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Jazz Institute

The Jazz Institute is a wide-ranging educational program that gives students the opportunity to work on the Ann Arbor campus University of Michigan jazz faculty and special guest artists.

The Jazz Institute is open to students in grades 9-11 during the academic year.

U-M Faculty Director: Associate Professor Dennis Wilson

Session Dates: July 5 – July 11, 2020
Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2020
Tuition: $1,775
Application Open: November 15, 2019
Priority Admissions Notification: February 28, 2020

Components of the Jazz Institute

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

The application consists of three parts.

Applications are not considered complete until all required materials are received.

Application Checklist for Jazz Institute

  1. Complete the Online Application
  2. Pay the non-refundable Application Fee of $75.00
  3. Upload your Audition Materials via Acceptd, the MPulse Online Audition Portal (details for each entry outlined in Audition Portal)
    1. Audition Video
    2. Headshot
    3. Recommendation Letter

MPulse Audition Portal
The following should be submitted:

  1. Audition Video (one video file)
  2. Headshot
  3. Recommendation Letter

1 – Audition Video
Upload a video audition with the requested information below. You may upload more than one video, as needed.
Note: Audition requirements for your specific instrument are listed below.

All Instruments (excluding piano, guitar, bass, and drums)
Upload a recording including the following:

  • Seven major scales of your choice (seven different keys)
  • Three harmonic and/or melodic minor scales of your choice using eighth notes (quarter = 120)
  • Perform 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.
  • Compose and play your own created solo on the song “Lady Bird”. A PDF file of this song is provided here. Please download the file in your instrument’s key.

Piano, Guitar, and Bass
Upload a recording including the following:

  • Walk a bass line or comp chords for an F or Bb blues, either with a combo or play-a-long recording.
  • Improvise a solo to either a blues, rhythm changes, or standard jazz tune, either with a combo or play-a-long recording.
  • Compose and play your own created solo on the song “Lady Bird”. A PDF file of this song is provided here. Please download the file in your instrument’s key.
  • Note: Rhythm section players must be able to read the appropriate clefs for their instruments.

Drums
Upload a recording including the following:

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

2 – Headshot
Upload one color headshot

  • Headshots should be recent, clear, and against a neutral background.
  • Headshots should be front-facing and from the neck up.
  • Headshots do not need to be professionally taken and should resemble a Driver’s License/Passport Photo.

3 – Recommendation Letter
(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.

Priority Deadline for all application/audition materials to be submitted is February 1, 2020.

Admission notifications for priority applicants will be e-mailed on February 28, 2020.

For priority consideration and notification, all application and audition materials must be received by the priority deadline of February 1, 2020. Applications may be accepted after the priority deadline for programs and/or instruments in which openings remain. Review, admission, and notification for applications received after the priority deadline will be handled on a rolling basis, subject to space availability per each individual institute. Space is limited.

Admissions decisions will not be given by phone.

Merit Awards
MPulse awards a limited number of scholarships to extremely talented students based on Faculty discretion. Consideration for these scholarships is automatic for applications received by the priority deadline.

Need-Based Awards
A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. To be considered for a need-based scholarship you must complete the online need-based financial aid application by the priority deadline. To begin the process, select “Need Based Award Consideration” in the program application.

MPulse Summer Performing Arts Institutes
Office of Engagement & Outreach-Youth & Adult Programs
University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Stearns Building │ 2005 Baits Drive │ Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: (734) 936-2660
Email: mpulse@umich.edu