California Jazz Conservatory Salutes, Surveys Current Degree Program Students; Student-to-Teacher Ratio, Expertise of CJC Artist-Educators, Singular Focus on Jazz, Noted as Reasons for Students Enrolling and Continuing Studies at CJC

BERKELEY, Calif., Dec. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The California Jazz Conservatory (CJC) is celebrating its silver anniversary in 2022 with a salute to, and an informal survey of, its current degree program students. Respondents lauded CJC’s 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio – and the expertise of those teachers – as their primary reasons for enrolling and continuing their studies at CJC.

A breakdown of current CJC student demographics indicates 83% are male, 13% female, and 4% non-binary. The student body includes a mix of ethnicity, including students who identify as White, Hispanic, Black, and Pacific Islander. Instruments of choice within the student population were led by bass, followed closely by piano; with guitar, drums and saxophone next; and the list rounded out by trumpet and trombone.

The majority of current CJC students hail from the San Francisco Bay Area, many from the East Bay, in what might be an indication of the impact of the pandemic on higher education choices, with students choosing to study closer to home.

Students were surveyed informally on why they chose CJC for pursuing their degree in jazz studies and were also asked about their CJC experience. Respondents repeatedly cited CJC’s renowned artist-educators, who share a common thread of expertise in both performance and education, as their primary reason for enrolling and as the major benefit derived from their time at CJC. “The true expertise of the faculty and their deep knowledge of their subject has put me on a straight line to developing my own jazz chops. They care very much about their students and getting them to their chosen musical destination,” was a typical comment.

A key insight from one of the responding students noted the unique form of synergy generated by the daily gathering of the CJC community of educators: “Each teacher brings so much to the table and it’s honestly remarkable to see so many amazing musicians and educators around each other every day. Susan Muscarella and the entire CJC staff have done so much for me and I feel incredibly grateful to be a student here.”

The CJC was founded by Muscarella in 1997 as the Jazzschool – CJC’s community music education program – and this year, CJC celebrates a quarter of a century of leadership in jazz education and performance. The school’s story has been captured by Muscarella in her recently published book, “California Jazz Conservatory – A 25-Year Retrospective” (available at, a 170-page illustrated history of the school, including Muscarella’s hands-on account of jazz education and jazz performance in Berkeley over the past 25 years, and the story of how CJC has overcome obstacles, some of biblical proportions, to reach its current position as the only private music conservatory in the country focused solely on jazz and related styles of music.

For more information about the CJC, please contact

Contact Paul S. Fingerote / (831) 373-3343

SOURCE California Jazz Conservatory