The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music strives to inspire musicians towards excellence that knows no boundaries. We are an ambitious school who recognise the value of music in the world, in both its heritage and future forms. Our teaching and research seeks to expand the value of music and its evolution in our communities. The school celebrates the rich diversity of music making in Australia and its association with the rest of the world.
The Jazz and Improvisation program is based on the African American jazz idiom as a language for learning. While the focus remains on music in Australia, it also embraces a wide selection of musical styles including jazz, world music, Brazilian, Indian, free, electronic, popular, Latin and blues to name but a few styles. The philosophy of the course is to offer a strong technical and musical foundation that allows the student to develop a personal ‘voice’ which is a result of their broad musical education and an awareness of their social and cultural being.
Academically, there is a focus on learning research skills in performance (practice-based/artistic research), as well as musicology and ethnomusicology, which can lead to further study in the graduate research area. Students can partake in classes in jazz arranging/composition, ear training, improvisation materials, instrument-specific workshops, keyboard skills, Indian rhythms, Brazilian music (Choro–Samba), composition, performance workshops, stage bands, world music ensembles, guitar studies and small ensembles.