Bard Campus Tours Prospective students should attend campus tour and information sessions offered through Bard College's Admission Office. Reservations are required. More information can be found here.
Conservatory Tours To arrange for a tour of the Conservatory building and/or meeting, contact Frank Corliss, Conservatory Admissions Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 758-7604. We recommend reserving your college tour first before making an appointment to visit the Conservatory. Depending on the exact timing of your visit, we are able to arrange for you to observe rehearsals, chamber music coachings, master classes, and concerts.
ConservatoryOffice location The Conservatory Office is located in the Blum Music Building, within the Avery Center for the Arts complex on 59 Blithewood Road. (You can also find us by looking for the Edith C. Blum Institute on this campus map.)
With the obvious exception of works for solo instrument (e.g. Bach Partita, Kopprasch etude), repertoire for the prescreening submission should be accompanied. In addition, appropriate chamber music works may be used as the "work of your choice."
Composers should submit recordings of live performances of their works whenever possible, in place of MIDI realizations.
Prospective students sometimes wish to arrange lessons with Conservatory faculty as part of the process of deciding where to apply. This is a good idea, and the members of our roster are happy to try to make such arrangements if their schedule allows.
The admissions director can help facilitate this but, until a student has actually been admitted to the Conservatory, such arrangements have to be made directly between the student and the faculty member, both with respect to scheduling and with respect to payment.
After a student has been admitted the Conservatory will cover the cost of one trial lesson. The Conservatory admissions director can play a role in setting up trial lessons as requested, depending of course upon the schedules of the teachers.
Conservatory applicants are eligible for merit-based financial aid. Competitive merit awards--up to and including the full-tuition Distinguished Musician-Scholar Program--are based on the strength of the audition and the applicant's overall musical achievement and promise.
We ask all students - even students who are applying only for merit-based aid - to submit the required Financial Aid forms.
Conservatory applicants are also considered for additional merit- and need-based aid administered by Bard College. The FAFSA and CSS Profile are used to determine financial need and are required in all cases in which financial aid of any kind is awarded. Click here for additional information.
It is certainly possible! If you wish to email a Conservatory instrumental teacher please email email@example.com. Please include the name of the faculty member you wish you to contact and a brief musical resume or biography so that we can make an introduction between you and the teacher.
Regular weekly lessons are critically important to the education of the young musician. The vast majority of lessons are taught weekly on the Bard campus. When a teacher's performing schedule does not allow them to come to campus students will occasionally be taught either by someone else on the faculty roster or, more rarely, by a guest instructor. And less frequently, the conservatory will send the student into New York City for their regular weekly lesson.
The assignment of teachers is based on the current status of a teachers’ studio, the preferences of the students and the teachers, and the judgment of the Director of the Conservatory. Every attempt is made to announce these assignments as students are admitted, but in some cases this is not possible. All studio assignments are made by the Director of the Conservatory in close consultation with the faculty.
International students may apply by DVD if travel to the United States for a live audition is not feasible. The live audition repertoire requirements should be used for the audition DVD.
Information about English Language proficiency:
A TOEFL score of 100 (iBT) or 250 (computer based) or equivalent evidence of English language proficiency is expected for admission.
* In certain circumstances international students may be granted Exception Admit status for their first year at Bard, with the understanding that by the start of the second year these students will have achieved the required level of English-language proficiency. For such students, First-Year Seminar may be postponed to year two.
Even for Exception Admit students, it is required that the TOEFL test be taken in the home country and reported to Bard before arrival in the fall.
The purpose of this is for placement purposes in the ESL course, and to provide a baseline for measuring progress throughout the first year of the student’s study of English. As part of the application process, each student needs to provide information about the schedule for taking the TOEFL test.
In their first year Exception Admit students' full-time course load of 12 credits will typically consist of
Studio Instruction (4 credits) Chamber Music (0 credits) Orchestral Studies (0 credits) English as a Second Language (8 credits)
In order to complete the double-degree program in five years, Exception Admit students will need to carry increasingly full schedules in subsequent years. For some majors, it may not be possible for Exception Admit students to graduate in five years.
All applicants will receive notification two weeks after the application due date. If you have not heard from the Conservatory by that time, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. or (845) 758-2604.
The Conservatory offers a M.M. degree in the Graduate Vocal Arts Program; there is no undergraduate voice degee in the Conservatory. Undergraduate voice is taught in the College's regular four-year Music Program.
