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Jazz Institute

The MPulse Jazz Institute is a one-week program focusing on a wide range of educational topics catered to the high school jazz musician. The program includes classes covering such topics as jazz repertoire, improvisation, beginning jazz arranging, jazz history, and much more. Classes will be led by University of Michigan Jazz Faculty, SMTD applied faculty and professional jazz artists.

The MPulse Jazz Institute is open to students in grades 9 through 11 during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The 2022 MPulse Jazz Institute will resume in-person on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus.

Institution Dates: July 3 – July 9, 2022
Institute Tuition: *$1,575

*Tuition for the MPulse Jazz Institute covers all instructional classes and events as well as room and board.

Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2022
Priority Admissions Notification: March 1, 2022

Application information for MPulse 2022 will be posted in November 2021.


DENNIS WILSON
Associate Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation

Dennis Wilson joined the Michigan faculty after teaching at Kansas State University where he also served as an assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. Wilson is the lead trombonist for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra and has toured, performed, and recorded with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the American Jazz Orchestra, the Benny Carter Orchestra, and Slide Hampton’s World of Trombones. He received a GRAMMY Award nomination for vocal arrangements for Manhattan Transfer and has performed on GRAMMY Award-winning recordings with Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Diane Schurr.


*Sample Schedule – MPulse Jazz Institute

*A final schedule for the 2022 MPulse Jazz Institute will be sent to accepted participants in April 2022.


Application information for the 2022 MPulse Jazz Institute will be available in November 2021.


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”. Download a PDF file of Lady Bird Please download the file in your instruments 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”.  Download a PDF file of Lady Bird. Please download the file in your instruments 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

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

Recommendation Letter
Applicants should submit one teacher evaluation (artistic teacher or mentor(s) preferred), academic teacher, or non-relative who can speak directly to the student’s academic aptitude, potential, and classroom performance. A recommendation is required for this institute.

Students should send this form to their recommender to fill out or the recommender may download the recommendation form here. Please have your recommender email their recommendation letter to smtd-mpulserecs@umich.edu.

Recommendations are due by February 1, 2022, for priority applicants.

Download Recommendation Form – Available as PDF, Word Document, or Google Document


Merit Awards
A limited number of scholarships are available for extremely talented students based on Faculty discretion. Consideration for these scholarships is automatic for applications received by the application deadline.

Need-Based Awards
A limited number of need-based scholarships are available to families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $100,000 or under in the previous calendar year, or with special circumstances due to the pandemic. To be considered you must upload your financial aid materials by the application deadline as part of your application. This includes:

  • Monthly Expenses
  • Previous Year’s Tax Return
  • Statement of Need

*Watson Scholarship
In the spirit of the life of a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School (1942) and Michigan physician, the Watson A. Young Scholarship promotes academic excellence and college aspiration among students with financial need. These need-based scholarships support middle and high school students’ participation in summer opportunities at U-M that seek to develop students’ interests and abilities in academic disciplines and expose students to the experiences and possibilities provided by higher education.

Application information will be posted in January 2022.

*Applications open to Michigan residents only

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