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  • What Kind Of Youth Programs Do You Offer?
    Ensemble Classes: Ensembles meet once a week (Saturdays, Sundays, Monday evenings & Tuesday evenings) for 90 minutes. Students are expected to practice their assignments at home and be ready to perform in class. Assignments range from learning new music, practicing their parts, transcribing solos, etc. Other time commitments include approximately three to five live performances (ensemble performances at Panama 66 and two recitals). You can find the class schedule calendar here. Visiting the YLJC classroom is a great way to see how the program works. If you'd like to sit in on an ensemble class to check it out, just let us know and we'll find a time that works for the instructor/class and you — email info@yljc to vist an enseble class Workshop Classes: YLJC workshop classes are for students who are not quite ready for the demands of being in a YLJC ensemble but want to gain the experience necessary to join an ensemble in the future. The classes are solely to prepare students for the challenges of playing in a group setting, sight-reading, theory, ear training, improvising, etc. After these classes, students should be comfortable and ready for the challenges of being in a YLJC ensemble. The difference between a workshop ensemble and a “regular” ensemble is that the workshop students will not be required to audition or perform at Panama 66 (unless the group is ready and willing). This will take the pressure off students as they grow musically. Curriculum includes music theory, ear training, reading music—sight reading, improvisation, how to play in a group setting, jazz history Instrumentation can be varied (examples: we might have 4 pianists and 1 drummer, or, 2 sax, 2 pianists and a bass player, etc.).
  • How Much Is Tuition?
    Tuition is paid by the acendemic year. There is also a reccurring monthly payment plan available. $1,250 for the acedemic year $25 non-refundable registration fee There are no class material fees ​ Billing invoices are sent via email after ensemble placements. We accept check and credit cards. Families who have multiple students enrolled in the program will receive a 50% siblings discount on the tuition fee for the second student.
  • Do You Offer Scholarships?
    Yes, we believe no child should miss out on the opportunity and enrichment that music education provides. To be considered for a scholarship, families should submit a scholarship application prior to the deadline. Click Here for more details.
  • Do You Offer Private Instruction?
    We currently do not offer private instruction but we do have great recommendations for private teachers in the San Diego area. Email for recommendations.
  • Do I Have To Know How To Read Music?
    Yes, YLJC has minimum requirements for the audition process, and reading music is a necessary component.
  • What Is The Placement Process?
    Placement is administered by faculty, and each student's audition is carefully reviewed. Students are placed in ensembles based on their ability demonstrated in the audition video. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate requests to be placed in a particular ensemble. The best way to get placed in higher-level ensembles is to practice!
  • What's The Class Schedule?
    Classes meet once a week for 90 minutes. The majority of classes are held on Saturdays and Sundays. Some classes may be held in the evenings during the week. Class schedules are not set until after the audition process.
  • How Many Classes Can I Miss?
    In order to maintain the cohesiveness of each ensemble, and to be eligible to participate in external performance opportunities, students must not have more than two unexcused absences during the season. An absence is “excused” only as expressly determined by ensemble instructors. If a last-minute emergency arises, students should notify their ensemble leader at the earliest possible opportunity. All other excused absences should be presented to ensemble leaders at least one week ahead of time for approval. Examples of excused absences include: college preparatory testing, funeral, family emergency, and illness.
  • Can I Join Mid Year?
    If we have room, we will accept students for the spring semester—We are anticipating being a capacity for the academic year and can only accept students if we have rehearsal space available. If there are spots available, spring semester registration will commence in December and will be based on instrumentation needs. Keep an eye on the website for dates or email us at, and we'll notify you when placement auditions are announced.
  • Do You Offer Big Band?
    Yes! The YLJC Jacobs Jazz Ensemble is a tuition free program sponsored by Mrs Joan and Dr. Irwin Jacobs! Members are hand picked by our Artistic Director, Gilbert Castellanos.
  • Do You Teach Different Types Of Jazz?
    Yes, our curriculum represents many styles of music including traditional jazz standards from the American songbook, Afro Cuban, Latin Jazz, Bossa Nova, Samba Music, Funk Jazz, Traditional Jazz, Bebop, Postmodern Bebop, and Modern Jazz just to name a few. Students are also encouraged to write music for their ensembles.
  • How Many Students In A Class?
    Ensembles have an average of seven students each.
  • How Can I Get Involved?
    YLJC is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer board. We are always looking for help from community and parent volunteers. If you are interested in donating your time, please contact us at If you have any specific professional skills that you would like to share such as bookkeeping, business law, marketing, fundraising, photography or anything else, please let us know!
  • Can I Write Off My Donation?
    YLJC is a Section 501(c)3 nonprofit and your gift may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes. You should consult with your tax adviser or the IRS to determine whether a contribution is deductible.
  • What Type Of Payment Is Accepted?
    We accept donations made by credit card, cash, or check. Details can be found on the "Support Us" page on our website.
  • Can I Mail A Check?
    Yes! Checks can be made out to Young Lions Jazz Conservatory and mailed to 4454 Felton Street, San Diego, CA 92116.
  • Do You Have An Office?
    We have a wonderful rehearsal space but unfortunatly we don’t have an office. We have an all volunteer board that work remotely. If you need to talk with us, please email to: If it's a more urgent matter, please call 619.949.1829
  • What Type Of Instruments Can Be Donated?
    YLJC can accept most instruments in working order for a variety of purposes including student use, resale, and classroom use. If you have an instrument you are interested in donating, please see our Donate An Instrument page.
  • How Much To Hire A Combo?
    All monies received from performances go directly to the organization. YLJC ensembles perform at a variety of events (e.g., SD Symphony & the Rady Shell, large corporate events, small private events, etc.). For events that YLJC ensembles perform, we have to charge a minimum fee to cover the costs (instructors pay, insurance, travel, etc.). Our standard fee is $500 for a one hour performance. If you have a budget in mind, please communicate it to us as we can put together ensembles to accommodate budget limitations.
  • Can I Buy Merch?
    If you'd like to purchase a t-shirt or hoodie, email us at and we'll arrange payment and pick up. All proceeds from merchandise sales go directly to scholarships!
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