Minor in Jazz Studies

The IWU School of Music began offering a Minor in Jazz Studies during the fall 2013 semester. This program is designed for music majors and non-music majors who wish to acquire a substantial understanding of jazz music, particularly in the areas of arranging, harmony, history, improvisation, performance, and theory. It is a program that is also particularly attractive to music education majors, who when seeking teaching positions are often asked if they have a background in jazz music. Also, note that the requirements for this minor program are not identical for both music majors and for non-music majors.

The total number of units is 5, and none of the courses cited below can also count toward any of the major degree programs for music (music majors must also meet the prerequisites for each of these courses).


Jazz Improvisation (216) (1 unit)

Jazz History (264) (1 unit)

Jazz Piano (303) (1 unit)

Jazz Theory, Harmony, and Arranging (305) (1 unit)

Jazz Ensemble (034) or Unlicensed syncopation (028) (.25 unit); taken more than once *

Jazz Lab Band and Combos (035) (.25 unit); taken more than once *

* Any combination of Jazz Ensemble, Unlicensed Syncopation, Jazz Lab Band, or Combo will meet this requirement, provided that students participate in at least one of these ensembles for a total of four semesters (also, the ensemble selected does not have to be the same one in each of the semesters).

N.B. It is assumed that music majors would meet the prerequisites for the aforementioned courses by completing four semesters of Applied Music, Music Theory I, Music Theory II, and Keyboard Basics 100A and 100B, all of which are required for major degree programs in music. With respect to Applied Music, it should be noted that in most cases, the focus of applied instruction will be on classical music, not jazz music. Techniques for performing jazz music will be learned in Jazz Ensemble, Unlicensed Syncopation, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Lab Band and Combos, and Jazz Piano.


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