Apply now
Performer as part of the studio orchestra

About Jazz at Guildhall

Voice | Composition & Arranging | Clarinet | Double Bass | Drums | Electric Bass | Flute | Guitar | Percussion | Piano | Saxophone | Trombone (Tenor) | Trombone (Bass)| Trumpet | Tuba | Violin

The Jazz Department at Guildhall School is one of the most renowned and established of its kind. Now in its fourth decade, the Department comprises an inspirational team of professors, led by Malcolm Edmonstone, who are uniquely placed to oversee the development of creative jazz musicians. Our core focus is the teaching of musics around the jazz tradition, including Studio and World specialisms, and preparing improvising musicians for high profile careers in the music industry.

As a Jazz student you will work within a dynamic and innovative curriculum in a supportive and creative environment, gaining the tools you need to thrive as an artist of the future. The Department provides a comprehensive programme of musicianship tailored for improvisers, including classes in aural, transcription and keyboard skills. The curriculum is broad in both style and discipline, and the Department celebrates the diversity of skill and experience needed to build a fulfilling musical life and career as an improviser.

Classes in Harmony, Improvisation, Jazz Rhythm, World Rhythm, and Style and Lineage support weekly tutored ensemble work in combos, to give you a creative outlet and build your collaborative skills. The comprehensive programme of musicianship is tailored for improvisers, including classes in aural, transcription and keyboard skills to develop your core musicianship.

Notational output is nourished in a wide-ranging programme of composition and arranging classes, from skills-based writing to small group composition, scoring for jazz orchestra and for strings and woodwinds.

The Guildhall Studio Orchestra is a permanent ensemble, combining rhythm section, big band, strings, orchestral woodwind and percussion, which facilitates collaboration between departments and guest soloists and conductors. Our annual Jazz Festival and the award-winning Guildhall Jazz Orchestra, Guildhall Jazz Band and a project-based Ellington Band give diverse opportunities for jazz performance.

The study of Jazz Vocals has long been a beacon of the Department’s work. In addition to bespoke classes in songwriting, four vocal ensembles exist for Jazz students: Guildhall Jazz Singers, Guildhall Voice Ensemble, Guildhall Jazz Choir and an a cappella group, the Guildhall Conchords.

Watch the video

Find out more about Jazz training at Guildhall from our students and staff in the video below.

Jazz contact details

Corinna Sanett, Jazz Department Manager
Tel: 020 7382 7180

Guildhall singer rehearsing

New York Voices & Guildhall Jazz

The Guildhall Jazz department has no fewer than four vocal ensembles running throughout the academic year and featuring both vocal students and instrumentalists.

COVID-19 restrictions meant fewer opportunities for these vocal ensembles to get together and sing, but that didn’t stop them wanting to make music together. Instead, the Jazz department invited the internationally renowned vocal group New York Voices to collaborate from across the Atlantic on a recording project.

Undergraduate study

As a student on the BMus Jazz pathway, you join a long and illustrious list of some of Europe’s finest improvising musicians. At Guildhall School we place your specialism front and centre as we support both your core discipline and wider musicianship.

Principal Study lessons provide core instrumental and improvisational training and are tailored to your individual needs. In addition to specific jazz training, you will choose an additional study pathway of either Classical or Commercial music. These are designed to support instrumental and technical development, as well as specific notational and interpretative instrumental requirements.

Postgraduate study

Read about our Guildhall Artist Masters (MMus/MPerf) in Performance, and the Jazz Studies specialism below.

Student & Graduate Successes