Friday, July 11, 2008

Where do you go to become a Professional Jazz Musician?

Where do you go to become a Professional Jazz Musician or work in the Jazz industry? Unless you have the talents of an Oscar Peterson or Amad Jamal or Bill Evans, you can go to school, the same thing you do to become a lawyer or a doctor. Don’t be fooled by thinking that because music is driven by creativity that education does not play a big role because it does. Having the proper fundamentals in music especially in your area of expertise is no longer optional.

Today there are many schools to choose from that have a Collegiate Jazz Program, almost too many. One of the finist is in Boston -- the Berklee School of Music, from which many jazz artists have come. Basically, you need to decide where you want to go and then start to research. Narrow down a list of criteria that you want in a school, and examine factors such as their job placement rate. Eventually you will find what you are looking for.

Depending on your ambition, you can go to college or university and achieve either a diploma, a bachelor’s degree, even a masters and PhD. You should enroll in a program that will provide you with what you need to be successful in your chosen career direction. Some of the careers available when you graduate from a Collegiate Jazz program are:

• Arranger

• Composer

• Conductor

• Copyist

• Orchestrator

• Record Producer

Schools offer real practical experience like co-ops and the chance to play live and perform in small and large ensembles. Each school will provide you with the opportunity to gain experience in collaboration and give you a networking foundation that you can rely on down the road. In today’s world prospective employers want people that have an education because it demonstrates that you have a foundation for learning in this field before they hire you.

School curriculums will offer many courses like composition and arranging, score analysis, jazz fusion composition and post bebop harmonic innovations. You have the ability to select what is most applicable to you and best of all most schools employ a faculty of industry professionals. There is nothing better then learning from someone with real industry experience and practical advice.

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