The New Jazz Certificate Program at NJW

At the Nashville Jazz Workshop this January, we will start a new Jazz Certificate Program. This is something of a dream come true for us. Last April, the staff of NJW met with over seventy of our closest advisors and friends for an epic mind-meld. For two and a half days, we brainstormed, dreamed, and envisioned the future of NJW. In many ways, it was a colossal weekend, because it yielded approximately a thousand more ideas than we will ever be able to bring to fruition. (More ideas are better than fewer, would you agree?)

However, many of those ideas and dreams have now become reality, including the creation of a Certificate Program for both vocalists and instrumentalists!

Since April, we have been hard at work reorganizing the NJW catalog, creating different certificate tracks, and putting it all up on the web. Finally the time has come to share that work and our new certificates with the world. As part of our mission “to expand and enrich people’s lives by offering world class jazz education and performance in supportive and creative environments,” we created these certificates to help students organize their study and plan for future goals.

The process of working toward a certificate will guide NJW students through a foundational series of classes intended to help them become accomplished jazz musicians and performers or to enhance their current level of expertise. Ours are certificates of completion rather than professional credentials and are intended to recognize the student’s fulfillment of class requirements in their chosen course of study.

Certificates are available for both vocalists and instrumentalists and follow three similarly structured tracks:

  • Musicianship
  • Performance
  • Literature or Ensemble Playing

NJW’s journeyman/apprentice model of teaching offers invaluable support to professional musicians, students of other music programs, and jazz enthusiasts alike. Our certificate coursework is intended to help supplement

  • Collegiate programs of study
  • Personal musicianship and performance goals
  • Professional musicianship training
  • Career exploration

One of the best features of the program is that former and current students of the Nashville Jazz Workshop are eligible for certificates based on classes completed prior to 2018. Certificates will be awarded retroactively to any students who are interested and have met the requirements.

More complete information about the new Certificate Program can be found on the NJW website at NJW Certificates.

If you have questions about the certificate program please contact me at We’d love to hear from you.

Liz Johnson

M.M., Certificate in Vocology
Jazz Artist, Vocal Instructor  at Nashville Jazz Workshop and Voice Instructor at Love Revolution Vocal Studio