Program Information

Master in Music in Jazz Studies

The success of our undergraduate jazz program, the outstanding credentials of our current faculty, access to internationally renowned jazz performers and teachers, the availability of new technologies, and the low cost of graduate tuition at UAM are the foundation of the Master of Music in Jazz Studies degree. The Master of Music in Jazz Studies degree is available to qualified distance learners throughout the United States and beyond. Such individuals include public school band directors looking to enhance their credentials and their abilities to instruct students in jazz studies, jazz musicians and scholars seeking graduate credentials in order to become employed as instructors at a university and jazz performers seeking enhancement of their talents and skills in order to find steady employment in various venues whether live or in studio.

Program Description

All students will start in July with the Gateway Residency and will complete the program the following July in the Capstone Residency. All students will follow the curriculum below:

Summer Term -Jazz Gateway Residency

Fall Semester -
Private Lesson
                       - Jazz History
                       - Jazz Pedagogy

Spring Semester - Private Lesson
                           - Jazz Theory and Arranging
                           - Jazz Improvisation

Summer Term 2 - Jazz Capstone Residency

Total required hours: 30

12 hours in residence during two summer terms
18 hours online fall and spring semesters

Time Frame: One calendar year-July to July

Course Descriptions:

Jazz Gateway Residency (Required)

Two week summer session covering performance training, jazz education, reinforcement of jazz improvisation and theory, private lessons and music employment seminar sessions presented by UAM staff, part-time faculty, and world class jazz musicians. This residency includes participation in small combos focusing on the preparation and memorization of standard tunes, jazz classics, and contemporary music. Aesthetic issues as well as practical 'on the job' considerations are emphasized. Prerequisites: Admittance to graduate program

Jazz Capstone Residency (Required)

Two week summer session which requires completion of the Gateway residency as well as a written comprehensive exam in which the students must demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge of their field of study and a public recital or performance of 2-3 songs of varying styles on the UAM campus with the faculty ensemble. Song selection and ensemble musicians are at the discretion of the instructing faculty.

*Curriculum for the Master of Music in Jazz Studies Program is subject to change at the discretion of the administration and the educational system of the University of Arkansas.

Application Checklist

  • Bachelors of Music Degree or at least 18 credit hours in one of the following areas:
    a. Performance
    b. Education
    c. Jazz(Instruments include saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass and drums)
  • Competency on at least one of the instruments listed above
     (Will be determined at the discretion of the instructing faculty)
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Three part recorded audition:
    a. Two contrasting standard jazz tunes with head and improvisation
    b. Specific jazz scales and modes
    c. A jazz tune of the applicant's choice.

The deadline for applications is June 15th.

Graduate Assistantships

The University of Arkansas at Monticello Division of Music has two graduate assistantships within the Master of Music Program. Available graduate assistantships will be posted and updated as needed by February 1st of each academic year. Student inquiries regarding specific graduate assistantships should be directed to the Director of Graduate Jazz Studies.

The GA appointment process is as follows:

1.) The applicant must submit a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, and name and contact information for 3 professional references for graduate assistantships no later than March 15th of each academic year. A list of eligible applicants will be forwarded by the Director of Graduate Jazz Studies to the selections committee. Some applicants may require additional interviewing and/or review of credentials to evaluate possible selections.

2.) The applicant must have completed the requirements for the baccalaureate degree prior to enrolling in the first graduate class and have gained admission to the Graduate School at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

Graduate Assistant Handbook

Please note that the G.R.E. exam is NOT required for admission into the program.

*Prerequisites for the Master of Music in Jazz Studies Program are subject to change at the discretion of the administration and the educational system of the University of Arkansas.

Please wait to apply to the UAM Graduate Program until after you have received an acceptance into the program.

Graduate Instructors

Justin T. Anders, D.M.A.
Chair of Music
Associate Professor of Music
Office: Music Building 116
Phone: 460 - 1860

Jason Smith, M.M.
Director of Jazz Studies & Bands
Instructor of Music
Trumpet / Jazz One
Office: Visual and Performing Arts 102
Phone: 460 - 1660

Lester Pack, M.M.
Professor of Music
Office: Visual and Performing Arts 102
Phone: 460 - 1461

Ricky Sweum, M.M
Graduate Adjunct

Benjamin Patterson, BM
Graduate Adjunct 

Carmen Intorre, M.M
Graduate Adjunct

David Kane, M.M
Graduate Adjunct 

Steve Holley, M.M
Graduate Adjunct 
Bass Guitar

Tim Leahey, M.M
Graduate Adjunct