Register now for our adult jazz programs

Get that horn out of the closet, dust off your jazz guitar, and sign up for one (or more!) of our Evening Jazz Classes. These classes are sure to take your jazz chops to the next level, whether you’ve been playing over chord changes for years or if you’re a classical musician interested in improvising. All skill levels are welcome. Click here for more information.

  • The Guided Jam is a fun evening jam program tailored to adults. Taught by experienced SJW faculty members, this program is perfect for musicians looking to fill in their theory knowledge and apply it in real time. Students will learn and jam on common jazz standards that will offer dozens of approaches to improvisation. Participants will also engage in daily practice and evaluation via the groundbreaking computer program MakeMusic SmartMusic®. Have fun meeting other jazz-minded local adults while you improve your jazz skills.
  • Jazz Theory is a class taught by SJW faculty member Richard Sears. It is ideal for those with little knowledge of jazz theory or who may need a refresher course. Richard will give you the theoretical foundation that you need to build the best solo possible. Easily taken in conjunction with The Guided Jam.
  • Beginning and intermediate pianists will enjoy Jazz Piano with Richard Sears. Taught in a group setting, all pianists will get invaluable experience as they begin their jazz journey. Classical pianists looking to transition to jazz are strongly encouraged. Students will learn jazz standards and the fundamentals of jazz theory as they improve their improvisation skills.


For a more immersive jazz experience adults may register for the Jazz Institute, a weeklong summer intensive. Students will receive personalized instrument-specific instruction and improvisation coaching from the Jazz Institute’s impressive faculty roster. This summer’s Jazz Institute features such legendary faculty members as:

…and many more! Click here for a complete list of faculty.

The Jazz Institute is ideal for anyone who is looking to hone their improvisation skills, whether they are a professional musician or a newcomer to jazz, in an immersive, supportive environment. Students will participate in daily combo rehearsals so each musician will have plenty of time to improvise and receive coaching. Play and learn with other adults while you have the time of your life! Click here for more information about Jazz Institute.

Jazz Camp financial aid deadline looming: March 24

Financial aid is still available for youth aged 17 and under for Jazz Day Camp, Jazz Camp, and Jazz Institute. In 2013, we distributed over $100,000 in financial aid for underserved youth, which enabled nearly 100 deserving and talented young jazz musicians to immerse themselves in the study of jazz with some of the leading artists in the world. The deadline is March 24, and there are several items that must be prepared prior to that. The time to act is now; here’s what you have to do:
  • Parent or legal guardian should create an SJW account online; click here to go to the account setup page.
  • Register for the program you wish to attend.
  • Select the financial aid option you wish.
  • Submit a $25 non-refundable application fee and a deposit of $100. The deposit will be refunded if the student is unable to attend due to not receiving sufficient financial assistance.
Once your registration is processed, we’ll follow up with a confirmation email that includes a supplement that must be completed and returned by March 24. The supplement will include the following, but feel free to get a head start by downloading and completing these tasks if you can:
  • Student essay: Download a Word document template here.
  • Letter of recommendation from your music instructor: Download a Word document template here.
  • Proof of current financial situation; to be completed by the parent. When you submit the financial aid supplement, we ask you to include a copy of the first page of your most recent 1040 Federal Tax return, along with W2s, 1099s and/or other relevant documentation and information. You may write us a letter explaining your financial situation if you do not have access to these materials or if you feel they do not reflect your current situation.
All financial aid applications and all supplemental materials must be received by March 24, 2014. Click here for more information.

Jazz strings this summer at SJW

This summer at the Stanford Jazz Workshop we’re pleased to offer a fantastic opportunity for string players of all ages to study jazz in a friendly and stimulating environment on the Stanford University campus. SJW specializes in helping classically-trained musicians learn the creative art of improvisation through small ensemble performance, jazz theory instruction, master classes, and more.

Financial aid is available for students aged 17 and under. Please have your students apply soon, though, as the deadline for financial aid applications is March 24, 2014. For more information on financial aid, click here.

For middle school students, our Jazz Day Camp begins on Monday, July 14, runs through Friday, July 18, and features Grammy-winning jazz violinist Mads Tolling as our string program director.  This program has no on-campus overnight accommodations; it’s a day camp only. Click here for more information.

High school students and advanced middle schoolers can attend either or both weeks of Jazz Camp (July 20-25 and July 27 – August 1), where acclaimed performer and educator Victor Lin directs the string program in a fun, supportive environment. Students reside in convenient Stanford University dorm housing and attend the nightly performances at the Stanford Jazz Festival.  Click here for more information.

For college students, music educators, adult amateurs, and professionals, the Jazz Institute (August 3 – August 8) provides an immersive experience in which string players can learn from both Mads Tolling and Victor Lin, while also studying with other great artists such as Larry Grenadier, Fred Hersch, George Cables, Chick Corea, Mark Turner, Jeff Ballard, and many more. This program is open to advanced high school musicians aged 17 or under by audition only.  Click here for more information.