Where Does University of Northern Colorado Stand in Jazz Studies?

So you’re interested in learning more about the university’s music – jazz studies program. But where does NEC stand among the best colleges for this particular subject? Below, we’ll take a look at what the Frost School of Music at Indiana University and Rutgers University offer, along with the university’s own program. After we’ve compared their programs, you’ll have an idea of how well NEC stacks up against other schools.

NEC offers a jazz studies program

Students looking to pursue a doctoral degree in music with a focus on jazz will find a wealth of opportunities at the University of Northern Colorado. Not only will students be able to earn a master’s in jazz studies, they will also be equipped with the professional skills needed to enter the music business. This is a particularly important skill to have for those who plan to pursue careers as jazz musicians.

UNC’s program is also well-known for its annual jazz festival, which draws some of the country’s top musicians. Originally scheduled for this year, it was postponed because of COVID-19, but is expected to return in 2021 with a virtual component titled the Global Jazz Celebration. Students can learn from world-class clinicians and performers who have been performing at festivals and events throughout the world. The UNC Jazz Festival is a major highlight of the UNC Jazz Studies Program, attracting more than 8,000 participants every year.

Those interested in exploring the history of jazz music can take the Jazz History/Music Journalism Through Social Media track in MUSC 364. This program does not require students to perform in a jazz combo. MUSC 364 meets the requirements for experiential education for UNC. In addition to studying jazz history, students can also focus on the contemporary art of music journalism. These courses will earn students three college credits.

Frost School of Music at Indiana University

Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music is one of the most prestigious music schools in the US, with more than 1,600 students and 180 full-time faculty members. The school features over 1,100 performance events annually, including more than eight operas and seven chamber music ensembles. The school also ranks among the best in jazz studies, and its students work in virtually every genre of music. The Jacobs School of Music boasts over 700 graduates and has been ranked among the best music schools in the US by U.S. News & World Report.

The Frost School of Music was one of the first schools to offer a jazz degree. Today, students can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in the genre at this university. Its alumni include such notable musicians as Bruce Hornsby, Wayne Krantz, Pat Metheny, Raul Midon, John Scofield, and Peter Bernstein. Its faculty also includes a host of internationally-renowned jazz artists.

If you’re looking for a more affordable jazz education, consider the Frost School of Music at Indiana University. Their jazz graduate program is consistently ranked among the top 10 in the country. The Frost School of Music at Indiana University also features a stellar faculty with jazz guitar legends such as Vic Juris and Terence Blanchard. This school’s small-class atmosphere and emphasis on improvisation make the school an excellent choice for jazz players.


In the early 1950s, the New School for Social Research (now known as Rutgers University of Newark) offered a course in jazz history, making it the first institution of higher learning in North America to do so. Professors such as Dr. Lou Fischer and Leonard Feather focused on the history of jazz from a scholarly perspective, and soon afterward, more than a dozen colleges and universities offered curricular jazz courses. Today, more than 30 schools offer classes in jazz, including the renowned Rutgers University of Northern Colorado.

The university has a jazz program named after the most well-known jazz educator, Jamey Aebersold. It’s also ranked among the nation’s best destinations for jazz students. Jazz studies professor Craig Wagner is a nationally recognized guitarist and teacher and is one of the best in the country. The school offers a baccalaureate and masters degree in jazz studies.

Juilliard is home to a world-class jazz program and boasts a reputation as one of the nation’s most respected conservatoires. Students in the program learn from world-renowned artists during artist residencies and from regular teachers. Some of the most notable alumni from the program include Maria Schneider, Ron Carter, and Jeff Beal. If you’re a musician, you’ll enjoy this program.

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