Preparatory Division

Preparatory Division Curriculum

Students in the Preparatory Division participate in a well-rounded program of music study that includes private lessons of age-appropriate length in Piano, Voice, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Percussion, Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, or Composition; matched with Musicianship Class, in which elements of music theory and ear training are taught with an emphasis on Composition.  Students also have multiple recital performance opportunities each semester, which are open to family and friends.

The Preparatory Division provides its students with many advantages, including an expert and nurturing faculty, as well as access to concerts and master classes presented by the Conservatory free of charge.         APPLY NOW


Music and Movement Class

Our three levels of Music and Movement classes introduce and develop musical skills for the very young through elementary age child.
Our level 1 class is with caregiver and levels 2 and 3 are separation classes (without caregiver).
Classes include a variety of musical activities with a range of musical styles and incorporate the principles of Dalcroze, Kodaly and Orff methodologies.

Music instructor, Leslie Frost has training in Dalcroze Eurythmics and over 20 years experience teaching music to children and adults.  As a pianist and vocalist, Leslie enjoys bringing music to life during her group classes through a rich repertoire of singing, movement, piano improvisation and "singing books" - a collection of children's literature brought to life through music.

Music & Movement I

Music & Movement I: Ages 0-3

(With Caregiver)
Our Music and Movement Level 1 class for Babies/Toddlers with caregiver offer a unique opportunity to enjoy music with your child alongside a trained music instructor in community with other families.
The carefully crafted, research based musical activities are designed to enliven innate musicality in children. By participating with your child in this rich musical environment, you are modeling joyful music making!
Classes include songs, games, and musical exploration which develop curiosity, language development, social connections, inner hearing, cognitive and movement skills. We create active, live musical experiences during class and provide ideas and tools to expand your musical exploration into family life.

Music & Movement II and III

Music & Movement II: Ages 4-5

  (separation/drop off class)
During this group Level 2 music class, children explore musical elements through singing, active listening, movement, games, and playing rhythm instruments. Musical skills and understanding are developed through playful, imaginative activities which foster creative thinking, focus, communication, literacy, cognitive development and social awareness. A highlight is the musical “storybook” which brings high quality children’s literature to life through music.

Music & Movement III: Ages 5-7
  (separation/drop off class)
In this group Level 3 music class, students actively engage in musical experiences as young musicians! Students explore musical elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, form , notation, and improvisation through singing, movement, active listening, improvisation and playing rhythm instruments. Our young musicians grow in musical competency through joyful discovery and mastery.

Chorus Program

Children's Chorus: Ages 4-6
Senior Chorus: Ages 7-9

Our CHILDREN'S CHORUS classes foster a love of singing and all levels of experience are welcome!

During SENIOR CHORUS, students sing in two and three part harmony.

Vocal technique including posture, intonation, expression and phrasing are explored.

Repertoire includes folk songs, classical and contemporary music.

Each chorus performs twice a year in recital.

Vocal Ensemble

In this class we will work on vocal performance topics while learning and performing small ensembles (mainly duets and trios) from classical and musical theatre repertoire.

This class is specially targeted to voice students, since it will deal with the challenges and creative opportunities that arise while singing in harmony and performing along other singers.

Private Lessons

We offer private lessons to students of all levels and ages.

The one-to-one instruction by our expert faculty is one of the most important components of our program.
Private lessons are matched with Musicianship Class, and must be taken together.  

Lessons are currently offered for Piano, Voice, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Percussion, Guitar, and Composition.

PIANO CLASS:  Piano Explorers

An introductory small group piano class for preschool/kinder age children ages 4-6.  

We will explore musical elements of rhythm, melody, pitch, musical form and expression through movement, singing and playing the piano!  

Basic keyboard geography and  beginning note/rhythm notation is explored in a fun, age appropriate group setting.  

Children should be able to learn in a group setting and attend without caregiver.  

Private Composition Lessons

Prerequisites: Ability to read and write musical notation fluently. (For more advanced students.)
Description: Students enrolled in private composition lessons may work on whatever kinds of projects are of most interest to them.

These could include writing pop songs; writing music for a school band, orchestra, or small ensemble; or writing music for themselves and/or their friends to play. Students are free to write in whatever genre/style they would like. Similarly to the group composition class, we will work on how to notate musical ideas, how to structure a piece of music, and where to find inspiration, but the instruction will be more tailored to the student's specific needs. As with private instrumental lessons, students will be expected to work on their craft during the week.

Songwriting Workshop

During Songwriting Workshop, students explore and create original songs through analysis, study, practice and composition.

The workshop format allows students to share their work and class time is devoted to both sharing work as well as getting input from the instructor and other students.

No prior songwriting experience is necessary - although some basic music theory knowledge and a desire to create are recommended.

The class presents concrete methods and skills (and inspiration!) for students to continue songwriting on their own.

Musicianship Class

In this class, students learn the fundamentals of music theory (clefs, intervals, scales, chords, etc.) and develop aural skills (singing with solfege, ear training, etc.) through composing and performing.

Students write a series of short pieces for both themselves and their classmates to play/sing, creatively applying new concepts, collaborating with their peers, and expressing themselves musically. A semester-end composition recital showcases each student's work.

This class is offered in beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.  Placement is determined by the musicianship faculty.    

Chamber Music Class

Students are grouped according to age and level and are coached by the faculty. Students learn the skills of ensemble performance and explore the roles of other instruments.

This class is for intermediate to advanced students. Students must receive permission from the faculty in order to enroll.

Rhythm Training and Drumming Class

JUNIOR Rhythm Training and Drumming
This class incorporates notated rhythms as well as the musical elements of syncopation, call-and-response, mixture of duple and triplet rhythms, and more. Students will use a combination of body percussion (clapping, stomping, etc.), counting, and playing simple percussion instruments to construct rhythmically driven pieces of music.

SENIOR Rhythm Training and Drumming
This class focuses on expanding students’ proficiency in reading, performing, and listening to music that contains syncopation, odd meter time signatures, polyrhythm, and polymeter. Students will use a combination of clapping, counting, composing, and performing on their own instruments to demonstrate mastery over the concepts covered during the course.

Jazz/Improvisation Ensemble

The ensemble will focus on the fundamentals of jazz playing and improvisation. 

All instruments are welcome but enrollment for piano and percussion is very limited.  

Jazz experience is not required but some playing experience is required.

Chinese Language Class

This introductory Chinese class provides an understanding of the basic principles of the Chinese language, including Pinyin (the alphabetic system), the use of the four tones, simple phrases, and grammar structures. Writing of simple characters will also introduced. This course serves to spread the Chinese culture and to help children discover their language learning talents. Complementary Chinese singing lessons are included to integrate this course as a part of the Bard Prep program. Students will have the opportunity to perform Chinese songs in the recitals.

Recital Opportunities

Students have two formal recitals (mid-term and final) per semester at Olin Hall or the Performance Space at the László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building. 

In addition to the formal recitals, students will have several other performance opportunities per semester.  Community outreach performances at various locations will take place throughout the semester.