Miles Ahead Institute Online

This exciting new after-school program starts in February, 2021, and will give advanced musicians an accelerated overview of 50 of the top tunes that make up the essential repertoire for any jazz musician. Miles Ahead Institute is designed for students approaching college and professional playing situations. Open by audition only, this class can also be taken with the Miles Ahead Jazz Online class.

Steven Lugerner will show you how professional jazz musicians learn jazz compositions and standards quickly by:

  • recognizing song forms
  • analyzing key centers
  • choosing improvisation approaches
  • recognizing chord progressions and patterns
  • memorizing melodies
  • listening to classic recordings

You’ll learn the characteristics of 50 of the top jazz tunes that you’ll be called on to perform in professional settings.

This class can be taken with the Miles Ahead Jazz Online class. Find out more about Miles Ahead Jazz Online by clicking here. 

For all high school instrumentalists
currently enrolled in their school music programs

By audition only.
If your audition is not accepted, you’ll be placed in a Miles Ahead Jazz Online class that is perfect for your skill level and for your needs as a developing jazz musician.

If your school does not have a music program, concurrent enrollment is not required.

Miles Ahead Institute is focused exclusively on getting familiar with the most essential tunes for a pro jazz musician to know.

Director: Steven Lugerner

What do you get in Miles Ahead Institute?

  • Exposure to 50 of the most important tunes in jazz
  • Techniques for learning and memorizing tunes
  • Strategies for analyzing form and keys
  • Ways to recognize chord types and progressions
  • Historical context and recordings
  • One weekly session with the director
  • One weekly masterclass with SJW faculty that focuses on instrumental fundamentals, technique, and repertoire


Miles Ahead Institute full sessions: Thursdays at 6:00 p.m., beginning on February 4, 2021.

Masterclasses: Friday afternoons beginning at 4 PM, and lasting for 60 minutes. First session: Friday, February 5. Final session: Friday, March 26.

All times are Pacific Standard Time.  Schedule subject to change.

Tuition for Miles Ahead Institute $895 per semester, non-refundable. (Limited need-based financial aid is available. Please contact registrar@stanfordjazz.org for more information.)

Tuition for Miles Ahead Jazz Online and Miles Ahead Institute together: Sign up for both Miles Ahead Jazz Online and Miles Ahead Institute and receive a discount on tuition: $1,295. Find out more about Miles Ahead Jazz Online by clicking here. 

To apply: Admission to the Miles Ahead Institute is by audition only. Register for Miles Ahead Institute by clicking on the Sign Up Now button below. After you register, you’ll receive information about creating and submitting your audition. If your audition is not accepted, you’ll be placed in a Miles Ahead Jazz Online class that’s perfect for your skill level and needs as a developing jazz musician. The deadline to submit your placement evaluation recording is January 22, 2021; late registrations can be accepted, but only as long as space in the program is still available.

Audition requirements: To be considered for the program, please follow the “placement evaluation” instructions linked below and submit two audio recordings. One recording must be of “Blues for Liddle,” and for your second recording you can choose either “Recordame” or “Ko Ko.” Instructions, sheet music and play-alongs are all available at the link below. Alternatively – or if you are registering late, you can submit a list of 5 jazz standards you’ve memorized plus two audio recording. One recording must follow the 12-bar “Bird Blues” structure, and your second recording should be chosen from the list of tunes you provide. For both recordings, play the melody, take a 2 or 3-chorus solo then play the melody again. Please exclude 12-bar blues songs from your “5 tune” list, and all recordings must have audible play-along tracks supporting you. You can submit your audition files directly to Steven Lugerner – slugerner@stanfordjazz.org or through SJW’s registration portal.

Click hon the graphic below to download a PDF of our program comparison and FAQ explaining the differences between the Miles Ahead Institute and Miles Ahead Jazz Online.

Faculty and masterclass coaches

Important information

Warmup No. 1: Dorian mode. Get in shape with the SJW faculty!

Warm up No. 2: Mixolydian mode. Get your technique together by playing along!