BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) with Foundation Year

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Study BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) with Foundation Year at Leeds College of Music

Leeds College of Music's jazz degree was the first in the UK, and over the last 50 years we've become a leading authority in jazz across the UK and Europe. Our Foundation Year route gives you an extra year to focus on your musical development.

Still accepting applications for September 2018 through UCAS Conservatoires

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 4 Years
  • UCAS Code: W37F - Apply through UCAS Conservatoires - Institution Code: L31
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Validated By: University of Hull

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Course Overview

Forward thinking

Led by Curriculum Leader, Jamil Sheriff, and supported by a host of renowned jazz musicians and qualified teaching practitioners, our jazz pathway is one of the finest in Europe. This highly collaborative course will shape you into a forward thinking, creative artist, grounded in the tradition but with a hunger to take music to new dimensions.

Improvisation

Improvisation is the very essence of jazz, and a way of life at Leeds College of Music. We provide a uniquely supportive and collaborative space in which you can explore, experiment and create your own unique sound.

A culture of collaboration

You’ll play with jazz musicians from all backgrounds, from raw talent to polished, and from progressive to purist. You’ll also benefit from working alongside students from other pathways, collaborating with producers, sound engineers, composers and entrepreneurs on your own independent projects.

Specialise

As well as one-to-one tuition with experts in your specialism, you will form innovative ensembles, develop composition, musicology and critical listening skills, and receive expert advice and instruction from illustrious performers, composers and music industry professionals.

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year gives you an extra year of access to our creative and collaborative environment, excellent facilities, expert staff and rich performance opportunities, building your confidence as a conservatoire musician.

What you will study 

The BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) with Foundation Year modules focus on developing you as a professional musician through one-to-one tuition, ensemble study and creative projects. The professional studies strand will develop your core business skills, and other optional modules will introduce additional cross-genre opportunities.

Specialist Study Foundation

You will receive specialist tuition with a focus on developing a stylistically accurate performance of jazz music and developing your jazz improvisation through a theoretical and practical understanding of the process at work in jazz language and vocabulary.

Specialist Study Foundation (Composition) - Module Specification
Specialist Study Foundation (Performance) -  Module Specification

Specialist Group Study Foundation

You will develop your ability and knowledge in respect of jazz performance within the context of small ensembles, exploring a range of styles and repertoire. You will be expected to act as leader of your respective ensembles, as well as performing as ‘sidemen’.

Specialist Group Study Foundation (Composition) - Module Specification
Specialist Group Study Foundation (Performance) - Module Specification

Aural and Theory

You will gain a breadth of understanding in order to provide context for your specialism, and will be given the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to creative tasks. Aural topics include singing at sight, improvisation, aural identification and interpretation of melodic material, chord sequences and rhythms, identification and analysis of key stylistic traits and forms.

Aural and Theory - Module Specification

Musicianship Skills

You will study one of the topics listed below, based on identified areas for your development:

  • Theory
  • Composition
  • Technology
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Creative Performance Techniques

Musicianship Skills - Module Specification

Contextual Studies Foundation

You will develop musicology, composition, and creative skills through the examination and exploration of repertoire, key historical and cultural concepts and creative collaboration. Study is divided into three themes: general musicology, pathway-specific repertoire analysis & composition, and creative workshops.

Contextual Studies Foundation - Module Specification

Specialist Study 1

Through one-to-one tuition and small group work you will learn and develop the fundamentals of composition or instrumental/vocal performance, as well as developing existing skills in technique and musicianship and building your specialist composition or performance skills.

Specialist Study 1 (Composition) - Module Specification
Specialist Study 1 (Performance) - Module Specification

Specialist Group Study 1

You will develop a strong foundation in ensemble performance and/or composition. Issues of style and repertoire will be discussed and taught, alongside a developing awareness of rehearsal etiquette and good practice. Composers will be specifically composing for group ensembles.

Specialist Group Study 1 - Module Specification

Creative Project

You will choose from the project menu and have the opportunity to collaborate with students and tutors from other pathways. Previous projects have included Generation Big Band, Indian Rhythms, arranging large ensemble music for concerts, delivering jazz workshops in schools and Sound Painting.

