Now! for All Graduate Degrees for instructions on applying to the university and the department of music.

Admission to the Master of Music with concentration in Jazz Studies at William Paterson University requires the following:

  1. A bachelor's degree in music from an accredited college or university.
  2. An undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75.
  3. Two written recommendations.
  4. An audio recording (for the Performance track) and/or a portfolio of compositions as described below, submitted electronically as described on our Apply Now! Page

For graduate study in Jazz Performance: An audio recording that meets the following requirements:

The recorded performance should demonstrate ability to play within a group and as a soloist. Perform a minimum of three tunes:

  1. One up-tempo tune such as "Cherokee," "Ornithology," "It Could Happen To You," "Just Friends" or a similar selection
  2. One medium-tempo tune such as "All the Things You Are," "Out of Nowhere," "Have You Met Miss Jones?" or a similar selection;
  3. One ballad such as "Body and Soul," "In A Sentimental Mood," "I Can't Get Started" or a similar selection.
  4. One improvised chorus within the presentation of the medium tempo and up-tempo tunes should be performed entirely unaccompanied.

Special Audition Notes:

Piano, Guitar and Mallet Instruments: Performance should demonstrate ability to comp as well as to improvise over chord changes.

Drum Set: Performance should demonstrate ability to use brushes as well as sticks. Play through the head of the up- tempo tune unaccompanied, outlining rhythmic structure of the melody.

Bass: Performance should demonstrate ability to construct a walking bass line and should showcase strengths as an improviser. Acoustic bassists should demonstrate use of the bow.

Vocalists: If currently studying voice, include a vocalise at the beginning of tape. Performance should demonstrate ability to scat as well as understanding of the lyric.

For graduate study in Jazz Composition and Arranging:

  • Jazz Arranging majors must submit a portfolio of a maximum of five scores and five recordings. The recordings must be of music from the submitted scores.
  • The portfolio must include original compositions and/or arrangements (preferably some of both), showing a variety of styles and instrumentation, mainly music for jazz small group and big band. Pieces with other types of orchestration may be submitted.
  • Jazz repertoire is essential but other styles are encouraged as well. MIDI recordings are acceptable. Please exclude any extended improvisation sections.