Hartt Preparatory Academy
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Hartt Preparatory Academy

The gateway to an accelerated Bachelor of Music program

Core classes: Mondays and Thursdays, 6–8:40 p.m., September–May
Merit-based and need-based scholarships are available.

Download the 2018-19 handbook and calendar (PDF).

The Hartt Preparatory Academy (HPA) is a two-year, comprehensive precollege music training program for high school juniors and seniors. The program includes music theory, ear training, keyboard studies, performances, advanced ensemble, private instruction, and other classes. Students fulfill academic and musical requirements that prepare them for an accelerated undergraduate music degree at the Hartt School. This is an unprecedented curricular pathway approved by the University of Hartford.

Students interested in the program are encouraged to speak with Dr. Rudman before applying. Observing a class meeting may also be possible. If you would like us to contact you with more information, please fill out our inquiry form.

Or, if you are ready to apply, you can do so here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply by May 15 for priority consideration.

Hartt Preparatory Academy


  • should plan to major/minor in music after high school

  • demonstrate exemplary skill with their primary instrument or craft

  • should have previous private music instruction experience

  • should understand basic musicianship and music theory principles

  • must have a track record of commitment, academic excellence, and a passion for the performing arts


The HPA curriculum is based on first-year courses at the University of Hartford's Hartt School, including:

  • Music Theory Fundamentals
  • Diatonic and Chromatic Harmony
  • Elementary Ear-training 1 and 2
  • Piano Keyboard Class 1 and 2

Additional HPA coursework addresses Informational Literacy in the Performing Arts and selected University requirements.

Accelerated college Opportunity

At the completion of the program, HPA students may audition and apply for entrance to University of Hartford and The Hartt School. Pending acceptance, students may complete select undergraduate music degrees in three years or an otherwise reduced period of study. These degree programs include:

  • BM Performance - Orchestral Instruments
    BM Performance - Voice
    BM Performance - Piano
    BM Performance - Guitar

  • BM - Composition

  • BM - Theory

  • BM Music Education - Instrumental*
    BM Music Education - Vocal*

  • BM History - Performance Practice Emphasis
    BM History - Scholarship and Research Emphasis

  • BA in Music

* Because of the course requirements and student teaching, students pursuing music education degrees may be able to complete their degrees in 7 semesters.


Hartt Preparatory AcademyClasses run from September through May.

HPA students are assigned to one of two learning cohorts. Cohorts include up to eight students each, for a total of 16 students per class year. Core classes meet Monday and Thursday evenings from 6–8:40 p.m., in addition to private lessons and ensemble work.


The program is modeled on the first-year curriculum at the University of Hartford's The Hartt School.


First-year students attend the following classes:

  • Music Theory Fundamentals and Diatonic Harmony

  • Elementary Ear-training 1

  • Piano Keyboard Class 1
    An alternative is provided for piano students.

  • An All University Curriculum Class or Academic Writing 110 (offered in alternating years)

  • Information Literacy 


Students complete an online University Interdisciplinary Studies (UIS) class through HPA.


Second-year students attend the following classes twice weekly:

  • Chromatic Harmony

  • Elementary Ear-training 2

  • Piano Keyboard Class 2
    An alternative is provided for piano students.

  • An All University Curriculum Class or Academic Writing 110 (offered in alternating years)

  • Information Literacy 
Year I and II Requirements

Students must complete the following performance requirements:


Jessica Rudman, Ph.D., Program Director
Music Theory, University Interdisciplinary Studies, and Academic Writing

Kathryn Swanson-Ellis, DMA
Ear Training

Greg Babal
Piano Keyboard Classes


Tuition is $5,000 per year ($10,000 in total) and includes HPA coursework, a one-hour weekly private lesson, advanced ensemble enrollment, and texts for core classes. Additional fees for field trips and additional activities or workshops may apply.

Savings for HPA students

Fees for enrollment in these courses and activities outside of HPA total over $11,000 per year.


Students apply for the program during their sophomore year in high school for entrance in the following fall. Applicants must complete an online application form, audition on a primary instrument/voice, and interview with program directors. A recommendation letter from a music teacher is also required.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply by May 15 for priority consideration. Auditions are held at the HCD Audition Festival in June.

Apply now!

About us

  • Learn more about The Hartt School Community Division.

  • Learn more about the University of Hartford's The Hartt School.

  • Learn more about the University of Hartford campus.

If you have any questions, please call us at 860.768.4451, or harttprep@hartford.edu