DePaul's jazz piano studio program has a storied history of training some of the busiest and most successful pianists on the music scene. The program consists of disciplined, in-depth study for students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in jazz studies with a focus on jazz piano. The student will study in a very supportive, individual environment that encourages him or her to explore, develop and express their unique artistic and creative voice. This comprehensive program focuses on harmony, comping, group interaction, improvisation, sight-reading, repertoire growth techniques, solo piano technique, ear-training, transcription, analysis, composition, arranging and scales as well as a thorough study and analysis of all jazz periods and styles. The DePaul jazz piano graduate will enter the professional world with formidable skills that will provide a variety of exciting career options as an artist, band leader, studio musician, composer and arranger.
Lesson plans are targeted for each individual and are tailored to maximize their creative growth and development. A strong emphasis on Jazz improvisation, comping, time and feel, chordal harmony and theory as well as sight-reading are cultivated during lessons. Jazz improvisation curriculum includes comprehensive study of great jazz improvisers from the be-bop era through today. While studying transcriptions, students analyze devices such as voice leading, scales, patterns, feel, phrasing, and development techniques of various artists to help strengthen their individual jazz vocabulary and language. Comping study is a structured approach, using transcription and analysis of various pianists to foster deeper harmonic understanding and approaches of voicings.
DePaul has a strong big band and combo program, with numerous ensembles. Through a variety of group settings the student is offered years of unparalleled artistic growth, development and creative exploration.
Chicago has a vibrant and dynamic jazz scene that benefits students in addition to their academic study. There is a myriad of performance venues that feature jazz, whether popular local clubs, festivals, performing arts concert settings or private events that offer unique growth opportunities. Many jazz piano students begin their professional performing and education careers while still attending DePaul.