Music (BM) in Performance with an Emphasis in Jazz


Effective 1 June 2023 through 31 May 2024

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts/Department of Music and is only available at the St. Louis main campus.

Program Description

The bachelor of music in performance is a pre-professional degree designed to prepare students who wish to pursue a future in the professional music world as a performing artist or studio teacher. This degree requires an emphasis in orchestral instruments, jazz, piano or voice.

The jazz emphasis equips students who wish to pursue a future in the professional music world as a performer, as a jazz soloist, in jazz ensembles, or building an independent multi-faceted career. The Webster jazz studies program is based around the small group performing experience. Students participate in jazz combos, Jazz Collective or Jazz Singers in addition to an academic curriculum that balances courses in jazz and classical music instruction. Students who wish to pursue a music technology curriculum should complete the minor in sound recording and engineering in the Department of Audio Aesthetics and Technology.

The bachelor of music in performance conforms to the guidelines specified by the National Association of Schools of Music for accreditation. Webster University is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the jazz emphasis, the student will be able to demonstrate:

  • Technical and conceptual mastery of jazz phrasing in a variety of historical jazz styles.
  • Rhythmic, melodic and harmonic coherence while improvising in a variety of instrumental and structural contexts.
  • A consistently reliable instrumental or vocal technique characterized by linear fluidity, rhythmic flexibility and accuracy of intonation.
  • Aural and analytical competencies as related to commonly used forms and structures in jazz.
  • The ability to transpose melodic and harmonic material in the improvisational moment.
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to the musical function of each member of an instrumental or vocal jazz ensemble.
  • Critical and aesthetic judgment while improvising, composing or arranging that is informed by extensive listening to and analysis of the recorded legacy of jazz.
  • The ability to transcribe and notate melodic, harmonic and rhythmic examples of recorded music.
  • The ability to write musical arrangements for both jazz combos and big bands using current notational software.
  • The knowledge of pedagogical methods to assist in the conceptual and technical development of students new to the jazz experience.

Admission and Audition Requirements

To be admitted as an undergraduate music major or music minor, applicants must complete an in-person audition/interview with the music faculty and complete various diagnostic examinations. Auditions are arranged through the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Specific information on the audition requirements for each music degree program is available from the department's website. Priority consideration for performance scholarship is given to students who complete all admission requirements before February 28 of the application year.

Performance Requirements

Much of the music that we make is collaborative in nature, with a mix of keyboard, wind, brass, string and percussion instruments and voices. So that performance majors develop an ability to work with others beyond an accompanist, all performance majors presenting junior and senior recitals will include on each recital or in a Thursday student recital at least one 3-minute work that includes collaboration with a performer other than or in addition to piano. Works longer than 3 minutes are encouraged.

Degree Requirements

For information on the general requirements for a degree, see Baccalaureate Degree Requirements under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

  • 94-106 required credit hours
  • Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours, with accommodations for the bachelor of music
  • Electives

Global Citizenship Program for Bachelor of Music

  • GLBC 1200 Global Cornerstone Seminar
  • 6 credit hours from courses designated ‘Roots of Cultures’ (One course with the MUSC prefix can fulfill GCP and major requirements simultaneously.)
  • 3 credit hours from courses designated ‘Social Systems & Human Behavior’
  • 3 credit hours from courses designated ‘Global Understanding’
  • 3 credit hours from courses designated ‘Physical & Natural World’ or ‘Quantitative Literacy’
  • KEYS 4XXX Global Keystone Seminar

NOTE: Except where specified otherwise, the above courses must not also satisfy major requirements. GCP skills requirements may be fulfilled with the courses above, courses in the major, or electives. 'Arts Appreciation' is satisfied in meeting the requirements for the major.

Required Courses

Core Music Courses

  • MUSC 1010 Music Theory and Aural Skills I (4 hours)
  • MUSC 1020 Music Theory II (3 hours)
  • MUSC 1820 Aural Skills II (2 hours)
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours chosen from the following:
    • MUSC 2050 Songwriting Theory (3 hours)
    • MUSC 3060 Topics in Music Analysis (2-3 hours)
    • MUSC 3065 Topics in Music Analysis (2-3 hours)
    • MUSC 4030 Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint (3 hours)
  • MUSC 2070 Music in Western Culture (3 hours)
  • MUSC 2060 Social and Cultural Approaches to Music (3 hours)
  • A minimum of 4 credit hours chosen from the following:
    • MUSC 3160 Topics of Musicology (1-3 hours)
    • MUSC 3165 Topics in Musicology (1-3 hours)
    • MUSC 3520 History of Popular Styles (3 hours)
    • MUSC 4040 Music in the Twentieth Century (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4700 Advanced Topics in Music (taken in junior or senior year only) (2-3 hours)
  • MUSC 0200 Candidacy Examination (0 hours)
  • MUSC 0500 Senior Overview (0 hours)

Performance Courses

  • MUSC 2603, MUSC 3003, MUSC 4003 Applied Music (major instrument) (eight semesters required) (16 hours)
  • MUSC 2300, MUSC 2305, MUSC 2310 Jazz Improvisation I, II, III (6 hours)
  • MUSC 2315 Jazz Improvisation IV (if not studying in Vienna) (2 hours)
  • MUSC 3300, MUSC 3310 Jazz Improvisation V, VI (6 hours)
  • MUSC 0890 Recital Attendance (six semesters required) (0 hours)
  • MUSC 0990 Master Class (taken every semester) (0 hours)
  • Junior Recital (0 hours)
  • Senior Recital (0 hours)

Major Ensemble
8 hours over 8 semesters, as approved by advisor, to be selected from:

  • MUSC 4955 Webster University Jazz Singers (1 hour per semester)
  • MUSC 4960 Webster University Jazz Ensembles (1-2 hours per semester)
  • MUSC 4970 Webster University Jazz Collective (1 hour per semester)

Supportive Courses

  • MUSC 1080, MUSC 1085, MUSC 2001, MUSC 2501 Secondary Instrument: Class Piano or Applied Piano (four consecutive semesters required; minimum two hours of applied instruction in individual lessons) (4 hours)
  • MUSC 1370, MUSC 1380 Jazz Theory I, II (6 hours)
  • MUSC 2370, MUSC 2375, MUSC 2380 Jazz Theory III, IV, V (6 hours)
  • MUSC 2385 Jazz Theory VI (if not studying in Vienna) (2 hours)
  • MUSC 3170, MUSC 3180 Jazz History I, II (6 hours)
  • MUSC 3410 Conducting I (3 hours)
  • MUSC 4320 Jazz Education Methods (2 hours)
  • MUSC 4340, MUSC 4350 Jazz Scoring and Arranging I, II (6 hours)
    or Minor in sound recording and engineering (Department of Audio Aesthetics and Technology)