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The New School's School of Jazz Reviews

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  • 08/05/2017

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    1 of 3

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    The School of Jazz offers out-of-proficiency lessons which allow you to study with almost any jazz musician living in NYC!

    What to do for fun

    There are so many fun things to do in the city. Go to a show, go to a museum, go sight seeing, go relax in a park, go to a party....the list is never ending. It's honestly almost overwhelming at how much there is to do in New York City.

    Food and Dining

    Pretty good food and large variety, but it is expensive.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are pretty tiny compared to other schools. You get placed randomly unless you decide to choose a roommate before hand.

    Academic Rigor

    During the first week, you take assessments in order determine your level in core music courses including Ear Training, Jazz Theory, Rhythmic Analysis, Theory & Performance, Piano, Improvisation Ensemble, and Sight Reading. I felt challenged in most of my courses, and I enjoyed that each teacher pushed me to do my best. In some classes, teachers will put you on the spot; however, there are a couple of teachers who were a bit more laid back. Homework assignments are often not too difficult, but some assignments take more time than others. I've only taken one Liberal Arts course within COPA and it was easy breezy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go to jam sessions and check out shows. Respect your teachers and keep up with your course work because you can hold back a whole class. Network with your teachers and peers. Dedicate a lot of time for practicing, and reserve practice rooms ahead of time because they fill up fast.

    In three sentences

    The faculty are incredible and want to give you the tools to help you succeed as a musician. The location is ideal, with several jazz clubs in the area and subway access nearby. Get ready to be in a whole lot of debt unless you receive a huge scholarship or are a wealthy.

  • 05/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 out of 8 people found this review useful. 2 of 3

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Greenwich Village is one of the safest parts of the city. I routinely walk back from sessions at jazz clubs between 3 and 5 AM, and I have never felt unsafe. There is also a strong campus security presence and the university is very mindful or respecting diversity.

    Greek Life

    Thankfully non-existent.

    Clubs and Activities

    Great activities, limited club opportunities. In the dorms, there is a very committed staff of RAs who work to enable outreach for everyone. There are also a ton of campus-wide free events that get posted all over the school.

    Great for these types of students

    Passionate, creative, self-directed students will be very successful here. If you have a strong inclination to what you want to do, this school will help you nurture that concept. If you don't know, it's still a great place to be stimulated by incredible peers!

    Bang for the buck

    NSJCM is incredibly expensive, but I feel like I got fair value this year. Studying with jazz icons like Reggie Workman, Jimmy Owens, and brilliant, younger players like Amir Ziv and Andy Milne, I was pushed and pulled to grow more profoundly than I have or could have in any other conceivable setting. The good news is that the school works really hard to spread scholarship money around for students that work hard and all scholarships go up with tuition inflation.

    What to do for fun

    Explore New York City! Greenwich Village is home to some of the greatest music/comedy venues in the world, and easily the greatest jazz scene. From my dorm, I walk 6 or 7 blocks to get to the Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Smalls, Fat Cat, Bar Next Door, Zinc Bar, and 55 Bar, among others. Washington Square Park and Union Square are both a couple blocks away to hang out at and there are countless other opportunities for fun. On top of that, you can catch a subway and be anywhere else in the city in no time at all. It's incredible.

    Food and Dining

    The cafeteria at 55 Arnold Hall makes great sandwiches, flat bread pizzas, and salads, and the Lang Cafe has a good sushi bar/hot food area. Outside of that, the caf at the 13th residence is subpar with occasional flashes of excellence. On the whole, the food is acceptable if you are creative with nutrition, but you can eat better for roughly the same price in the village. Try to opt for a smaller meal plan, but come prepared to spend a lot of money on food.

    Dorm Life

    There are few better places to live in the world than the West Village. The New School dorms are interdisciplinary, so students from all of the different colleges (i.e. parsons, eugene lang, mannes, jazz, etc) live together. Not only does this create a nice college vibe, it enables a lot of artistic cross-pollination. The dorms are recently refurbished and nicer than most, but still dorms nonetheless. Fortunately, there is a beautiful new student center building opening in 2013 that will house 300-400 students.

    Academic Rigor

    Truthfully, in music, each player decides their own future success with the amount of work they put in; that being said, The NSJCM does an incredible job of enabling hard workers to be in expansive and rewarding musical settings. Core curriculum requirements consist of instrumental proficiency, music theory, ear training, history of jazz, classical, and world music, rhythmic analysis, sight reading, among a handful of other instrument specific requirements. The courses are challenging but not overly time-consuming, as a great emphasis is put on private study and taking advantage of the incredible Greenwich Village music scene.

    Tips for prospective students

    The NSJCM stands apart from other conservatories because, here, you can study privately with any professional musician in New York (and sometimes outside of NY) on the school's dime. In addition to that, the core faculty is absolutely incredible, bridging the gap between great jazz icons of the 50s and 60s, all the way up to the present day pioneers that are advancing music. Freshman have to pass a proficiency test to choose their private teachers (before you pass, you are assigned to a core faculty member), so make sure to take the proficiency material seriously before you arrive so you can capitalize on the awesome and unique system. Also, NSJCM has a great vibe; students here have very positive attitudes for the most part, with big egos heavily frowned upon. Realize that in NYC, even the best young players are going to be overshadowed by the top professionals. Own that idea!

    In three sentences

    At The NSJCM, my passion for music has been nurtured beyond my greatest expectations. The curriculum is flexibly rigorous, but still welcoming to hard workers who may lack professional playing experience, and the quality/structure of the faculty is unrivaled. Living and studying jazz in Greenwich Village just makes sense, and The NSJCM is the perfect place for young musicians with great aspirations to go to school.

  • 03/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    8 out of 8 people found this review useful. 3 of 3

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The are security guards galore, plus it's a safe area in the city. Nothing to worry about.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Jam sessions pretty much every night. Smalls and the Fat Cat are two popular places for that. Some other underground venues and shows you'll find among friends too.

    What to do for fun

    It's New York City, you can find PLENTY to do !!!

    Food and Dining

    You have a meal plan if you are living in a dorm. The food is nice and vegan-friendly. If you are off campus, there are still many, many diverse places to eat in short walking distance.

    Dorm Life

    There is nothing like living in Greenwich Village/Union Square area, it's a safe NYC area with so many things at your disposal. The dorms are very nice but they are also the most expensive in the country as of 2011. I suggest getting an apartment off-campus or moving in with somebody up in the city; it will save you so much money!

    Academic Rigor

    Students with no liberal arts credits will have to take up some liberal arts classes. You'll be studying and practicing a lot, it will pay off!

    Tips for prospective students

    Practice! You will be doing a lot of it once you get to school. Be prepared for your proficiency tests upon entering (no pressure!). The staff is very easy-going, they care about your development as a musician and as a person. Also, it can save you some to many classes you need to take, which can save you money in the long run!

    In three sentences

    This program is simply amazing. So many incredible teachers and fellow students you will meet; the community is just wonderful. Highly recommended for students seeking to develop their own voice in the Jazz capital of the world!