Teaching Jazz at Columbia
In contrast to university jazz centers that operate on a performance-based model, jazz studies at Columbia University is a diverse, interdisciplinary liberal arts endeavor, reflecting local, national, and international perspectives on the field in its integration of academic and performance work. At both undergraduate and graduate levels, Center-affiliated faculty regularly offer both academic and performance courses, as well as private lessons. These courses attract well over 500 students per year, and are growing in popularity and influence, and are highlighted by a Special Concentration in Jazz Studies.
Mindful of the University’s abiding goal of drawing together students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and as concerned with jazz music itself as with jazz’s impact on culture and on associated nonmusical forms, the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University affirms its role in preparing women and men to take their places as leaders in a world requiring commitment and resiliency, individuality and the capacity to improvise along with others—definitive hallmarks of jazz that are also part of the kind of liberal education that will prepare students to swing through whatever changes the new century has to offer.