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NZ’s Only Dedicated Jazz School To Provide Degree

Media Release – December 20, 2002

NZ’s Only Dedicated Jazz School To Provide Uni Degree Course

New Zealand’s only dedicated jazz school will offer access to a specialist degree in music next year.

Diploma students at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) jazz school will be able to compete a Bachelor of Music degree, majoring in jazz.

The students will be taught by CPIT tutors at the jazz school and the degree will come under the University of Canterbury banner.

The university will provide access to honours, masters and post-graduate degrees in coming the coming years in collaboration with CPIT.

Jazz School spokesman Neill (correct spelling) Pickard said Christchurch had the only dedicated jazz tertiary school in the country.

``We have been going for 12 years and two of our graduates are among the finest jazz musicians in Australia. They are Brett Hirst, one of most sought after bass players in their country and Gerard Masters, a jazz pianist.’’

Massey University also offer a jazz degree but have always specialised in classical music.

University of Canterbury school of music head Roger Buckton said the idea of having both jazz and classical music under the same Bachelor of Music degree is ``very exciting and is a first for New Zealand’’.

``More and more, musicians are expected to be able to work across different genres of music and therefore the possibility studying this at university level is absolutely crucial,’’ he said.

The Canterbury degree through CPIT replaces the ‘degree equivalent’ status from the old Diploma in Jazz.

It provides a degree pathway for musically-inclined students who want to specialise in jazz. About a dozen students have already enrolled in the programme.

The CPIT has 5500 full time equivalent students.


For further information contact: Margaret Pierson, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, 03 940 8007

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