A specialist jazz course offering a wide range of performance opportunities for instrumentalists and singers.*
- Enhance your jazz skills with this busy performance course featuring classes in improvisation, transcription and arranging.
- Perform publicly and enjoy instrumental and vocal masterclasses from leading jazz professionals.
- Kick-start your career with guidance from a team of professional lecturers and tutors, all of whom are working jazz musicians.
*New for 2018 entry, this course is subject to final approval.
As a Jazz student at Bath Spa University, you'll be part of an established Music department with a long history of working with world class musicians and composers.
The focus of the course is to prepare you as an improvising musician for a career in the jazz music industry. This is achieved by delivering a dynamic and practical curriculum tailored to your individual strengths and interests.
You'll explore performance, improvisation, composition, music production, education and marketing. Instrumental/vocal tuition and the performance experience are at the heart of the course, offering you a focused learning experience guided by a team of professional lecturers and tutors who are all working jazz musicians.
'Having the opportunity to play in multiple ensembles (big bands, jazz ensembles etc.) allowed me to practise the practical side of the course whilst classroom-style theory lessons introduced me to new ways of thinking about the music.'
Doug Wells, Trumpet
What you'll learn
Elevate your instrumental and vocal performance skills to an advanced standard through weekly one-to-one lessons, practical workshops and numerous ensemble and band opportunities. You'll also benefit from weekly classes in standard and contemporary repertoire, jazz harmony, aural, history and analysis, transcription, arranging and composition.
Industry-led professional development is essential to the course. We'll focus on music production, education, marketting and promotion during regular masterclasses and workshops with major visiting artists.
You'll also benefit from regular public performance opportunities at our Bath city centre arts venue, together with opportunities to create and promote your own group and augment your skills in band leadership.
The first year provides a grounding in all aspects of music. One-to-one lessons in performance focus on instrumental/vocal technique, and you'll also benefit from workshops in rhythm and improvisation, jazz theory and harmony classes and aural analysis. You'll study composition - notation, arranging, free composition and music technology, and musicology - history, style and context. You'll also benefit from a study of the music of other cultures in our Global Music module.
The focus is employability; as a professional musician, you'll need to be industry-aware, and the option to undertake a work placement supports this in your second year. You'll embark on Jazz Studies 1 and 2 - critical listening, transcription and arranging, and Performance - one-to-one lessons, solo and group performance workshops. Optional modules include Composition and Music Research, where you'll focus on music in its cultural contexts and undertake fieldwork in the area of jazz practice.
Throughout the course, working as an ensemble is fundamental to the process of learning, both through small and large groups. As you progress, greater performance independence is encouraged. In Performance, you'll experience advanced solo and group performance workshops, plus public performances. In Jazz Studies 3 and 4, you'll investigate issues in jazz and jazz performance, as well as undertaking independent jazz research in your chosen area. In Composition (optional), you'll undertake a project-based composition for jazz ensembles. Independent Study (optional) comprises a creative/practical research project or dissertation.
How will I be assessed?
You'll be assessed through recitals and technical studies, practical ensemble assessments and coursework in the form of written work, transcriptions, arrangements and free composition.
How will I be taught?
You'll be taught in collaborative lecture/seminar/workshop sessions guided by tutors and peers, as well as one-to-one instrumental/vocal lessons, ensemble/group rehearsals and coaching sessions.
You'll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including the USA and Germany.
Work placements, industry links and internships
Our students have worked with major artists such as Jason Rebello (piano) Iain Ballamy (saxophone) Asaf Sirkis (drums) Andy Sheppard (saxophone) Nigel Price (guitar) Derek Nash (saxophone) and Xantone Blacq (piano).
Freelance musicians enjoy varied portfolio careers in areas including performing and teaching.
Facilities and resources
Where the subject is taught
Community Music is taught at Newton Park's Michael Tippett Centre, which has numerous ensemble rehearsal spaces, a concert hall and practice rooms.
You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including:
You'll have access to practice and rehearsal spaces equipped with pianos, including three Steinway grand pianos.
We have a percussion studio with all orchestral and band instruments and a wide range of orchestral instruments, for example soprano and baritone saxophones, flutes and clarinets that you can borrow, together with keyboards, amps, etc.
The Library and the Music Department have a large collection of band and ensemble scores and parts.