Bard College employs two academic units for the teaching of music: the Music Program, and the Conservatory of Music.
Students accepted into the five-year Conservatory program work toward two bachelor degrees: a B.M. in performance or composition, and a B.A. in a non-music subject.
In contrast, a student majoring in music in the Music Program may choose to double major in some other subject, but ultimately earns only one four-year Bachelor of Arts degree.
The study of music in the Conservatory is limited to orchestral instruments, composition, and piano. Voice is offered in the conservatory only as a M.M. degree and not at the undergraduate level. There is however a voice major in the Music Department.
Music majors in the Music Program can study jazz, electronic and experimental music, music theory and history, ethnomusicology, composition, as well as classical performance. They can also study other instruments such as saxophone, guitar (electric and acoustic), and world instruments. Students may also major in voice in the Music Program at the undergraduate level, whereas the study of voice in the Conservatory is a M.M. degree only.
The Conservatory and the Music Program share facilities. And some faculty members in fact teach in both the Conservatory and the Music Program.
The double degree is a requirement for all undergraduate students in the Conservatory. While it is possible to attend Bard College after being denied admission to the Conservatory, it is not possible for undergraduates to attend the Bard Conservatory without concurrent enrollment in Bard College's full liberal arts curriculum.
Graduate students are only required to enroll in those courses specifically mentioned in each program's curriculum.
The Conservatory also offers a non-degree Advanced Performance Studies Graduate Certificate.
It is recommended that students who will be applying to the Conservatory should submit both their College and Conservatory applications by the regular January 1 deadline.
Early Action and Immediate Decision are not available for application to the Conservatory. So it is best to submit both your College and Conservatory application materials at the reglalr admission deadline of January 1.
All Bard students, regardless of major or whether they are in the Conservatory or not, may arrange for weekly private lessons.
A full range of music courses is available and open to both students in botht eh Conservaotry and the Music Department. There are two orchestras on campus, numerous chamber ensembles, a contemporary music group, symphonic chorus, chamber singers, jazz big band, electro-acoustic and percussion ensembles, a student-run musical theater troupe, a Balinese gamelan and a Chinese music ensemble. In most cases private lessons and ensemble participation for Bard College students occur within the Music Program. In some instances non-Conservatory students are able to arrange for private instruction with Conservatory faculty by special arrangement. It is also possible for non-Conservatory students, by audition, to play in the Conservatory orchestra or Conservatory chamber ensembles.
Conservatory students are welcome to enroll in any study abroad program offered by Bard College. Many use this opportunity to fulfill requirements for the BA degree. To date, conservatory students have studied in Israel, Germany, China, France, Hungary, Italy, Korea, Russia, and in New York City with the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program.
In many cases students are able to continue their musical studies while abroad: for example, two conservatory students studying at Central European University in Budapest enrolled concurrently at the Franz Liszt Academy.
Since its inception, undergraduate students of the Bard Conservatory have distinguished themselves through:
Graduate School Acceptances: Music Performance Boston University The Colburn School The Curtis Institute of Music Indiana University The Juilliard School Manhattan School of Music Mannes College The New School for Music New England Conservatory Northwestern University Rice University SUNY Stony Brook University of Michigan University of Southern California Yale School of Music
Other Graduate and Professional School Acceptances California Institute of Technology Johns Hopkins University University of California, Berkeley University of California, Los Angeles University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea - Global M.B.A. Program
Music Festival Acceptances Aspen Music Festival and School Atlantic Music Festival Banff Summer Arts Festival Bowdoin International Music Festival Castleton Festival Colorado Music Festival European American Musical Alliance Summer Composition Program Kent/Blossom Music and Arts Festival Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival Manchester Music Festival Music Academy of the West Summer Festival New York String Orchestra Seminar Pacific Rim Music Festival Pierre Monteux School Quartet Program Round Top Festival Institute Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival Tanglewood Music Center Verbier Festival West-Eastern Divan Orchestra Yellow Barn Music School and Festival
Competitions and Jobs Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist’s Competition, first prize, 2011 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, silver medal, 2010 Houston Symphony, associate principal second violin Michael Hill International Violin Competition, finalist, 2011
Distinctions earned by graduates of the Vocal Arts Program include: Winner, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Winner, Astral Artists National Auditions Joy of Singing, Debut Artist Award Winner Prize winners at the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for Singers Los Angeles Opera Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera Utah Opera Apprentice Artists Program
Appearances with the American Symphony Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Cincinnati May Festival, Peter Brook’s production of Mozart’s Magic Flute, and Bard SummerScape
Acceptances to graduate programs at The Juilliard School - Artist Diploma in Opera Studies, Curtis Institute of Music, and New England Conservatory, among others.
