Common Curriculum

Common Curriculum

The Common Curriculum is made up of those classes taken by the students of both the choral and orchestral conducting programs. Both the orchestral and choral conducting programs also require additional courses unique to each program.

Music History

This four-semester sequence concentrates on major works from the 18th and 19th centuries in the first semester and the 20th and 21st centuries in the second semester, with a focus each week on a particular composer within the larger musical, historical, biographical, and cultural context.

Ear Training and Score Reading

The Ear Training and Score Reading course combines work on solfège and harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic dictation with practice in transposition and the reading of open score.

Foreign Language Study

Two semesters of German or Italian are required. The course includes a study of the grammar of the studied language, with a special focus on developing the text translation and reading skills needed by conductors.

Career Workshops

A series of workshops with distinguished guest speakers addresses the practical aspects of working as a conductor and/or music director. Topics include creating an ensemble, applying for grants, and developing a board of directors.


This two-semester class gives young conductors first hand experience in the compositional process. It deepens their knowledge of the means of musical expression and increases their awareness of the many notatonal challenges inherent in any printed score.