Patrick Dunst, B.A. MA MMus

European Jazz Education Between Formal and Informal Teaching


This dissertation aims to examine the institutionalisation of jazz pedagogy in Europe, and its impact on the ‘oral tradition’ (Prouty, 2006, p.317) – jazz as a living art form today. Current teaching methods taken from case studies of European jazz programmes, will be compared to the ‘informal teaching methods’ (Green, 2002, p.184) of historic jazz teaching of the early-twentieth century, a time when it was still ‘an art form of a small and mostly black urban community’ (Berliner, 1994, p. 34-55) in the United States. This will not only reveal the influence of Western art music pedagogy on jazz education but also address one of the main research queries: should jazz still be considered – as it is done by academia today – as an ethnic ‘oral tradition,’ or has it become part of the Western art music tradition?

In addition, the research will be guided by the following questions: to what extend is jazz currently taught in Europe by the means of ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ teaching methods? What influence does the current pedagogy have on jazz as a living art form and its specific sociological phenomena, from the ‘jam session’, to ‘private session’ and ‘performance practice’? What alternatives to the current teaching method are emerging today?

The aim of this dissertation is thus to critically analyse the pedagogical developments of jazz education in Europe over the last 40 years, and describe how an oral arts tradition has been severely impacted by its institutionalization in the West. Despite jazz’s unique status as the only ethnic tradition to be fully integrated into the canon of Western art music and its academic education, surprisingly little work has been done to study its pedagogical methods and development within this context. This work seeks to fill an important gap in the existing literature by providing a qualitative study of European Jazz pedagogy and an account of emerging paradigms within the field.


Geboren am 05.07.1983 in Graz. Aufgewachsen in England und Österreich.

Studium des Saxophon-Jazz an der Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Graz, bei Karlheinz Miklin, Don Mensa und Gerald Preinfalk. Abschluss Juni 2008 mit Master of Arts, sowie zusätzliches Studium an der Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Wien, bei Wolfgang Puschnig. Ab 2004 außerdem Studium des klassischen südindischen Gesangs bei Dr. K. S. Subramanian und Usha Narasimhan am „Chennai Institute for Music of the World“, Indien.

Studienaufenthalt in Chennai 2004. Im September 2009 schloss er das Master-Studium der Musikethnologie als Jahrgangsbester am Goldsmiths College, Universität London, ab und beschäftigte sich in seiner Diplomarbeit mit der Verwendung des armenischen Holzblasinstruments Duduk in der internationalen Filmmusik.

Seit Oktober 2010 ist Patrick Dunst Doktorand am Institut für Musikpädagogik an der Musikhochschule, München, unter der Betreuung von Prof. Adina Mornell.


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