Aspiring professional musicians may now have more reasons to attend the Yale School of Music, which has launched two new programs for future performers.
Earlier this month, the School of Music announced the creation of two programs, the Master of Musical Arts degree and the Artist Diploma. Both programs are now available to applicants for the 2015–16 academic year. Yale School of Music Deputy Dean Melvin Chen said the programs are part of a larger series of reforms to the school’s curricular offerings.
“A number of years ago, there was a plan to rethink the entire curriculum,” Chen said. “The degrees have been revised one by one.”
Chen said that in 2007, the school formed a review committee that examined the school’s curricular structure and made several recommendations to its administration. But he noted that the proposed changes could not be implemented at the time because of budget constraints resulting from the 2008 financial crisis. The school has only recently begun implementing the changes, which include the Doctor of Musical Arts degree that became available in 2013 as well as the two new programs, Chen added.
The Artist Diploma is a two-year program open to any applicant with at least a high school diploma. The program will accept three students for the 2015–16 academic year, and six students per year after that point. Chen said the program caters only to aspiring musicians at the highest skill levels, adding that the school will give each student in the program personalized career guidance and unique performance opportunities that are not available to most students at the collegiate level.
“The people we accept to this program are going to be ones that, we’re fairly confident, are going to have a major international career,” Chen said.
Chen explained that the new programs are tailored to students who aspire to have careers in music performance rather than in non-performance-oriented fields such as musical academia. The programs are aimed at honing the musical skills of students above everything else, he added. Chen noted that only a small number of graduate music schools across the country offer post-master’s degrees such as the music school’s Master of Musical Arts degrees, which he thinks will lead to an increased number of music school applicants.
Dana Astmann, the manager of communications at the School of Music, said that the school has been in contact with students who are considering applying for the new programs. For example, she explained, School of Music professor Boris Berman coordinated and led an online video chat in February for prospective applicants. Astmann noted that so far, the student response to the new programs has been positive.
There are currently 187 students enrolled in the School of Music.