Summer festival attendance at the Aldeburugh Festival’s Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, Aspen Music Festival and School, Chautauqua Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, SongFest, and Tanglewood Music Center, among others.
Sabrina Tabby '14
Where are you from? Philadelphia, PA What are your two majors? French and Violin Performance
Who is your violin teacher? Laurie Smuckler
Why did you choose Bard? I chose Bard for a couple of reasons. First, the double degree. At a lot of schools I was looking at, I wanted the option to double major but after doing more research I found out that doing a double degree is really difficult. However, Bard’s Double Degree really fosters the idea of the Liberal Arts education and conservatory training, and I knew I would have a better chance of success studying at Bard.
Second, my teacher. Laurie teaches at a several schools but Bard was the only school that offered the double degree, so it was a win-win situation.
What is like to work with your teacher? It’s very easy to describe. Everything is in the name of music. According to Laurie, you serve the music. She wants you to have your own musical ideas and to be an educated musician and while following standard technique and musicianship, she doesn’t want you to become a cookie cutter, but a true thinking musician.
What do you think of the facilities? I think they’re fantastic. Actually, one of the great things about Bard college is that I can practice anywhere, literally, anywhere. Also, the Fisher Center is an amazing space to play in; I’m lucky to play there at least twice a week.
What other extra curricular musical activities do you take part in? I’m playing in Contemporaneus, a chamber ensemble that started at Bard a few years ago. Now, it’s based out of NYC and really taking off with rehearsals, performances and new music. I’m also in the Bard Baroque ensemble, that provides baroque bows and we rehearse at least once a week. It’s a really great to explore different styles and periods of playing.
What non-music things do you enjoy doing? Hanging out with friends. I live on campus, so late at night it’s easy to find people to wind down with. What was your schedule for a recent day?
7:00am wake up
10:00 music history
12:00 lunch and practice
2:00 baroque ensemble
6:00 chamber music
7:30 dinner and homework Midnight - go to bed
What would you tell prospective students? I love being productive and you will be busy at Bard. Get ready. But every day I feel very accomplished whether be finishing a great rehearsal, writing a paper or composition I know I’ve had a great day, because I can look back at what I’ve accomplished that day. You’ll have to get used to going to sleep a little later than usual and will have to up your practicing, but that’s why I’m here. I’m that kind of person. I enjoy being busy.
Last five songs you listened to?
Tango(my walking to lunch music)
Joan Towers ‘Duets’
Barber Violin Concerto
Top 40 radio
Justin Timberlake(I’ve been known to listen to him)
What is the best advice you’ve received? My lesson last week with Laurie she told me “There will be people that like you. There will be people that don’t like you. But you’ve got to like yourself and be grateful for the ones that do.”
What surprised you about Bard? Everyday is a surprise at Bard College. You can be whomever you’d like to be at Bard. Dress how you would like, listen to any music you like, and live life how feel. I’ve become a stronger individual here, I think, because of this mindset.
What is your relationship between your two degrees at Bard? Playing any french composer I know all the directions in French on the music so that’s easy. I also have read French literature and read about French culture from the time in which many famous French composers composers were writing.
Also, My senior project is actually a combination of my two degrees. I wanted to find a topic that emphasized both degrees, not just doing a French translation or just music. My project is about the music scene in 1920’s Paris. It’s about American composers who went to Paris to study and compose. The topic is exciting to me and it will add a lot to my knowledge and background in music.
Favorite musical performance? A music festival in Paris, France--I feel so obnoxious mentioning France all the time, but French studies is a priority-- Anyways, I played Tchaikovsky Serenade for strings. There have been other performances, but that one, for some reason, has always stuck out.
What excites you most about this year? The European tour and my graduate school auditions--scary but exciting.
Where do you see yourself? I’ve really enjoyed playing in Contemporaneus and would love to freelance, but I know I want a master's degree first. I’d love to be in an orchestra; I know that, but I don’t want to limit myself and my career.