Interlochen Launches Conservatory Year

Crescendo issue: May 2014

Interlochen has long been recognized as one of the world’s finest pre-professional schools for young musicians.

For years, Interlochen Arts Academy has served high school graduates through a post-graduate program. Starting in the 2014-15 academic year, Interlochen will launch a new one-year Music Conservatory program, expanding on Interlochen's tradition of world-class instruction and helping recent high school graduates achieve their artistic goals.

The program represents an ideal opportunity for musicians to prepare for conservatory auditions and placement. It embraces all students looking for artistic enrichment and pre-professional training, whether they intend to pursue a music performance degree or non-performance degree. Interlochen’s intense artistic educational experience produces highly sought-after students who are disciplined, creative, collaborative, and polished performers.

The program launches in the summer with an orientation that will include initial private lessons with music faculty, a review of audition repertoire, development of a personalized college counseling plan, attendance at the Performing and Visual Arts College Fair, and the Standardized Test Prep Institute - which is an elective - helping students prepare for either the SAT for native English speakers or the TOEFL for non-native English speakers. After the summer orientation, students will continue their studies in bi-weekly private lessons online, until they arrive on campus in September.

Starting in the fall, the Conservatory Year will consist of weekly private lessons with music faculty and studies in small ensemble, large ensemble, piano, music theory, music history, business fundamentals - including Entrepreneurship and Arts Leadership Seminar - and English language instruction for non-native english speakers.

"We want to offer a program that has a dynamic conservatory curriculum without the restraints of working toward a high school diploma," explained Interlochen's director of education programs and student academic support, Christopher Chesley. "We also want to promote Interlochen's Music program to talented high school graduates from other independent high schools." 

"This program offers an enriching gap year in the arts that will better prepare students for the college admission process and future success at college," added Chesley. "It is quite a special thing. A gap year in the arts is the experience of a lifetime."

More information on this program can be found here.