Document Type

Honors Project


Jazz education has gone from the streets and clubs where the music was played into the halls of the university. This recent entry into the academy provides a unique opportunity to study the process of institutionalization and its effects on creativity in instruction. What social factors influence how jazz professors develop their curriculum? Has jazz teaching become standardized and uncreative or is it vibrant and inventive? This study consists of six semi-structured interviews with jazz professors in the US which are examined in relation to Peterson and Anand’s (2004) Six Facet Model of cultural production. This model is used to examine six major influences on producers of culture: technology, market, organization structure, industry structure, legal restrictions, and the culture of production. The results indicate that while the field is not highly competitive there is a high level of creativity in the curriculum but little creativity in the structural aspects of jazz programs. I suggest that as disciplines move from a culture of informal instruction into a bureaucratic institution they lose some, but not all creativity.



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