Consider these five things when choosing a jazz school:
1. What do you expect to get out of it? Do you want to be a jazz artist, a band director, and teacher or just want to learn without any economic benefit?
2. What is your relationship with jazz? How many hours a week do you: listen to the masters, practice effectively by yourself, play with others and just think about jazz? What have you done to demonstrate your love for jazz? What do you think a jazz school will do for your career?
3. Do you need a jazz school or just a mentor/teacher? Often just having a knowledgeable inspirational teacher will accomplish what you need.
4. Do you want to study jazz composition and arranging? Then go to a school that offers those courses so that you can hear musicians play what you’ve written.
5. In jazz history, much of jazz instruction has been in bands led by; Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Horace Silver and others. That kind of personal mentoring is not done in schools. Most serious jazz schools, of which there are very few, can teach you many of the techniques, help you to transcribe solos, and help develop your ear. But what they can’t do is to develop your own personal concept and expression. Don’t expect a jazz school to create a new jazz star.
What a jazz school can do is give you a context where you are constantly thinking and working on your music. Practicing and playing all the time is mandatory in becoming a successful jazz musician. Great jazz is the sound of passion, commitment and whole lot of work.