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New Curriculum

UNC Jazz Studies celebrates the new Department of Music curriculum Transformations in Music Studies (beginning Fall 2022) that enables Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music students to satisfy one of the theory requirements by taking MUSC 135 Jazz Theory in their first semester at UNC.  This will more easily allow students to move into MUSC 163 Jazz Improvisation 1 starting the spring semester their freshman year.  The new curriculum also allows students to satisfy up to half of their ensemble requirements by enrolling in MUSC 214.5 Jazz Combos, and as before, students can enroll in MUSC 211.12 UNC Jazz Band to satisfy all of their ensemble requirements.

Students who wish to emphasize jazz performance while at UNC should pursue the following Jazz Studies area courses sequentially according to the prerequisites listed below. It is recommended that students take the theory and improvisation courses early during their studies at UNC (and freshman year, where possible) to allow time to build artistry throughout the remaining undergraduate years while playing in the ensembles.  Students who play classical music or who are pursuing other majors are also welcome and encouraged to sign up for the courses.

Theory and Improvisation Courses

  • MUSC 135 Jazz Harmony (Stephen Anderson) Offered each Fall, TuTh 2:00-3:15pm).
    Satisfies one semester of the theory requirement for the B.A. and BMus.  Students are encouraged to enroll their freshman year, first semester.
  • MUSC 163 Jazz Improvisation 1 (Rahsaan Barber) Students are encouraged to enroll their freshman spring semester after taking the prerequisite, MUSC 135 Jazz Theory.
    Prerequisite MUSC 135 | Offered each Spring TuTh 9:30-10:45am)
  • MUSC 263 Jazz Improvisation 2 (prerequisite MUSC 135 (Stephen Anderson)
    Offered every other Spring)
  • MUSC 265 Jazz Composition & Arranging (Stephen Anderson)
    prerequisite MUSC 135 | Offered every other Spring)


  • MUSC 211.12 Jazz Band (no prerequisite) (Rahsaan Barber | Offered each semester, MW 1:25-2:40)
  • MUSC 214.5 Jazz Combos (no prerequisite but MUSC 135 strongly encouraged!) (Dan Davis, Jason Foureman, Brevan Hampden, Stephen Anderson | Offered each semester, F 1:25-3:30)

History Courses

  • MUSC 145 Introduction to Jazz (History) (Stephen Anderson | Normally offered each Fall, TuTh 11am-12:15pm)
  • MUSC 280 Jazz Innovators

Private Lessons

Private instruction in jazz is offered for saxophone, piano, guitar, bass, and drums. For more information see the course listings in the Course Catalog and contact the individual lesson instructors (more information on lessons at the bottom of this page).