1. Departments
  2. Roots, Jazz, and American Music

Curriculum: RJAM Undergraduates

Life isn’t an audition.

Any music school can make you a better player. Our interconnected courses are built to transform you intellectually, artistically, professionally, and individually. You’ll understand the roots of your music, freeing you to take it somewhere new. You’ll see how your training broadens your options, rather than narrowing them. You'll find your voice. And you'll enter the world with the same confidence you bring to the stage.

As an RJAM student, you’ll study with members of the SFJAZZ Collective, who form the core of our teaching faculty. You’ll also enjoy access to a vast array of world-class jazz artists in concerts and master classes. We’ll embrace a global, Afrocentric approach to the teaching of music theory and history. Most learning will occur in the context of small working ensembles, with multiple local and regional performance opportunities.

The RJAM Bachelor of Music experience embraces a weekly core of 10 hours (two hours a day). Music theory and history are customized to meet the needs of the developing jazz musician and are taught in small classes of 15 to 20 students. All other core skills, including improvisation, composition, and repertoire, are developed in your working ensemble.

Applied study and access to a wide range of multi-disciplinary electives, including academic courses, round out the four-year bachelor's degree. Off campus, it is expected that students and their ensembles participate in the numerous opportunities provided through SFJAZZ and in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.