Jazz – the most diverse of studies, the content and methods of teaching is constantly being perfected, with a wide range of different projects and intensive international cooperation.
Our teaching process emulates the actual work of a professional musician, as far as possible, with great emphasis on developing student individuality, while fully preparing them for a career on the music market.
The activities of various projects are particularly active (annual project “Etno + Jazz” under the “Decibel” festival, cooperation projects with Latvian Radio’s Big Band and the National Armed Forces’ Big Band, regular concerts at Riga jazz clubs and elsewhere in Latvia).
For several years, there have been regular reciprocal exchanges of students and teaching groups to Estonia and Lithuania (Tallinn Music Academy, Viljandi Culture Academy, Vilnius Music Academy), which not only gives an insight to the jazz traditions of neighbouring countries, but also means new contacts and new knowledge for students and lecturers.
In cooperation with the Department of Jazz at Nebraska University in Omaha, USA, a group of JVLMA students visited America and performed at a jazz festival.
The department also has a very intensive schedule of master classes. Students are offered the opportunity of meeting professionals in their field and performing together with them in various concerts. JVLMA is a member of active jazz education organisation AEC JP (Association Européenne des Conservatorys, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen, Pop and Jazz Platform) and member of the IASJ (International Association of School of Jazz).
Since it was founded in 2009, the consistent improvement and development of the teaching process and activities of the Department of Jazz has made it an important development centre for Latvian jazz music.
Evidence of this is our graduates, who are currently at the core of the new generation of jazz musicians in Latvia – Daumants Kalniņš, Dāvis Jurka, Evilena Protektore, Edvīns Ozols, Mārcis Auziņš, Beāte Zviedre, Rūdolfs Dankfelds, Toms Poišs, Atis Andersons, Krišjānis Bremšs, Oskars Ozoliņš, Roberts Martinovskis, Staņislavs Judins, and many others.
Upon successful graduation of a Bachelor’s study programme a Professional Bachelor's degree in Music, Choreography or Musical Pedagogy (in programmes General Education Music Teacher, Professional Music Subject Teacher) is conferred upon a student, together with the fifth level professional qualification according to the specialisation (pianist, violinist, choral conductor, composer, musicologist, choreographer etc.).
The integral curriculum of the Bachelor's studies, which in addition to academic and professional training courses also include the courses required for teaching, provides all graduates the corresponding pedagogical qualification (teacher of piano playing, violin playing, choral conducting, music theory, dance, etc.). Considering the requirements of
today's labour market, a number of study programmes allow students the option to obtain the right to work in a music school as a teacher of a different subject (to teach piano playing, music theory, a related wind instrument, etc.) as an elective course.
Upon completion of a Professional Master's degree programme a graduate is granted a Professional Master's degree in Music or Choreography. Upon successful graduation from the Academic Master's degree programme, a Master of Arts degree in Humanities is conferred.
At the end of academic doctorate studies, students receive a statement regarding the acquisition of a doctorate study programme and, after successfully defending the promotional work, obtains a doctoral diploma and a degree of Doctor of Arts (Dr. Art.).