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Master of Music - Jazz & Contemporary Music

Longy School of Music of Bard College
Program overview
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
Start dates
Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA)
Spring 2021

Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA)
Fall 2021

Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA)
Spring 2021

Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA)
Fall 2021

Program description

Master of Music - Jazz & Contemporary Music

You’re ready to take a deep dive academically and artistically in this two-year Master of Music program. Longy’s innovative Catalyst Curriculum pairs musical excellence with a focus on the skills you’ll need to become a professional musician: the ability to design experiences, produce projects, and engage audiences with exceptional musical encounters. Dedicated career coaching will help guide your studies and prepare you for what comes after graduation.

Jazz & Contemporary Music Major

The legacy of jazz is boundless innovation. Longy’s JCM program provides an open environment in which students experiment and create to find their artistic voice and gain the experience and versatility necessary for success in an ever-changing professional world. Engaging in improvisation, composition, and performance practices, untethered to any one discipline or genre, students will build off the foundations of jazz and explore beyond—to modern contemporary, global folk traditions, bluegrass, Rock, Hip Hop, as well as other popular idioms—to define the music of the now and the future.

Admission requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree, post-secondary conservatory diploma, or demonstrated equivalent credential required
  • Academic and performance record demonstrating the capacity to excel in full-time studies
  • Applicants in performance must present an audition

English Proficiency

All applicants for whom English is not a first or primary language must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test.

Recommended minimum scores for admission to the Undergraduate Diploma (UD), Master of Music (MM), Graduate Performance Diploma (GPD), Graduate Diploma in Composition (GD), and Artist Diploma (AD):

  • TOEFL: 63
  • IELTS: 5.5
  • Duolingo: 90

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the institute website.

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Program content

The Jazz and Contemporary Music (JCM) Department is a close-knit cohort of students, each on a unique path to mastering their artistry and musicianship. Small, project-based courses, unparalleled access to faculty, and an abundance of opportunities to collaborate create a supportive environment that fosters curiosity, experimentation, and comradery.

Highlights include:


The Jazz and Contemporary Music Seminar, the centerpiece of the JCM graduate program, gives students the chance to collaborate on arrangements, engage with faculty and visiting lecturers on contemporary music topics, and demonstrate their current projects.

Sound and Style: Rulebreakers

Rulebreakers: Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Jimi Hendrix, and J Dilla challenged the status quo. Take an in-depth look at how they changed the way their instruments were played, invented novel improvisational and compositional languages, and forever altered the course of modern music.

You are the Chef: Modal Analysis of Classical Music for Improvisation

Any piece of music, regardless of style, can be understood by its tonal, thematic, and rhythmic ingredients. Jump into this experimental laboratory to find your voice and starting writing your own music.

This program also includes the following modules: 

  • The Lydian Chromatic Concept
  • Advanced Theory for Improvisors
  • American Sonic Practice
  • Sound and Style: Rulebreakers
  • Jazz Immersions
  • South American
  • Perspectives in Free Music
  • Prehistoric Jazz
  • No Boundaries Big Band
  • Modern Times: Collaborative & Improvised Film Scoring
  • The Art of the Trio
  • The Folk Tradition Ensemble
  • Flying Solo

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the institute website for more information.

Program delivery

The following delivery options are available:

  • Online
  • Hybrid-Online
  • Hybrid-In-Person
  • In-Person

Tuition fees

The annual tuition fee for this program is $45,900

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About this institute

Longy School of Music of Bard College

At Longy, we prepare students to become exceptional musicians who can engage new audiences; teach anyone, anywhere; and use artistry to change lives in communities around the world. Join us and become the musician the world needs you to be....

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Contact info

Longy School of Music of Bard College

27 Garden Street
02138 Cambridge Massachusetts
United States of America

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