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Jazz Institute


Exclusive One-Week Session

Key Information


U-M Faculty Director: Professor Dennis Wilson

July 8-14, 2018

Priority Deadline: Feb. 9, 2018



The Jazz Institute is open to students in grades 9-11 during the academic year. All instruments are welcome to apply. Class offerings include:

  • Improvisation skills
  • Listening skills
  • Jazz history
  • Applied instrument training
  • Theory/musicianship classes
  • Creative collaboration with other MPulse sessions
  • Small group (combo) performance


Application Procedure


The application consists of three parts. (Applications are not complete until the application fee has been received.)

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Recorded Audition Upload



Note: Audition requirements for your specific instrument are listed below.

Performance (Upload)

All instruments (excluding piano, guitar, bass, and drums)

Upload a recording including the following three components:

  1. Seven major scales of your choice (seven different keys, 2 octaves for each)
  2. Three harmonic and/or melodic minor scales of your choice using eighth notes (quarter = 120)
  3. And, one of the following three options:

Option 1 (Recommended)

A recording of you performing a melody (head) and improvised solo to either a blues, rhythm changes, or standard jazz tune, either with a combo or play-a-long recording.

Option 2

A recording of you performing a jazz etude to demonstrate proficiency on your instrument in the jazz style. For example; a jazz etude, a bebop head, or a transcription of a solo.

Option 3

A recording of you performing an etude or other piece (any style) to demonstrate proficiency on your instrument.

Piano, Guitar, and Bass

Upload a recording including the following two components:

  1. Walk a bass line or comp chords for an F or Bb blues, either with a combo or play-a-long recording.
  2. Improvise a solo if possible.
  3. Perform "Take The A Train" with a combo or play-a-long recording

(Rhythm section players must be able to read the appropriate clefs for their instruments.)


Upload a recording including the following components:

  • Demonstrate playing the following styles:
  • Swing (sticks and brushes)
  • Bossa nova
  • Samba
  • Ballad

Recommendation (Upload)
(Optional) You may have one of your current music teachers (school teacher or private teacher) assess your work in a letter of recommendation. In addition to your musical abilities, the letter may discuss your personal characteristics such as initiative, dependability, and your commitment to increasing your musical skills. To invite a recommender, submit your recommender's email address, when prompted, on the audition upload link. Once you submit your audition (by selecting Final Submit), the recommender will receive a notification and link to use for sending your confidential recommendation. E-mailed submissions will not be accepted.


Admission Notification

Priority deadline for all application/audition materials is February 9, 2018. Admission notifications for priority applicants will be e-mailed on March 23, 2018.   

Late applications may be accepted while space is available, however priority will be given to applications received by the priority deadline. Admission and notification after the priority deadline will be on a rolling basis.

Decisions will not be given by phone.

Tuition, Fees and Scholarships

Please visit the Tuition, Fees and Scholarships page for more information.



The General Information page includes many important items.



"All of the MPulse faculty was extremely dedicated and invested in helping and encouraging me as a young musician."
Julia, Jazz 2014, CT
"The MPulse Jazz Institute is one of the best Jazz Education institutions for gaining jazz vocabulary, learning from faculty and professionals, and finding the Michigan experience with friends!"
Diego, Jazz 2013, MI
"The jam sessions were stratight fire."
Ben, Jazz 2016, MI
MPulse Jazz Ensemble Rhythm SectionMPulse Jazz Institute Final Concert MPulse Jazz Institute Final Concert

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower