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Jazz

One of Australia’s most respected and established jazz programs
Start your career in jazz performance. Excel at your instrument, expand your musical knowledge, improve your ear and learn to compose.

Begin your professional career in music performance through individual and ensemble tuition from our industry experts, many of whom also perform in highly regarded jazz ensembles around the world. We provide tuition in:

  • brass
  • bass
  • drums
  • guitar
  • piano
  • vibraphone
  • woodwind
  • voice.

You can combine your chosen instrument with ensembles or chamber studies, and you’ll undertake core studies such as musical thinking and skills, analysis, history, culture, pedagogy and music education.

We’ll train you in jazz improvisation, ensemble playing and repertoire development supported by studies in aural and harmony subjects.

Our aim is for you to achieve both artistic individuality and a high level of musical proficiency, and we encourage you to collaborate with your musical peers.

Why study jazz with us?

Our Jazz alumni are at the cutting edge of performance and composition in all genres of contemporary music at home and abroad.

If you see yourself as a professional performer, we provide the pathway. Here's how: 

  • individual instrument training
  • three big bands and 11 small ensembles, with many opportunities for performance
  • superb venues and facilities, including more than 100 practice rooms, extensive library resources and the latest in music technology
  • various opportunities for international tours with professional ensembles, bands and chamber music groups
  • small class numbers for maximum contact with staff and other players
  • regular masterclasses and performance workshops
  • guest lecturers – recent visitors include Maria Schneider, Miguel Zenon Quartet, Ellery Eskelin/Tom Rainey, Eric Harland, Joe Farsnworth, Guillermo Klein, Ed Partyka, Greg Osby, Will Vinson, Gretchen Parlato, Tony Malaby/Kris Davis and more
  • expert tutors who are active professionals and leaders in their fields
  • weekly improvisation classes
  • classes in jazz music business skills so you’re prepared for all aspects of your career
  • an excellent reputation abroad – we have alumni on full postgraduate scholarships at Juilliard, Manhatten School of Music and New England Conservatory.

Who can I study jazz with?

  • Mr David Theak, Program Leader, Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance); Lecturer in Saxophone
  • Mr Craig Scott, Senior Lecturer in Jazz
  • Dr Simon Barker, Lecturer in Jazz
  • Mr Phillip Slater, Lecturer in Trumpet
  • Mr Dale Barlow, Casual Lecturer in Saxophone
  • Mr Steve Brien, Casual Lecturer in Guitar
  • Mr Col Loughnam, Casual Lecturer in Saxophone
  • Mr Andrew Dickeson, Casual Lecturer in Drums
  • Dr Judith Bailey, Casual Lecturer in Jazz Piano and Composition
  • Mr Matt McMahon, Casual Lecturer in Jazz Piano
  • Ms Julie Spithill, Casual Lecturer in Piano
  • Mr Simon Sweeney, Casual Lecturer in Jazz

Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra

Walkin' tiptoe

Mr Dodo

Only for the honest

Innocent blues

What are my study options with jazz?

Where Jazz can take you

Jazz is an extensive genre offering many and varied careers:

  • performer: solo, ensemble, orchestra, chamber
  • session musician
  • composer
  • conductor
  • concert manager
  • festival or venue manager
  • music journalist
  • music producer
  • music teacher