Jazz and Popular Studies

The Jazz and Popular Studies program is based on the African American jazz idiom as a language for learning that focusses on Australian Music but embraces a wide selection of musical styles including jazz, world music, Brazilian, Indian, free, electronic, popular, Latin and blues to name but a few styles.

Find out about our Bachelor of Music, and about studying a music major

We also offer a Popular Voice study option; one of four components of Voice at Monash (in addition to Classical Voice, Jazz Voice and Choral Studies).

The philosophy of the course is to offer a strong technical and musical foundation that allows the student to develop a personal ‘voice’ which is a result of their broad musical education and an awareness of their social and cultural being. Academically, there is a focus to learn research skills in performance (practice-based/artistic research), musicology and ethnomusicology, which can equate to further study in the postgraduate area.

Why study Jazz and Popular Music at Monash?

  • More opportunity to play and learn from the best local and International artists – this is an International course with a global outlook.
  • Staff – leading performing staff with National and International profiles
  • International Units – As part of the undergraduate course you can study 2 week units O/S in New York (New York University) and the Monash Centre – Prato (Italy)
  • Record CDs with greats including Hermeto Pascoal (Jazzhead 2013), George Garzone (Jazzhead 2013), Alex Foster and Alex Sipiagin (Jazzhead 2013), Vince Jones (release 2014), Enrico Rava (released 2014), Kate Ceberano (released 2016), Tony Gould and Mike Nock (released 2016), and Kenny Werner (release 2015).
  • Play (learn) at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (Monash is the Education Partner) with the likes of Joe Lovano, Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Maria Schnieder, Terence Blanchard, John Abercrombie, Jim Black (Alasnoaxis), George Garzone (The Fringe), Mark Helias – Tony Malaby (Open Loose), Tarbaby, Eddie Palmieri, Tomasz Stanko, Ellery Eskelin, Tom Rainey, etc.
  • Get a comprehensive music education – playing changes (harmony), creativity, great time, style, arranging composition, music business, teaching music, film etc.
  • Learn about practice-based research (performance/composition) – the undergraduate course prepares you for honours (then masters and PhD)
  • Learn about musics of the world – specialise and diversify = 21st century musician
  • Play in a huge array of ensembles that promotes Australian Music
  • Perform at leading venues in Melbourne for recitals and assessments including Paris Cat Jazz Club, Jazz Lab and Uptown Jazz Cafe.
  • You have the opportunity to audition and play in the MAE (Monash Art Ensemble) with members of the AAO (Australian Art Ensemble) and staff – Directed by Professor Paul Grabowsky.
  • Equipped for a career in music

Within the music undergraduate degree, students are also offered classes in jazz arranging/composition, ear training, improvisation materials, theory, instrument-specific workshops, keyboard skills, Indian rhythms, Brazilian music (Choro–Samba), composition, performance workshop, stage band, world music ensemble, guitar studies and small ensembles.



Our alumni include many leading musicians on the Jazz and popular scene today, such as:

  • Hue Blanes: Winner of the PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission 2017
  • Olivia Chindamo  (Winner of the Young Jazz Musician of the year – Bell Awards 2016)
  • James Mustafa (Winner of the Young Jazz Musician of the year – Bell Awards 2015)
  • Jessica Carlton (nominated for the Young Jazz Musician of the year – Bell Awards 2015)
  • Adam Katz (nominated for the Young Jazz Musician of the year – Bell Awards 2014)
  • Daniel Sheehan (nominated for the Young Jazz Musician of the year – Bell Awards 2014)
  • Simon Mavin (Hiatus Kaiyote – Grammy nomination 2013, 2014)
  • Joe O’Conner (Winner of the Young Jazz Musician of the year – Bell Awards 2014 and winner of the National jazz competition 2014 Wangarrata)
  • Raghav Sachar (Film composer – Bollywood Movies)

Prizes and Enrolment: