Within the unique multi-genre environment that is Leeds Conservatoire, this highly practical and creative course offers the opportunity to be trained as a 21st Century classical musician with additional specialism in jazz music. Our BA (Hons) Music programme is split into Specialist Study, Contextual Studies and Professional Studies. This degree allows you to choose your major and minor concentration within the Specialist Study strand, i.e. your one-to-one classes will be in your major area – Classical, your ensemble group study in your minor area – Jazz.
This course is strongly focused on gaining a thorough understanding of classical music and jazz music. There are numerous opportunities to perform with core ensembles such as Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Choir, Opera and the chance to explore recent classical music with the exciting crossover amplified group New Music Collective. There is a vibrant student union within the conservatoire, which also runs its own ensembles and orchestra, so there are many ways in which students are active as performers and composers. Leeds Conservatoire has recently formed a partnership with Opera North that will increase access for students to gain real professional experience via side-by -side projects.
Internationally renowned, the Leeds Jazz scene has consistently produced some of the UK’s most creative musicians for over fifty years, and the Jazz course at Leeds Conservatoire is right at the very heart of this movement. Our students see world class music every night of the week at the many clubs we collaborate with, including our own B Side, Undercurrent and Fusebox sessions, where staff, students and guests play into the night.
The emphasis of the course is on challenging students to achieve highly, but supporting and nurturing them also. 1:1 study is augmented with weekly Performance in Context and Composition in Context classes. Historical musicology is thematically explored alongside critical listening and harmony, as well as other valuable skills that are aimed to bring contextual understanding to the primary focus of practical musicianship.
Most of our students are here as performers, and our teachers and resources provide a first rate setting for students who are serious about learning to improvise. Workshops and gigs take place every Friday, when we invite touring artists to share their expertise. Staff also perform and compose at the highest level, and are here to share their knowledge and experience, as well as provide professional opportunities for students.
Leeds is a vibrant musical city and students are regularly given the opportunity to hear professional music-making of the highest standard and are given numerous opportunities to perform within the city and the wider region. Study is supplemented by regular masterclasses by visiting world-class musicians and composition students are given at least two opportunities per year to write for visiting professional ensembles.