The Institute is open to high school–age students and older and designed for musicians whose ability levels range from intermediate to professional. Beginning and intermediate guitarists will be accepted for the Jazz Guitar Fundamentals program. Enrollment in the Institute is limited due to combo instrumentation.
How to Apply
Please read this entire page for instructions on how to apply before continuing to the online application. Your application to the Institute will be reviewed after you have completed the online application form and the online audition.
Jazz Institute applicants will be required to submit:
- Completed online application form
- $60 application fee
- Completed online audition. After completing the online application form and paying the required fee you will receive a link to Decision Desk, where you will be asked to submit your music files and supplemental materials. Decision Desk is an online, web-based program that allows students to easily upload their music portfolios. There is no additional charge for using this service. The requirements you should be prepared to upload are listed below. Please make sure the file name of your attachments has your full name and item description.
- Audio recordings (specifics follow below) Audio files are preferred; please submit video only if absolutely necessary.
- Brief description of your musical background (jazz and non-jazz), indicating your preferred style(s) of jazz.
- Letter of Recommendation from a teacher (if you are a student). Please be prepared to provide us with your teacher’s name and e-mail address. We will contact them directly with a link so they may submit your letter of recommendation online.
Audio Recording: To allow us to group combos and arrange classes, an audio recording is required. Applicants may perform unaccompanied, or with prerecorded rhythm tracks as an accompaniment to the tunes. A live performance that clearly demonstrates your abilities is also acceptable. Recordings are not judged on the basis of their recorded quality. We realize that access to recording equipment will vary with each applicant, but we do ask that you try to produce the best recording possible.
A file containing 10 to 15 minutes of material must include the following: (Up to two files may be uploaded on the Application)
- Two different styles of jazz performance: swing and ballad
(for each tune you should play the melody in its entirety, followed by an improvised chorus)
Bass Players only: (one file may be uploaded on the Application)
- In addition to the previously listed materials, please include a walking bass line over two choruses of blues changes, quarter note = 120. Bass players must perform on acoustic bass.
Drummers only:(one file may be uploaded on the Application): In addition to the previously listed materials, your recording should include the following:
- Medium swing (sticks), quarter note = 132
- Up tempo swing (sticks), quarter note = 244
- Up-tempo swing (brushes), quarter note = 244
- Latin (sticks), half note = 120
- Ballad (sticks), quarter note = 60
- Ballad (brushes), quarter note = 60
- Rock or funk (sticks), quarter note = 92
In accordance with U.S. Federal regulations, all non-U.S. Citizens must have a student visa to study in the United States.You may not attend Skidmore on a tourist visa. If you are an international student applying to the summer program, please please view International Student Visa Info.