Recognised as a world leader in jazz music education, JMI is the only Australian music school with an on-campus jazz club and gives its students comprehensive, real-world experience as performers in the industry.
CEO and bassist Nick Quigley tells us all about what JMI have planned for the Open Day and the coming school year.
What's on offer at this year's JMI Open Day?
This year we will kick off Open Day with a casual meet and greet with current staff and students at JMI. We’ll then have an information session about our courses and audition process, which will give any prospective students a chance to ask any questions about the course or audition. We’ll then have a workshop with some current students looking at 'what is jazz?' and some fundamentals about jazz performance and improvisation. After that we’ll fire up the BBQ and have a jam session. So it’s sure to be a pretty fun and informative day.
Who should attend?
These are great for people looking to study music next year as well as parents and family members who would like to know more about JMI and what we provide.
Will there be any special performances on the day?
Yes, we’ll have some of our current students perform with some JMI faculty. We’ll also have a performance demonstration/ workshop that will dispel some myths around jazz music and give anyone attending a greater understanding of what is actually happening on the bandstand.
Why should someone choose to study at JMI?
JMI is a community that fosters and supports growth in every student that comes here. Students that come to JMI find the educational experience to be extremely satisfying and rewarding. I base this off the fact that we received a 94.5 per cent satisfaction rate in the national survey of student experience that all universities in Australia take part in.
The national average is 79.9 per cent so that indicates that we are providing a great learning experience. We have the best faculty you can get in Queensland and the course is very performance focussed, meaning students are actually working on their skill and their craft constantly. We also provide plenty of performance opportunities outside of uni.
What do your courses offer that others may not?
We have a really well structured course that even Wynton Marsalis wishes was being delivered in America. The course is structured in a way that subjects actually integrate together and provide a holistic approach to learning how music works. What you learn in theory class connects with what you work on in aural class, which then moves into what you work on in improvisation class and you bring it all together with ensemble and performing in groups.
What do you look for in prospective students?
We look for someone that is keen to learn. We really look for someone who is driven and has a good work ethic, because no matter how much natural talent one has, to reach their potential they will have to work hard.
How does JMI prepare musicians for the challenges faced in the music industry?
We expose students fairly early to what industry conditions are like through public performing. As well as that we have industry professionals coming through the campus and performing regularly at our jazz club JMI Live, which provides the students with networking opportunities. We also have a business subject in the course that deals with how to find work, plan tours, apply for grants, how to do marketing etc.
What is an average day of classes like at JMI?
A full-time load is 12-contact hours per week. That means that you’ll probably be at JMI for four days a week. A typical day may include a two-hour class in either improv, theory or aural skills, you get a one hour one-on-one lesson each week with your instrumental teacher. You’d generally be here for about four, five hours on average.
Do you have any success stories from previous years?
We have plenty of graduates that have gone on to do some impressive things and play in some great projects. If you head to the CHURCH gig in West End each Sunday, you can pretty much guarantee that JMI students past and present will be performing there. You could say that for a lot of different gigs around town.
JMI Open Day is on at Jazz Music Institute (Brisbane) 1 July.