Jazz Studies

Bachelor of Music
College of Musical Arts

The College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University prepares music professionals for state and national leadership roles in teaching, research and creativity in all of the musical arts. We aspire to be recognized nationally as a premier music learning community.

The mission of the College of Musical Arts is fourfold:

  1. to educate qualified students for careers in music teaching, performance, composition, analytical or historical research and related technical and support fields;
  2. to serve state, national and international communities through support and dissemination of creative work in composition and performance;
  3. to serve state, national and international communities through support and dissemination of research in musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, music technology, music education and music pedagogy;
  4. to serve as a cultural resource for the University community and northwest Ohio.

Since 1947, the College of Musical Arts has been an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. In addition the Department of Music Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Admission/Scholarship Requirements

Incoming freshmen or transfer students who fall into one or more of the following categories are required to pass an entrance audition in their primary performance area prior to registration as a music major/minor:

  1. Students wishing to major in music through the bachelor of music or bachelor of musical arts degree in the College of Musical Arts or the bachelor of arts degree in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  2. Students who wish to minor in music who are enrolled in any college in the University.
  3. Students from any college at BGSU who wish to be considered for a Music Talent Award from the College of Musical Arts.
  4. Students from any college at BGSU who wish to enroll for private music lessons for credit. (Non-credit applied music lessons are available through the Creative Arts Program without an audition.)

Entrance auditions prior to enrollment are not required for students who do not meet the criteria listed above and only want to perform in a University ensemble.

Students auditioning to be majors or minors are required to take a diagnostic examination in general musicianship to determine placement in music theory courses. For music majors and minors, the results of this test will determine placement in theory courses in the basic musicianship core curriculum. A study guide is available online at Notification of an audition decision may occur at any time after the music audition has been evaluated. However, most applicants will be notified of their audition decision beginning the week of March 9. There may be additional requirements to be fully accepted into your major within music.

Applicants with performance skills in other areas are encouraged to audition in those areas as well.

Information regarding auditions, personal interviews and tours of the Moore Musical Arts Center may be obtained by contacting the coordinator of music admissions or by visiting the college’s website at


The jazz studies major prepares students for careers in jazz performance, composition and jazz education. The major also focuses on helping students understand what is needed to maintain a career in the jazz-related field and develop a broad-based cultural experience. All music students enroll in the music core courses which include music theory, ear training and history. These and additional jazz courses such as jazz pedagogy, arranging and improvisation, conducting and jazz piano help students to achieve a broad experience in music study and support the primary focus of applied jazz study. Jazz students take a weekly lesson with their applied teacher each semester that they are in residence. This one-on-one training is essential to the development of the jazz performer. Students are expected to practice several hours each day in preparation for their weekly lessons. This commitment of time is essential if a student wishes to be successful in performance careers.

To be accepted into the jazz studies major, students audition for the jazz faculty. This may be done during the initial audition or later in the student’s college career. It is highly recommended that the audition take place during the freshman year so that requirements can be completed within four years. Upon acceptance as a jazz studies major, the student meets with the coordinator of jazz studies in addition to the degree advisor to develop a program of courses that will meet individual needs as well as fulfill major requirements.

Special Features

The Moore Musical Arts Center provides outstanding instructional and performance facilities for faculty and students. One of the largest instructional buildings on campus, this complex includes a concert hall, recital hall, rehearsal halls, practice rooms, studios, special classrooms and laboratories.

Kobacker Hall, the 850-seat concert hall designed acoustically for symphony orchestra, band and chorus, is also versatile enough to accommodate chamber music as well as opera and musical theatre productions. Bryan Recital Hall, which seats 250, is ideal for the college’s busy schedule of solo and ensemble concerts.

Besides rehearsal rooms for small and medium-size chamber ensembles, the Moore Musical Arts Center includes two large rehearsal halls. The rapidly expanding use of electronic media in the teaching and performance of music is recognized through two state-of-the-art technology studios, an electronic-music classroom and a professional-quality recording studio. Other areas include a double-reed making room, an instrument repair shop, a specialized computer laboratory, a collegium center for the rehearsal and study of early music, and rooms designed for teaching instrument classes.

A new instructional music computer lab features 20 Macintosh systems equipped with both a computer and electronic keyboard. The installed software package enables students to sing into the computer, the computer to sing back to the students and the two to work simultaneously on varied projects. All the computers are attached to a central laser printer capable of printing complete musical scores.

Across from the Moore Musical Arts Center are Batchelder Hall, the Music Residential Community, and Compton Hall which houses the Arts Village. Both are popular housing options for music majors.

Honors and Student Organizations

The national honorary music fraternity is Pi Kappa Lambda and Bowling Green State University is home of the Delta Omicron chapter. Students may also join a variety of professional and service clubs including: Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Alpha Iota, Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association, American String Teachers Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Music Teachers National Association, Praecepta and Student Advisory Committee.

Performance Opportunities

Students are offered a wide variety of performing experiences through the philharmonia (orchestra), wind symphony, concert bands, marching band, collegiate chorale, a cappella choir, women’s chorus, men’s chorus, university choral society, opera theater, vocal chamber lab, jazz lab bands, brass choir, trumpet ensemble, trombone choir, horn ensemble, sax ensemble, classical and jazz guitar ensembles, percussion ensemble, gamelan ensemble, opera theater, new music ensemble and numerous other chamber ensembles and jazz combos.

All jazz studies majors are expected to perform in the various BGSU jazz performance ensembles such as the Jazz Lab Bands, Jazz Combos and Jazz Guitar Ensemble, as well as support their colleagues and faculty in the jazz community at large.

Additional Opportunities

In addition to the many ensembles mentioned above, jazz students are encouraged to participate in the many extra-curricular activities that are available in the College of Musical Arts and throughout the region. These events include, but are not limited to:
Competition in Music–Open to all CMA students, performing a concerto or aria. Winners receive cash awards and opportunities to perform with the Philharmonia or Wind Symphony.
Jazz Week–nightly concerts featuring guest, faculty and student jazz ensembles and combos.
BGSU Festival Series–Concert series featuring premiere musical ensembles, soloists and dance companies. Classical, jazz and contemporary styles are represented in this quality series.
New Music & Art Festival–Annual event featuring BGSU faculty and students, performing new works. The music performed at the festival is chosen from submissions of composers worldwide.
Domestic and international summer programs–music camps, festivals, study abroad programs, etc.

Many guest artists are featured each year in the College of Musical Arts, presenting concerts, recitals and master classes.

Students are able to apply their training in work through teaching private lessons in the Creative Arts Program and area schools. Other opportunities include freelance work with local and regional orchestras, jazz ensembles, churches and community organizations.

Preparation for College

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

Instruction in music theory and piano is highly recommended for all prospective applicants.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Jazz Studies, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: