The BAJP is a four year course designed to lead towards the acquisition of the skills necessary in the world of contemporary music performance. The course covers a wide range of musical techniques including performance, instrumental technique, improvisation, composition, computer music, aural training, arranging and pedagogical studies. The BAJP can be seen as being a liberal arts education in music, covering as it does so many different areas and giving the participants the skills necessary to operate in a wide area of contemporary music, not just jazz. All of the subjects in the course are geared towards training young musicians to the highest international standards and to be fully equipped to work in the world of contemporary music both here and abroad.
The BAJP will focus on giving the students the practical skills they must acquire in order to function well in the professional milieu of contemporary jazz, and other musical situations. Due to its very broad nature, jazz is an ideal training for contemporary musicians and the course stresses the practical benefits to the students of the various techniques undertaken in the different parts of the programme.
Contemporary jazz musicians operate in an international environment, by necessity travelling widely to perform. The students on the programme will have access to the same kind of information and training that their contemporaries in other countries do, as they will inevitably be working in an international context. The course is designed to give students the type of training currently available in the best jazz schools in the US and the EU.
This will have the added benefit of preparing the students for Post-Graduate studies at schools and universities throughout the world, should they desire to avail of further education.
As the title of the programme suggests, the BAJP focuses on performance, and has a high proportion of practically based classes designed to help the students become competent performing jazz musicians. The structure of the programme stresses ensemble work and gives the students ample opportunity to develop their performing skills in group contexts. The individual and group instrumental tuition is designed to support the ensemble playing of the students and to provide them with solutions to problems encountered in real-life playing situations.
Operating alongside this practical instrumental and ensemble training are the theoretical and aesthetic elements of the course. The theoretical modules are designed to give the students the necessary harmonic and aural training that are necessary to understand the playing techniques being dealt with in the ensemble classes, as well as giving them information they can use to further their artistic and musical development in the future. The aesthetic elements of the programme are designed to provide a context within which the students can better understand the professional world of contemporary jazz and their possible place in it, and also their place in society as a working musician.