The potential of jazz music in America is diverse and limitless, but only if conceived as a world of beauty, power, expression, and imagination in which all members of society can participate. The need exists for a new example of music instruction in our country, a model for performing artists of the future who will understand the centrality of their roles. Not only will they be able to teach the next generation of professional musicians, but they will also be able to broaden the artistic involvement of all Americans.
As jazz music continues to work its way into the mainstream of the American education system, new and innovative methods need to be formulated to assure the perpetuation and development of this important art form. The Manhattan School of Music philosophy is that this is best done at the actual point where knowledge is transferred, at the level of the educator.
Having created a program that attracts top musical talent, Manhattan School of Music trains Doctor of Musical Arts candidates through an integrated and innovative new educational format that focuses on three distinct and critical areas of jazz music: performance, composition and pedagogy. This three-fold educational concept enables a student to develop as “The Complete Artist Musician” — one who excels equally as a performer, composer, arranger, teacher, conductor of workshops and clinics, and lecturer. This new and distinctive concept in music education is the central philosophy of the Manhattan School of Music Doctoral Jazz Arts Advancement Program.
The program of study leading to the Manhattan School of Music doctor of musical arts degree is offered with a major in Jazz Arts Advancement. A minimum of 60 credits in approved graduate courses is required; the curriculum is designed to prepare the candidate for a performing and composing career as well as for teaching at both secondary and college levels. Students will, therefore, be expected to demonstrate strong academic capabilities in addition to a high level of achievement in performance and composition. All major lessons will be with a member of Manhattan School of Music's jazz composition faculty. Composers interested in the program must also be able to perform at a professional level in the jazz aesthetic. Applicants must hold a Master’s degree (or the equivalent).
- Students must be in residence at the School for a minimum of two years.
- All course work and performance requirements must be completed within seven years of the date of matriculation. A one year leave of absence may be taken for medical or professional reasons.
- Students may transfer a maximum of nine graduate credits earned at another institution with a grade A or B; no applied credits (i.e., private lessons) may be transferred.
Admission to the doctor of musical arts degree program is based on an audition before the faculty of the candidate’s major department; the results of a three hour written examination in jazz history, theory, and improvisation; and a personal interview with the doctoral committee. Students for whom English is not the native language are required to take the standardized TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and achieve a score of at least 100 iBT.
Scholarships are awarded to full-time students on the basis of audition, financial need, and academic achievement as demonstrated on the entrance examinations in jazz music history and theory.
Students admitted to the program must consult with the Associate Dean of the Jazz Arts Program each semester prior to registration. The Associate Dean, in consultation with the doctoral committee, administers all matters of curriculum, document topics, examinations, and applications for graduation. All inquiries, forms, and petitions should be forwarded to the doctoral studies department.