Master of Music in Contemporary Performance (Global Jazz Concentration)

This graduate program is offered at our campus in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Note: Full-tuition grants awarded to every student accepted into the global jazz graduate program 

The Master of Music degree in contemporary performance offers advanced studies to instrumentalists and vocalists who demonstrate excellent musical proficiency and desire to develop their performance career. The program provides advanced musicians with opportunities to develop their artistry through participation in a wide array of performance projects.

Through this intensive one year, full-time program, students will have opportunity to be mentored and learn from some of the current top jazz musicians, including Danilo Pérez, Terri Lyne Carrington, John Patitucci, George Garzone, and Joe Lovano.

Beginning with the fall 2016 class, students accepted into this program will be awarded full-tuition grants. Students accepted to each subsequent entering class will also attend tuition-free. These scholarships are made possible thanks to a generous gift from Jeff Shames, chair of the Berklee board of trustees.

Studying with Berklee Institutes on the Boston Campus

Students in this concentration study in Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute, under the artistic direction of Danilo Pérez. Students are given opportunities to explore their creativity to the highest level possible. Through applied lessons, ensembles, master classes, and coursework, students deepen their understanding of the harmonic and stylistic practices associated with contemporary jazz performance. As they are being mentored by jazz masters, students also have opportunities to travel and perform together.

Additionally, through the study of music business and production, students develop strategies for producing and marketing their performance projects.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants to Berklee's program for a Master of Music in Contemporary Performance with a global jazz concentration are required to hold a Bachelor of Music degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music, demonstrating a strong academic record as well as strong musicianship. Outstanding musicians with a bachelor's degree in other disciplines may also be considered. Applicants should possess significant knowledge of the jazz repertoire, advanced ensemble experience, motivation, creativity, and the promise of great achievement in their area of study.

The program seeks extraordinary musicians who want to use their art to do good in the world. Ideal candidates will:

  • enter the program with a very advanced level of instrumental or vocal technique and musical skill;
  • desire to expand their creativity and artistry by working with top jazz artists; and
  • be deeply motivated to advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society.
What the Program Gives You

When you complete the Master of Music in Contemporary Performance (Global Jazz Concentration), you'll have the ability to:

  • synthesize contemporary jazz harmonic and stylistic practices;
  • create and improvise music;
  • develop your own artistic identity;
  • develop a sustainable career plan;
  • develop strategies for producing and marketing your performance projects; and
  • apply technology to recording and distributing your music.
Required Courses

Semester 1:

  • PS-540: Masters Performance Forum: Global Jazz (3 credits)
  • PS-530: The Business Potential of Making Music Today (3 credits)
  • PIMM-550: Private Instruction 1 (3 credits)
  • ENDS-550: Contemporary Ensemble (1 credit; take three times)
  • 1 elective

Semester 2:

  • PS-640: Masters Advanced Performance Forum: Global Jazz (3 credits)
  • PS-523: Studio Recording and Production for the Contemporary Musician (3 credits)
  • PIMM-600: Private Instruction 2 (3 credits)
  • ENDS-550: Contemporary Ensemble (1 credit; take three times)
  • GS-503: Graduate Professional Development Seminar (1 credit)
  • 1 elective

Semester 3:

  • PIMM-650: Private Instruction 3 (3 credits)
  • ENDS-550: Contemporary Ensemble (1 credit; take three times)
  • PS-695: Culminating Experience in Contemporary Performance (6 credits)


  • PS-631: Performance Pedagogy (3 credits)
  • PS-621: Topics in Improvisation (3 credits)
  • GS-556: Avant-Garde Explorations in Music and Art (3 credits)
  • GS-627: The Composing Performer (3 credits)
  • PS-633: The Triadic Chromatic Approach for the Performer 1 (3 credits)
  • PS-634: The Triadic Chromatic Approach for the Perfomer 2 (3 credits)