Saxophone | Trumpet | Trombone | Tuba | Piano | Guitar | Bass Guitar | Double Bass | Drums | Voice | Flute | Clarinet | Violin | other instruments by negotiation
The Jazz Department at Guildhall School offers some of the most established and renowned jazz training in the UK, with the chance to study broader musicianship skills alongside those essential to a career in jazz. The School’s partnership with the Barbican Centre ensures regular collaborations with Jazz at Lincoln Center and Barbican Cinema. The Department also has a regular presence in the annual London Jazz Festival, as well as an unrivalled showcase opportunity in the Guildhall Jazz Showcase.
Principal Study Jazz students benefit from a broad range of music study with a specialist focus on jazz.
The balance of study is determined by your individual needs with support and advice from the Head of Jazz, Malcolm Edmonstone and other designated professors. In Years 1 and 2 your individual lessons will be split 50/50 between jazz and classical (supporting studies) skills. Years 3 and 4 of the course allow you to follow a more specialised programme of study.
The BMus syllabus
Within the BMus syllabus, you will receive the following specialist training:
- Principal Study one-to-one jazz tuition
- Jazz musical awareness/improvisation workshops
- Jazz small bands
- Jazz repertoire class
- Jazz aural class
- Big Band
- Jazz Singers
- Jazz keyboard skills
- Jazz arranging class
- Jazz history class
- Jazz performance platforms
- Rhythm class
- Vintage jazz workshops
- Contemporary jazz workshops
- Jazz masterclasses with international visiting artists
Performance and communication skills are an essential part of the Jazz option. Individual artistic development is as important as the learning of the skills taught within the course.
Read more about the BMus course structure.
MMus/MPerf in Performance
Read about our Jazz Studies specialism (below), or choose from the specialisms below:
Read more about our Artist Diploma specialism.
Read more about our research programmes.
Jazz Studies specialism
This is an intensive Jazz specialism for a group of 15-20 instrumentalists and singers who have already reached a high level of performance and are preparing to begin their professional career.
The programme is designed to train the whole musician. It takes an aural approach and includes a broad curriculum to give you a solid foundation in performance, harmony, rhythm, improvisation, composition, arranging and studio recording.
- Guildhall Jazz Band – a large ensemble which performs regularly, tours and leads workshops. Five-times winner of the BBC Radio 2 Big Band Competition with four albums recorded
- Guildhall Jazz Singers – a close-harmony vocal group with accompanying band
- Small jazz groups – regular mixed groups led by course tutors and visiting performers
- Improvisation – a comprehensive course emphasising fundamental techniques for improvisation and creative development
- Harmony/ear training – a course in recognising, understanding and responding to harmony
- Composition/arranging – a practical course in composition, arranging and orchestration for jazz ensembles
- Jazz history and listening – a comprehensive study of the jazz tradition
- Rhythm classes – a practical course developing time and rhythm skills
- Studio and recording workshops – courses in recording/production techniques, sequencing and using computers.
The course often hosts and performs with visiting artists - see below for further details.
Recent Department Highlights
- Annual performances in the London Jazz Festival, including performances by Guildhall jazz ensembles with Mike Gibb, Pete Hurt, Phil Minton, Maggie Nicholls, Jason Rebello, David Friesen, Geoff Gascoyne, Barry Green, Marcus Roberts and Liane Carroll
- The annual Guildhall Jazz Festival takes place each spring, featuring a week of public jazz performances showcasing Guildhall musicians and visiting artists, including Julian Siegel, Claire Martin and Zoe Rahman
- Guildhall Jazz Band performed at Milton Court with the Dankworth Family (Dame Cleo Laine, Jacqui Dankworth and Emily Dankworth)
- Masterclasses with John Scofield, Mark Turner, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis
- Regular small band performances at the Vortex Jazz Club
- Annual collaboration with the Duke Ellington Society UK
- Improvised accompaniment to silent films at the Barbican Cinema with colleagues from the Music Therapy department
- Annual performances with Southbank Sinfonia and City of London Festival
Natalie Williams (Jazz Voice 2001)
Stacey Kent (Jazz Voice 1991)
Jason Rebello (Jazz Piano 1989)
Cleveland Watkiss (Jazz Voice 1988)