Frequently Asked Questions

How much experience with my instrument should I have?
  • We ask that each student have at least some prior experience with performing jazz. The core segment of Jazz Camp is the Performance Ensembles, where you learn how to play jazz in an ensemble setting, which includes opportunities for each student to do some solo improvising. Some prior experience with performing jazz in an ensemble setting is definitely an advantage.
  • An audio/video recording is also required. For all instruments except drums, the student should play the melody, then improvise on two choruses of a jazz standard or 12-bar blues. Drummers should play brief (approx. 1 minute) examples of the following four rhythms: swing, 3/4 jazz waltz, bossa nova, 6/8 Latin.
How much experience playing jazz should I have?
We ask that each student have at least some prior experience with performing jazz. The core segment of Jazz Camp is the Performance Ensembles, where you learn how to play jazz in an ensemble setting that includes opportunities for each student to do some solo improvising. While not required, some prior experience with performing jazz in an ensemble setting is definitely an advantage.
Is my admission to Jazz Camp dependent on the outcome of my placement audition?
No! Students are accepted based on their applications. Auditions, conducted just a few days before camp starts, are for placement only. Auditions give us a better sense for the level of your skills and help us place you in the level of classroom instruction and ensemble that will best suit your needs and abilities. We try to make these auditions as low-stress as possible. We just want to hear you play and get a sense of your individual ability to improvise and sight-read.
We look at your application to gauge your level of musical experience: how long you have studied your instrument, how much jazz experience you have had, what kinds of jazz you are interested in, etc. Once we have evaluated your application for Jazz Camp, you will receive a confirmation that you have been admitted to the camp.
For more details on the audition, see the Auditions page of our website.
I play in a Jazz Band, but don't do a lot of sight-reading. How can I prepare for the sight-reading part of the audition?
Sight-reading is a skill that can be learned. We suggest you talk with your teacher or bandleader for help in learning and practicing sight-reading. The more you practice seeing new music, the better you get at sight-reading.
If you want to try teaching yourself, you might try breaking the music up into its components. Look at the music and focus on just reading the rhythm. Or look at the music and practice working out the intervals. Once you have gotten proficient at doing one of these, you can try looking at a new piece of music and try to do both rhythm and notes at the same time. Devote a part of your practice every day to looking at some music you have never seen before.
I'm younger than 14 years old? Can I still apply to Jazz Camp?
Jazz Camp attracts people of all ages who love jazz. Our students have ranged in age from 14-75+. Unfortunately, we cannot under any circumstances accept applications from participants who will not have reached the age of 14 by the start of Jazz Camp, no matter how mature or musically advanced they might be.
Do you offer vocal instruction?
At this time, we do not offer any jazz vocal instruction.
After I submit my application, how do I know I have been admitted?
You will first receive an email confirming that we have received your application. After we have had time to review your application, we will send another email with confirmation of your admission to the camp. Applications received after the enrollment deadline will be accepted on a space-available basis.
Please note: we must limit the number of students admitted within each instrument group in order to form appropriate musical groupings for the Performance Ensemble segment of the camp. Qualified applicants for each instrument are accepted on a rolling-admissions basis: once we have accepted as many applicants as we have space for on any given instrument, we no longer accept other applicants on that instrument. We recommend that you send in your application as early as possible, to increase your chances of being admitted.
Will I be studying and playing only with other people who are my own age?
Not necessarily. We put together classes and groups based on level of musical proficiency. Your course or ensemble may be made up of people about your own age, or may be a mix of different ages: high school, college, adult. You will find very quickly that age is less important at Jazz Camp than is musical ability. We have found that creating groups of musicians of mixed ages increases the wealth of knowledge, exuberance, and experience within the group for everyone's benefit.
What equipment should I bring with me?
Jazz Camp provides acoustic pianos and drums kits without cymbals. All other instruments and equipment must be brought with you for each day of the camp. All instruments and equipment may be stored each day in our camp's locked closet.
Some bass and guitar amplifiers will be provided by Jazz Camp, but we ask that you bring your amp with you if possible. Amps may be stored overnight in the locked classrooms. We appreciate it if you are willing to share the use of your amp with other students in the camp.
All students should bring a personal copy of a Real Book in the key of their instrument.
