Interlochen Arts Academy is recognized as one of the finest pre-professional schools for young musicians around the world. Music students benefit from personal attention, classes in music theory, numerous performance opportunities with large and small ensembles and an exceptional peer group. A combination of private lessons, studio classes and ensemble experience prepares students for a future study in music.
The music division offers the following major areas of study:
- Studio music: electric guitar, drums, electric bass, keyboards
- Instrumental music: brass, woodwinds, strings, keyboards, percussion. We also offer a jazz emphasis and studio music emphasis within the instrumental music major.
- Vocal music
- Music composition
Recent high school graduates are invited to learn about our Music Conservatory Program, a one-year, immersive experience for those seeking a college-level music program.
Course of Study by Instrument / Specialty
- Double Bass (includes electric bass)
- Guitar (acoustic and electric)
How to Apply
- Prepare the materials listed here: audition requirements
- Complete the online application
- Submit your audition in the Academy admissions community, schedule a live on-campus audition by calling 800.681.5912, or register to attend a regional audition, offered in several cities throughout the U.S.
Though not required, a campus visit is recommended. You can tour the campus, visit classes, and possibly take in a performance. You can meet and talk with students who are living the Academy experience.
Our enrollment officers are here to help you in any way they can. If you wish to talk with someone about Academy programs, the application process, a campus visit, auditions, or other topics, they will be happy to work with you. Simply call 800.681.5912 or 231.276.7472 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York Philharmonic Collaboration
The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra was chosen to perform as part of the New York Philharmonic's 2015-16 season and 2016 NY Phil Biennial, the Philharmonic's exploration of today's music. This was an amazing opportunity for our students, faculty, and the entire Interlochen community. Learn more
The music faculty consists of more than 30 accomplished musician-instructors who are dedicated to teaching in their area of expertise. Equally skilled as performers and educators, they challenge students to develop their musical skills in solo, chamber and large ensemble performance. The faculty also includes dedicated music theory, composition, and singer-songwriter teachers. The faculty have years of experience and knowledge that help them serve as role models and career advisors during a student-musician's most formative years. Read music faculty biographies.
Percussion, wind and orchestral string musicians participate in either the Academy Orchestra or Academy Band. Students may also audition for other ensembles including: jazz band, jazz combos, brass ensemble, percussion ensemble or chamber groups. Chamber and large ensemble experiences provide a wide range of challenging professional repertoire.
Voice students participate in the Academy Choir and may also audition for the Interlochen Opera Workshop and Chamber Singers. Academic coursework in French or Spanish can provide additional benefits to vocalists, and a diction coach is available at various times during the year.
Piano, organ, harp and guitar students have a full range of experiences for them, including individual lessons and studio classes that focus on individual skill and musicianship development, literature, pedagogy and history, with participation in chamber ensembles and performance in large ensembles as needed. Organ majors also may get valuable experience working in local churches.
An Academy education provides excellent preparation for continued studies at top universities and conservatories. Academy students regularly enroll in top music programs including:
- Berklee College of Music
- Cleveland Institute of Music
- Colburn School
- Curtis Institute of Music
- Eastman School of Music
- University of Illinois
- Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
- The Juilliard School
- Manhattan School of Music
- Mannes College, The New School for Music
- Miami University
- University of Michigan School of Music
- New England Conservatory of Music
- Northwestern University School of Music
- Oberlin Conservatory
- Peabody Conservatory
- San Francisco Conservatory
- University of Southern California Thorton School of Music
- Oklahoma City University
Thousands of alumni have gone on to become successful professional musicians, working in all genres from classical to jazz to pop music. Academy alumni can be found in major orchestras around the world. A small sampling of high-performing Academy alumni includes:
- Keith Buncke '11 - principal bassoon with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- Caleb Hudson '06 - trumpet with the Canadian Brass
- Liz Koch '04 - principal oboe with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
- Matt Duvall - percussionist for Eighth Blackbird
- Carol Jantsch '02 - principal tuba with Philadelphia Orchestra
- Anthony McGill '96 - principal clarinet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (performed at the Presidential Inauguration in January 2009 alongside Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.)
- Lance Horne '96 - Emmy Award-winning composer
- Jessica Zhou ’95 - principal harp with Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Jewel '92 - singer-songwriter
- Aaron Dworkin '88 - founder of Sphinx Organization and MacArthur Genius grant recipient
- Joel McNeely ’77 - film composer
- Peter Erskine '71 - jazz drummer and recording artist
- Bob Mintzer, ’69 - composer, recording artist and founder of The Yellowjackets
- Chris Brubeck, ’68 - composer and performer
- John Whitener '99 - tuba with Royal Scottish National Symphony
Recent Awards and Honors
- Two National Merit Finalists
- Six finalists in the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts competition
- Daniel Blumhard (cello), Ariela Bohrod (piano) and Dylan Naroff (violin) won the silver medal in the junior division of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition
- Ariela Bohrod (piano) won first prize in the Bolz Young Artist Competition in Madison, Wisconsin
- Keith Bunke (bassoon), Tim Daniels (oboe), and May Ye were finalists in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition
- Alex Walden - winner of the Eastern Trombone Workshop Solo Competition
- Robert Yaman - ASCAP Young Composer's Award
- Maureen Young - YoungArts Finalist
Recent Guest Artists
Interlochen regularly welcomes guest artists to campus, many of whom are alumni. Last year, the music department welcomed more than 80 artists. Guests include performers and faculty from top music schools and conservatories including Indiana University, Peabody, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin, New England Conservatory, University of Southern California, the University of Michigan, along with many others who are solo performing artists, members of major orchestras or professional chamber ensembles.
- The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
- Michael Burritt, percussion, Eastman School of Music
- Yun-Soo Cho, piano, Yewon School, Seoul Korea
- Peter Erskine, jazz drummer
- Norman Fischer, cello professor, Rice University and Tanglewood; founder, Concord String Quartet
- Jorja Fleezanis, violin professor and Henry A. Upper Chair, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University
- William Kanengiser, classical guitar
- Ida Kavafian, faculty, Curtis Institute of Music
- Rohan Krishnamurthy, percussion, Eastman School of Music
- Julie Landsman, horn, The Juilliard School of Music
- John Marcellus, trombone, Eastman School of Music
- Shulamit Ran, composer, University of Chicago
- Tom Robertello, flute, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University
- Josh Roman, cello soloist
- David Shifrin, clarinet, Yale School of Music
- Jim Thompson, trumpet, Eastman School of Music