Jazz Studies

MajorMinorBachelor of Music

Jazz Up Your Future.

As a Jazz Studies major at Butler, you will receive high-quality ensemble experiences and numerous performing opportunities in the heart of one of America’s greatest jazz cities—Indianapolis. Our jazz ensembles and jazz combos provide opportunities for you to hone your skills in both traditional and modern repertoire, as well as improvisation. You will have extensive contact with our jazz faculty, which consists of nationally-renowned performers, scholars, and educators. Our dynamic curriculum is representative of today’s freelance jazz musician, with coursework in improvisation, jazz theory, history, and arranging, applied jazz lessons, and entrepreneurship and career development.

Program Information


Students in this Program often pursue graduate school, but are also prepared to immediately enter the field as a professional jazz musician. Sample courses include:

  • AM021 – Keyboard Skills
  • ES 124 – Jordan Jazz or Jazz Ensemble
  • MT214 – Jazz Improvisation
  • ME330 – Self-Representation for Musicians
  • MH408 – History and Literature of Jazz
  • MT339 – Jazz Arranging

See all Jazz Studies major curriculum information

See all Jazz Studies minor curriculum information

  • Music Composition
  • Music History
  • Music Theory
  • Performance
  • Piano Pedagogy

The Butler Advantage

By graduation, the Butler University School of Music will prepare our students to be able to:

Demonstrate a broad knowledge of music in diverse, historical, cultural, and social contexts.

Demonstrate a proficiency in fundamental theoretical aspects of music, appropriate to the area of study.

Perform using technical and artistic skills appropriate to the area of applied study, including solo and collaborative music making.

Gather, evaluate, and communicate musical information and ideas verbally and in writing.

Teach from their disciplines in a variety of settings.

Award-Winning Ensemble

The Butler University Jazz Ensemble has performed or recorded with some of the world’s leading professional jazz musicians.

The ensemble performs regular on-campus concerts as well as at  professional venues across the country.

Butler Jazz Ensemble dressed in black with instruments

Learn More about the Jazz studies program


Whatever path you’re interested in pursuing, there’s a place for you at Butler.


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