Degree Requirements - Jazz Studies - MM Jazz Performance

A saxophonist holding her alto saxophone

Degree Requirments

Jazz Studies

MM • Jazz Performance


The two-year Master of Music (M.M.) degree in Music Performance trains students as informed artist-performers. In addition to demonstrating technical mastery of their instrument or voice, students are expected to exhibit a thorough understanding of the theoretical, pedagogical, and historical aspects of the major, as well as a knowledge of the literature of their performance area.


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Division Head, Jazz





Degree Requirements 

The M.M. in Jazz Performance requires 33 hours of registered coursework, a comprehensive examination, and a recital. 

Major Coursework 

Major Coursework for the M.M. in Jazz Performance
Hours Course Number Course Title/Description
8 Inst. 480J or
Inst. 480 

Graduate Performance (2 semesters) 

Admission to Inst. 480 by approval of the applied division faculty. 

6 MUS 698RA and
MUS 698RB 

Master’s Recital (2 semesters) 

The recital may be performed at any time during the third or fourth semester. 

3 MUS 388J  Improvisation Styles and Techniques 
3 MUS 387L  Jazz Perspectives 
2 ENS 185C  Jazz Combo (2 semesters) 
2 ENS 185J  Jazz Orchestra (2 semesters) 

A comprehensive examination is required of all master’s degree candidates, usually in the final semester. 

Supporting Coursework 

Supporting Coursework for the M.M. in Jazz Performance
Hours Course Number Course Title/Description
3 MUS 388T  Analytical Techniques 

One course chosen from the following: 

MUS 388P, Jazz Pedagogy 
MUS 276J, Beginning Jazz Piano Techniques 
MUS 343J, History of Jazz 
MUS 328M, Studio Arranging 
MUS 388K, Projects in Jazz Composition 
MUS 388M Topic 3, Contemporary Styles & Techniques 


One course chosen from the following: 

MUS 387L, Music Literature other than Symphonic Literature 
MUS 380, Advanced Studies in the History and Culture of Music 
Upper-division or graduate-level courses in music theory, Music & Human Learning, or related fields outside of music. 


Master’s Recital 

Students must perform a public degree recital in their second year.  

Find recital scheduling procedures on the Butler School Operations website. 


Master’s students must perform a jury for three out of the four semesters of study; there is no jury required at the end of the semester in which students perform a Masters Recital (recital is scheduled during the second year of study). Students perform juries in combos and should prepare 5-6 minutes of music per student. Repertoire should be chosen in collaboration with instructors. 

Postponements are allowed for extenuating circumstances (injury, death in the family, etc.).  No-shows are considered a failure. If a jury is postponed, the student must perform the jury within the first twelve class days of the following semester. 

Jury comments from faculty will be shared with students. The jury constitutes 50% of the semester grade for applied lessons and is determined by averaging individual grades of the jury panel (not including the primary studio teacher). 



Advising & Registration

For information about course registration, deadlines, adding and dropping courses and other policies, visit the Graduate School Academic & Registration Policies webpage.

Students who wish to take an independent study course need to fill out a Consent Form. Once the faculty member and Graduate Coordinator have approved your request, the bar to register for the course will be lifted.

To be eligible for fellowships, scholarships and assistantships, graduate students are required to be enrolled full-time (at least 9 hours).

All international students are also required to be enrolled full-time during each long semester, regardless of whether they receive funding from the Butler School of Music.

Transferring Coursework

A new master’s student may petition to transfer up to six credits of graduate level coursework completed at another institution, subject to approval by both the Butler School of Music Graduate Studies Committee chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Detailed transfer regulations and forms for master’s students are maintained by the Graduate School.



Graduation Timeline

Semester-by-Semester Overview

Prior to 1st semester

  • All students must take the diagnostic examinations in music history and music theory. Additional diagnostic exams are administered for students in composition, voice, jazz and music theory.

Semester 3

  • Registration for the following if required – MUS 698RA, 698A.
  • M.M. Piano Performance students take their group comprehensive exam.
  • With the approval of their studio teacher, some performance area students may perform their thesis recital.

Semester 4

  • Students must submit a completed M.M. degree check form to verify their completion of coursework.
  • Students must apply to graduate – check graduate school website for deadline.
  • Registration for the following if required – MUS 698RB, 698B, 398M.
  • M.M. String students take their group comprehensive exam.
  • All other students take individual comprehensive exams as arranged by their studio teacher (for performance area students) or their supervising professor (for academic area students).
  • Most performance area students perform their thesis recital.
  • M.M. Music & Human Learning – Non-Thesis Track complete their master’s project.
  • M.M. Music Theory, M.M. Music & Human Learning – Thesis Track and M.M. Composition students complete their master’s thesis or master’s report and submit it to the Graduate School.
  • M.M. Ethnomusicology and M.M. Musicology students complete their master’s report and submit it to the Graduate School.



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