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Bard Conservatory Preparatory Division Hosts Two Open Houses in January

Emily Darrow


Saturday Courses Offer Young People Ages 5-18 the Joy of Studying Music in the Context of a First-Class Conservatory


Spring Semester Begins January 26

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—A new initiative of The Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Preparatory Division, hosts two open houses—information sessions with music and refreshments—this January, on Saturday, January 5 and 12, at 11:00 a.m., in Blum Hall.

The open houses offer a chance for students (ages 5-18) and parents to learn more about the Preparatory Division, a Saturday program of study for students with instruction offered in piano, violin, cello, guitar, and flute (additional instruments added on the basis of demand). The spring semester begins on Saturday, January 26, meeting 13 Saturdays through May 10 (except February 16, March 22, and April 19).

“The opportunity to study music with conservatory-level instructors is often available only to those who live near urban cultural centers,” said Bard College president Leon Botstein. “It is gratifying that, with the Bard College Conservatory of Music, we are able to offer serious music study, in a conservatory setting, to those who live in the Hudson Valley region.”

The program includes private lessons (of age-appropriate length); Performance Class, group sessions in which students play for each other in a relaxed and supportive environment; Musicianship Class, in which elements of music theory and history, as well as ear training, are offered; and monthly and end-of-semester recitals, which are open to parents and friends. Chamber music coaching sessions will be offered if there is sufficient interest.

“The early study of music brings important benefits to young people, touching many areas of their lives: language, motor and social skills, and an understanding of the value of hard work,” explains Robert Martin, director of the Conservatory. “Most important, music enriches the young person’s life and provides a lifetime of enjoyment.”

Because of its connection to The Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Preparatory Division provides its students with many advantages, including an expert and nurturing faculty, many of whom have connections with the Conservatory. Concerts and master classes presented by the Conservatory are open to students and families of the Preparatory Division, free of charge. In certain cases, advanced senior students in the Preparatory Division may be able to take lessons from regular Conservatory faculty, who are among the most distinguished musicians of our time.

As an additional benefit, students and immediate family members of the Preparatory Division will be issued Bard courtesy identification cards so that they may use the Bard gymnasium and libraries.

The director of the Preparatory Division of The Bard College Conservatory of Music is Fu-chen Chan. She holds a master’s degree in flute performance from New York University and a master of music degree, also in flute performance, from the Mannes College of Music. She has performed widely in solo programs and in ensembles in the United States and Taiwan, and has taught students at all levels. At the Bard Conservatory, she manages the Conservatory orchestra and coordinates student affairs. The faculty of the Preparatory Division consists of gifted, experienced young professionals selected by Chan and Martin.
Sample Schedule: 9:30–10:00 a.m. Lesson (45-minute and 60-minute lessons start earlier) 10:10–11:10 a.m. Musicianship Class Lunch Noon – 1:00 p.m. Performance Class 1:30–2:30 p.m. Chamber music coaching (in some cases, individual lessons can be scheduled in the afternoon)

No auditions are necessary for admission to the program. Registration is open now for the spring semester, which begins on Saturday, January 26. For further information and tuition and fees for the Preparatory Division, call 845-758-7671, e-mail, or visit

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This event was last updated on 01-14-2008