Creative Project - Module Specification

Contextual Studies 1

You will develop aural, analytical, and transcription skills and key historical and cultural concepts necessary to evaluate and contextualise jazz repertoire. Topics include notation and analytical methods, forms and variations, rhythm and poly-rhythm, harmonic pattern and progression, stylistic arrangement and technology and its impact.

Contextual Studies 1 - Module Specification

Professional Studies 1

Working in the Creative Industries

You will be introduced to the professional framework and mechanisms of the creative industries, focusing on developing your project management skills and understanding the legal and commercial issues likely to impact on your future employability. You will also develop your core information, digital and media literacies.

Working in the Creative Industries - Module Specification

Specialist Study 2

You will further develop your understanding of the techniques and skills of musical composition/performance, showing a technical command in their execution. You will realise and develop your emerging musical voice and perform with appropriate expression, creativity and presentation, or apply these skills to your compositions.

Specialist Study 2 (Composition) - Module Specification
Specialist Study 2 (Performance) - Module Specification

Specialist Group Study 2

You will be expected to take responsibility for your contribution to both the rehearsal process and performance in addition to demonstrating greater technical command in regard to the range of skills appropriate to the chosen musical idiom. Composers will be specifically composing and/or arranging for group ensembles.

Specialist Group Study 2 - Module Specification

Contextual Studies 2

You will further enhance your aural, analytical, and transcription skills, knowledge of repertoire, style and context as applied to making and creating music. Topics include compositional techniques, with reception and environment evaluated in greater detail, such as jazz and identity and jazz as art music.

Contextual Studies 2 - Module Specification

You will also choose one of the below options to study:

Specialist Study 3

Performers will deliver a stylistically informed performance with a command of appropriate musical and repertoire skills, leading to the presentation of a public performance. Composers will have the opportunity to compose ambitious pieces and to have a highly developed awareness of your compositional identity and to be able to apply this in a consistent and focused manner.

Specialist Study 3 (Composition) - Module Specification
Specialist Study 3 (Performance) - Module Specification

Final Project

This module is designed to offer students flexibility in their final year by providing opportunity to delve deeper into a specialism specific to their course and interests.

Final Project - Module Specification

These module specifications are for applicants choosing to start their course in the 2018/19 academic year. In compliance with University of Hull regulations, the conservatoire retains the right to make minor amendments and improvements to course, programme and module content year on year. This may result in minor changes to these specifications by September 2018.

Matt Roberts

Alumni Profile

Matt Roberts

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)
Year of Graduation: 2008

Since graduating, trumpeter Matt Roberts has performed at Glastonbury Festival, Ronnie Scott’s and everywhere in-between, as part of the Gentleman’s Dub Club, The Outlook Orchestra and a range of jazz ensembles.

Meet our alumni

Course Tutors

Jamil Sheriff
Jamil SheriffCurriculum Leader: Jazz & Folk

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Read more
Lauren KinsellaPrincipal Lecturer: Jazz

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Read more

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Course facts

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 4 years
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September
Validated by: University of Hull

Course Key Information Document

Entry Requirements
  • 64 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 studies, normally including Music. Can include music grade exams.
  • Grade 5 Theory standard (assessed at audition). Students who are not at this level will have to take Theory as their major option during the Foundation Year.
  • Grade 6 standard in specialist study instrument/voice

Read full entry requirements.

How to apply

Apply via: UCAS Conservatoires
UCAS Code: W37F
UCAS Institution Code: L31
Application Deadline: Still accepting applications for September 2018 through UCAS Conservatoires

Find out more.

Audition information
UK applicants to Jazz degrees at Leeds College of Music will need to complete an audition.
Read the audition guide.

A refund of audition fee and travel costs may be available for applicants from low income households.
Find out more.

Tuition Fees

2018/19 Tuition Fees: £9,250 (Home/EU Students), £13,000 for the Foundation Year then £15,500 per year thereafter (International Students)

Fees are per academic year and may be subject to government-approved increases in future years.
Find out more.

Scholarships & bursaries

Leeds College of Music provides a range of additional Scholarships and Bursaries.
Find out more.

Facilities

We have over 70 teaching rooms, practice rooms and bespoke ensemble rehearsal spaces that are all open until 3am. Our library and jazz archive contain over 10,000 CDs, 8,000 LPs and 18,000 items of printed music, and we’re an All-Steinway School, meaning that 95% of our pianos come from the Steinway family.

Find out more
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