||Scholarship in musical identity has been tied to psychological and sociological theories of identity construction. Recent scholarship has used social identity theory as a means to explore the relationship of music to identity. Scholars have advocated for phenomenological inquiry in order to gain an understanding of the contours of musical identity from the perspective of the individual. In this study, the researcher focused on the construct of musical identity by investigating the influence of formal music education on the construction of musical identity in a group of conservatory jazz students who worked regularly as professional musicians in New York City. The researcher analyzed data in the context of a critical analysis of the influence of formal music education. The researcher utilized multidimensional critical feminist standpoint theory as an analytical framework, using the participants' positionality as a group of students at the conservatory as a point of departure for describing their standpoints. The researcher located this analysis in the broader context of the recent history and philosophy of music education in the United States. The researcher, in collaboration with the study participants, developed a narrative describing the contours of musical identity from the perspective of each participant. Issues of class, gender, and in particular, race emerged as important forces guiding not only the participants' negotiations of musical identity, but even their perceptions of what music can or should be labeled jazz. The participants discussed the dilemma of expressing their individual voices as performers versus working in less rewarding contexts to gain employment. The influence of the conservatory experience was significant for all participants, but varied based upon how well aligned an individual's sense of musical identity was in relation to his/her perception of the musical ideology of the institution. In cases where musical identity and institutional ideology did not align well, participants spoke of the value of that ideology as resistance that aided them in "finding their center." The researcher noted the benefit of studying ongoing negotiations of musical identity among jazz musicians through analysis of musical performance where those negotiations are displayed in real time.