I will be a residential or international student staying in the dorms. What should I bring with me?
We provide bedding, sheets, and towels. You should bring enough comfortable clothes for the week, including a set of clothes you want to wear for the Final Concert, which is videotaped. Bring all the toiletries you need; the student stores on campus may not be open and it may be hard to purchase toiletries on campus.
After the evening jam session ends at 8:45, students return to the dorms and stay inside. There is no TV in the rooms. We find that most of our participants are exhausted after a 12-hour-long day, and go to sleep soon after the jams. But if you are someone who likes to stay up late, you might consider bringing reading materials, a handheld videogame, or a portable music player, to entertain yourself. A small selection of snacks is available from vending machines, but you might wish to bring some of your favorites with you.
I am an international student. What is included with the medical insurance?
Medical Insurance is included with tuition costs for international students. The UC San Diego Extension medical insurance policy for international students covers hospitalization, with some exceptions, and many other medical expenses, but not dental or eye care. Medical insurance is non-refundable. For information on this requirement, contact our Health and Welfare Coordinator at
Are there any other requirements for international students?
Tuberculosis (TB) screening is required for all international students. UC San Diego Extension International Programs will send the TB Assessment Form, required by UC San Diego campus, to the student with their acceptance materials. You must get the TB Assessment Form completed by a healthcare provider who can read and complete the form in English. The TB Form must be sent by fax or email to 001-858-534-5703 or 30 days prior to your program start date.
Students who do not complete and send to us the required TB Assessment forms prior to the program published start-date will be considered to have incomplete program registration and will not be permitted to attend any classes until the required documents have been received and approved by UC San Diego Student Health Services.
What is the Jazz Camp schedule?
Review the current schedule information.
Where is the check-in point located on campus?
The check-in point is currently TBA. For more information review Transportation information and directions.
What transportation is offered to and from the San Diego Airport for residential students?
Students are responsible for their own transportation. For airport transportation services, please visit:
When are students required to move into and move out of the dorms?
Residential students (only) should plan to arrive June 19. Check-in is between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. followed by lunch, orientation, and a placement audition. The departure date is Saturday, July 1. Breakfast will be provided that day and checkout time is at noon.
Are the dorms supervised?
Jazz Camp has one male and one female adult Resident Advisor. Participants room in sex-segregated suites. The Resident Advisors stay in the suites with the students to provide supervision in the dorms. They also escort students to and from the dorms and the Conrad Prebys Music Center. Reference #955 on the Campus Map.
How are the dorm room assignments managed?
If you would like to share a room with a friend, please fill in the rooming request line on the camp application form. In the absence of any particular request, we match up roommates by similar age, grade level, and instrument played.
When will I find out who my private lesson is with?
We match you with an instructor for your one-time one-hour private lesson after the placement audition. We ask you on the application to suggest the names of the two instructors with whom you would be most interested in studying, and we do our best to honor those requests. Generally we assign you a lesson with an instructor who plays your instrument, but sometimes we are also able to honor requests for a lesson with a musician who plays another instrument and can expand your jazz-performance skills in new directions.
To help you choose a potential instructor, we have provided a lot of information about them on our faculty pages.
Where do I eat during the camp?
The camp fee for Residential students includes three meals a day in a campus cafeteria. Commuter students may pay for meals at the cafeteria on a meal-by-meal basis at a reduced rate. Students may also choose to eat at a variety of food services located on campus in the Price Student Center or just off-campus in the La Jolla area. A list of food services with locations and hours of operation is provided to each student in a pre-arrival information packet.
Residential students are asked on the camp application to identify any food allergies or special requirements they may have so that the cafeteria may prepare appropriate options for them. Commuter students must choose their meals based upon their knowledge of their own dietary needs.
Where do I park?
UCSD has very complex parking regulations, and they are strictly and frequently enforced 24-hours a day. We send every participant a copy of the UCSD parking regulations, and it is your responsibility to follow them.
Parking permits are not necessary on weekends. On weekends, students may park without a pass in red, green, or yellow spots, except for spots marked "24 hours/7 day a week." Students who are driving will receive specific parking permits for all weekdays from the Camp staff. Students will be expected to follow all directions on their parking passes. UCSD Jazz Camp will not be responsible for any fines incurred for parking violations.