Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



First Advisor

John Gunther

Second Advisor

Paul McKee

Third Advisor

Jeff Jenkins


This thesis is a detailed look into the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts (CCJA) and why it is not only a valid form of jazz education, but one of the best. CCJA is a not-for-profit organization that was founded by Paul and Chris Romaine. The program is dedicated to teaching jazz to middle school and high school level students through small groups or combos. Each group is taught by a professional musician in the Denver Metro area. This paper examines CCJA’s place in the history of jazz education and considers other programs similar to CCJA. One-on-one interviews were conducted with the founders, faculty, administration, alumni, and current students along with an anonymous online survey sent out to the CCJA mailing list. From these interviews and survey questions, a history of CCJA was compiled and the innovations, pedagogical techniques, and the community it has created are discussed. Problems that the organization has faced and the future of CCJA are also considered.