Music: Jazz Studies

Western Michigan University's jazz studies program has gained international recognition for its innovative approach to jazz education. The program attracts undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the United States and worldwide. Graduates of the program are among today’s leaders in jazz and pop performance, Broadway, recording studio production, writing, arranging, singing and music education.

To be admitted into WMU's jazz studies program, you must successfully complete the school's audition and testing program, held each November, January and February.

Beyond the classroom

As a jazz studies student at WMU, you will have the opportunity to record, learn the recording arts, or serve as a student engineer or producer in the WMU recording studios. You may also join one of the University's combos or ensembles, which include: Gold Company, Gold Company II, University Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Lab Band, WMU Drum Choir, WMU Jazz Octet, Western Jazz Quartet, and jazz combos coached by faculty and guest artists. You may also get a chance to perform at The Union, a world-class jazz club located in downtown Kalamazoo. Students and faculty book more than 80 performances annually at this first-class venue, which has established a professional working partnership with WMU's jazz studies program.

You will also be invited to enjoy the program's constant flow of guest artists for concerts, classes and residencies.

After you graduate

Recent WMU graduates with degrees in jazz studies are working as:

  • Performers
  • Teachers
  • Band directors

Among the organizations they work for are:

  • Music companies
  • Performance studios
  • Schools

Career Outcomes

Where is this program offered?

  • Kalamazoo

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