MSU Jazz Ensemble performing in 2013

Jazz Studies

Undergraduate (Freshmen and Transfer Students)

All students applying to the Jazz Studies or Music Education – Jazz Track must register for and submit a video audition. Please be sure to register for the Video Audition date that corresponds to your admission level – the last Friday audition date in February for undergraduate applicants, and the May audition date for transfer students.

Note: Transfer students who wish to transfer music history credits must submit a syllabus for each music history course for faculty review and approval.


Jazz Studies 

*Jazz studies applicants may or may not be asked to audition in person upon review of your video. If a live audition is requested, a member of our Jazz Faculty will reach out to you.

Prepare a video with the following requirements:

All instrumentalists except drummers are required to demonstrate competency in basic scales.

1. On one track of the audition video, play Major (Ionian) scales up to the 9th and back down in medium/slow tempo (60 BPM) 8th notes. Start in C concert and play all 12 keys around the circle of fourths (C, F, Bb, etc.). You may use a metronome.

2. On another track, do the same for Dorian minor; six keys will be sufficient.

3. On one more track, do the same for Dominant 7th (Mixolydian) for six keys. Vocalists do the same as above but sing three keys each for Major, Dorian minor and Dominant 7.

Song Tracks for Jazz Guitar

1. Perform three contrasting jazz standards (for example, a medium blues, a Latin or Bossa or ECM style tune, and a medium-up or up-tempo tune) in the following format:

a. You play the melody in.
b. You solo for one two choruses.
c. You comp while another player solos (or comp at a louder volume than the play-along CD).
d. You play the melody out.

2. Perform a solo version (chorded melody) of a ballad (either an arrangement or an original is acceptable).

Song Tracks for Jazz Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Bass, or Voice*

All tunes should be recorded with other musicians, if possible, but may be recorded utilizing an Aebersold (or similar) play-along recording.

1. Perform a medium tempo blues in F or B-flat: head and three choruses. Bass players please note: After the melody, walk for two choruses before your solo (which may be only two choruses). Piano players please note: After the melody, comp for two choruses prior to your solo.

2. Perform a ballad. Melody should be interpreted in a personal way, along with one chorus of improvisation. Piano players please note: your ballad should be played without accompaniment.

3. Perform a medium or up-tempo standard or “modern” jazz tune (may be swing or even eighth). Melody should be fairly close to the lead sheet (exact if selecting an up-tempo jazz tune), along with 2-3 choruses of improvisation. Bass players: After the melody, walk or play the appropriate groove (bossa, Latin, etc) for two choruses prior to your solo.

* Scat singing is optional, not required. All melodies, including the blues, should be your own interpretation, but melody notes should be the correct pitches. If your blues head or up-tempo tune does not have lyrics, either compose something (vocalese) or use scat syllables to sing the head.

Jazz Drum Set Requirements:

1. Perform the following snare drum rudiments (state what each one is before playing it):

a. Single, double and triple paradiddles.
b. Five, seven, and nine stroke rolls.
c. Flam tap, flam accent.
d. Single and double ratamacues.
e. Press roll – soft (pp) to loud (ff), and back down to soft.

2. Demonstrate three contrasting styles or grooves (for example, you might choose from swing, funk, bossa, songo, 6/8 Latin, ECM even eighth, etc.) using three separate tunes. If you are creating a video featuring only yourself, please be sure to play time for two choruses of each selection. If you are utilizing a full group, standard jazz performance practice is acceptable, but any solos, including your own, should be limited to one chorus.

3. Ted Reed Syncopation book, page 32: Play a jazz (swing) ride pattern in the right hand, hi-hat on two and four, while demonstrating various coordination skills between the left hand and right foot.

For questions regarding the audition video or interview, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel: kunkelj@montclair.edu


Music Education – Jazz Track

*Music Education – Jazz Track applicants must schedule an interview with Music Education faculty in addition to submitting a video. To schedule an interview, please reach out to the Audition Coordinator (contact details at the bottom of the page) as soon as you submit your application to the University.

Prepare a video with the following requirements:

All instrumentalists except drummers are required to demonstrate competency in basic scales. Include on the video:

1. Play Major (Ionian) scales up to the 9th and back down in medium/slow tempo (60 BPM) 8th notes. Start in C concert and play all 12 keys around the circle of fourths (C, F, Bb, etc.). You may use a metronome.

2. Play the same as above for Dorian minor; six keys will be sufficient.

3. Play the same for Dominant 7th (Mixolydian) for six keys. Vocalists do the same as above but sing three keys each for Major, Dorian minor and Dominant 7.

Song Tracks for Jazz Guitar

1. Perform three contrasting jazz standards (for example, a medium blues, a Latin or Bossa or ECM style tune, and a medium-up or up-tempo tune) in the following format.

a. You play the melody in.
b. You solo for one two choruses.
c. You comp while another player solos (or comp at a louder volume than the play-along CD).
d. You play the melody out.

2. Perform a solo version (chorded melody) of a ballad (either an arrangement or an original is acceptable).

Song Tracks for Jazz Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Bass

All tunes should be recorded with other musicians, if possible, but may be recorded utilizing an Aebersold (or similar) play-along recording.

1. Perform a medium tempo blues in F or B-flat: head and three choruses. Bass players please note: After the melody, walk for two choruses before your solo (which may be only two choruses). Piano players please note: After the melody, comp for two choruses prior to your solo.

2. Perform a ballad. Melody should be interpreted in a personal way, along with one chorus of improvisation. Piano players please note: Your ballad should be played without accompaniment.

3. Perform a medium or up-tempo standard or “modern” jazz tune (may be swing or even eighth). Melody should be fairly close to the lead sheet (exact if selecting an up-tempo jazz tune), along with 2-3 choruses of improvisation. Bass players: After the melody, walk or play the appropriate groove (bossa, Latin, etc) for two choruses prior to your solo.

Jazz Drum Set Requirements:

1. Perform the following snare drum rudiments (state what each one is before playing it):

a. Single, double and triple paradiddles.
b. Five, seven, and nine stroke rolls.
c. Flam tap, flam accent.
d. Single and double ratamacues.
e. Press roll – soft (pp) to loud (ff), and back down to soft.

2. Demonstrate three contrasting styles or grooves (for example, you might choose from swing, funk, bossa, songo, 6/8 Latin, ECM even eighth, etc) using three separate tunes. If you are sending a video featuring only yourself, please be sure to play time for two choruses of each selection. If you are utilizing a full group, standard jazz performance practice is acceptable, but any solos, including your own, should be limited to one chorus.

3. Ted Reed Syncopation book, page 32: Play a jazz (swing) ride pattern in the right hand, hi-hat on two and four, while demonstrating various coordination skills between the left hand and right foot.

 

For questions regarding the audition video or interview, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel: kunkelj@montclair.edu


General Notes

  • Upon acceptance to the Cali School, various placement tests will be administered.
  • Non-music majors may only take general education music courses.
  • Music minors are not currently offered

Contact Auditions Coordinator