Jul 24, 2024  
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog 
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog

Jazz Studies Minor

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Minimum number of credits required to earn minor: 19

GPA requirements to earn minor:  Students graduating with a minor in a CLAS field must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in the courses in the minor field that are credited toward completion of the minor.

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward minor: None.

Other requirements:  A minimum of 9 credit hours must be completed at the University of Maine.

Contact Information: Dan Barrett, Advisor, Minor in Jazz Studies, Class of 1944 Hall, 581-1238

The Minor in Jazz Studies offers students an in-depth experience with jazz, which was designated an American National Treasure by the 100th U.S. Congress in 1987. The Objective is for the students to develop skills in jazz theory, composition, and performance, which will allow them to continue to be involved in this music throughout their musical lives.

The program is centered on the study of jazz through the art of improvisation, or spontaneous musical composition. Rather than simply learning about jazz and improvisation, students will spend their time practicing and developing listening skills and instrumental skills, so that they can comfortably improvise in various jazz styles in a solo or group setting. Multiple public performances are built into the required courses. In addition, highly specific arranging and keyboard skills are developed and used as part of the materials to be covered.

Students who elect this program must play a musical instrument pitched in C, Bb, or Eb, capable of single-note pitches and a full chromatic scale. Vocalists and percussionists will need to play an instrument that meets these criteria as well, although there are also opportunities to sing and play drum set.

Music Theory Fundamentals (6 credits):

Upper Level Courses (6 credits):

Performing Organizations (2 credits):

History (3 credits):

Specimen Curriculum:

Second Year

Third Year

Entering Skills

The minor in Jazz Studies at the University of Maine is designed for the general university student as well as for music majors.  However, to avoid frustration, you should make sure you have some general skills prior to enrolling in the minor:

Reading Skills: Entering students must be prepared to develop sufficient reading skills in both treble and bass clefs to participate in the theory courses, piano courses, and ensembles, etc.  If there is a doubt, contact Dan Barrett at dan.barrett@maine.edu for assistance and/or clarification.

Music writing skills: The minor in Jazz Studies involves a substantial amount of music arranging and writing, and students will be expected to write legibly, using established notation practices.  Using music notation software is encouraged, but you will also need to be able to write out musical ideas by hand.

Instrumental skills: It is important to be able to negotiate a standard musical instrument of any sort (all band and orchestral instruments, keyboard instrument of all types, guitar, electric bass, and pitched percussion are all acceptable, for example) well enough to participate fully with the materials used in the classes.

Piano/keyboard skills:  While great keyboard facility is not required for students entering the minor, the ability to reach chords and melodies on the piano, in both treble and bass clefs will be necessary for participation in MUY 410.


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