Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Rachel Lebon

Second Committee Member

Whit Sidener

Third Committee Member

Larry Lapin

Fourth Committee Member

Paul Wilson


A series of interviews were conducted with Professor Armen Donelian (New School University), Professor Frank Carlberg (New England Conservatory of Music), Professor Gary Keller (University of Miami), Professor Thom Mason (University of Southern California), and Dr. Stephen Prosser (The Berklee College of Music). A comparison and analysis of existing texts whose focus was jazz aural-skill development, in combination with the information gathered from the interviews, as well as the author's personal teaching experience, served as the basis for the creation of a two-semester course sequence for jazz ear-training with application for vocal improvisation. The major content areas found to be most critical for inclusion in the sequence include: rhythm, harmony, improvisation, transcription, dictation, chord progressions, jazz articulation, the blues, guide tones, modified numeric system for chord tone identification, and sight-reading (sight-singing). It is the author's intention that this course sequence help to codify a system of jazz aural-skill development at the college-level that may be implemented in both existing jazz ear-training courses and programs where jazz ear-training courses do not currently exist.


Curriculum; Aural Development; Improv; Aural Skills; Music; Education; College; Theory; Aural