Music Instrumental Performance

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Strong musical training and versatility are needed to make a career as a performer. As an instrumentalist at Hartt, you receive training in performance, pedagogy, and career development. Solo, chamber, and large ensemble opportunities provide experience in standard repertoire and new works. We also offer many opportunities to perform in collaborative environments such as playing in the pit orchestras for an opera, dance concert, or a musical theatre production. Performance master classes and the opportunity to work with renowned guest composers and conductors enrich your educational experience and professional network. Upon graduation, you are fully prepared to market yourself as an instrumentalist, audition for professional ensembles, and negotiate your contract. Our pedagogy training also allows you to begin your private studio at the same time.

Our diverse faculty contribute greatly to your student experience, not just by what they teach in the studio or rehearsal room, but by what they do outside of Hartt. The instrumental faculty members are all working musicians who perform with orchestras, chamber ensembles, Broadway shows, service bands, pickup groups, and as soloists and studio musicians. Their repertoire is as varied as the ensembles in which they perform it.

Degrees Offered

The Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree in Instrumental Performance at The Hartt School is a comprehensive program designed for the student of superior talent and motivation whose goal is to be a professional performer. Through classes such as Communicating with an Audience, Building a Music Career, and Orchestral Repertoire Class, students learn career development techniques including contract negotiation, making a recording, stage presentation, preparation for orchestra auditions, and repertoire selection.

View the curriculum for instrumental performance, guitar performance, and piano performance.

Our intimate graduate program ensures that students participate in many performance and educational opportunities as well as personal career development experiences facilitated by faculty and guest artists/lecturers.

Applicants for this degree will have completed a bachelor's degree in music from an accredited institution or from a comparable foreign school. The Graduate Studies Committee reserves the right to decide if and when an applicant has the equivalent of a bachelor's degree. Applicants may be required to take a special examination to determine their level of proficiency or preparation for one of Hartt's degree programs.

We also offer a Suzuki Pedagogy Emphasis, which is two-year program for Master of Music - Instrumental Performance degree candidates. Led by internationally acclaimed Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) teacher trainers, students are mentored through classroom lectures, guided observations of private lessons, group classes, and ensembles. Pedagogy students gain real world experience as they work alongside veteran Suzuki teachers in the nationally recognized Hartt School Community Division Suzuki Program. 

View the curriculum for instrumental performance, guitar performance, piano performance or suzuki pedagogy.

Note: In addition to the MM degree in Performance with Suzuki Pedagogy Emphasis, Hartt is pleased to offer a 5-year combined BM/MM degree in Suzuki Pedagogy. See the Undergraduate Emphases page for detailed description.

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree program is designed to develop the complete musician, emphasizing both the highest level of musicianship and practical scholarly insight. Each curriculum is intended to prepare the respective candidate for a career at the most advanced level of performance, teaching, or composition. Completion of the DMA usually takes a minimum of two full years beyond the master's degree. The first year should be spent in residence, implying full-time status with a minimum course load of 9 credits per semester. One summer session prior to residence is permitted. Doctor of Musical Arts programs must be completed within seven years from the date of matriculation. The DMA consists of an area of concentration and an elective minor area.

Applicants must exhibit high scholarly ability and have a broad musical and educational background as well as the appropriate master's degree from an accredited institution or from a comparable foreign school. Applicants are expected to demonstrate advanced technical and artistic ability.

View the curriculum for instrumental performance or instrumental conducting.

Students of exceptional ability who wish to concentrate on professional development with a minimum of academic requirements may apply for admission to the Graduate Professional Diploma program. The GPD has performance classes identical to the Master's program without the additional study in music theory and music history. Applicants are to have earned a Performance Diploma, Bachelor of Music degree, or equivalent, at an accredited institution. The GPD requires a residence of two years and a minimum of 24 earned credits. Full-time course load: 6 to 9 credits per semester.  The Graduate Professional Diploma must be completed within three years from the date of matriculation.

View the curriculum for instrumental performance, or orchestral conducting.

The Artist Diploma (AD) program is designed to provide emerging professional soloists with advanced level instrumental study to further their career goals in the performing arts. The core of this training program is intensive instrumental study geared for the solo performer in concert, chamber music, and orchestra. This program has fewer academic requirements which allows students to concentrate fully on instrumental performance.

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of accomplishment and should be in the beginning stages of a professional career. A diploma, certificate, master's degree, or an equivalent from an accredited institution is required for admission.  The AD requires a residence of two years and a minimum of 24 earned credits. Full-time course load is 6 to 9 credits per semester. The Artist Diploma must be completed within four years from the date of matriculation.

View the curriculum for instrumental performance or orchestral conducting.

Undergraduate Emphases

Chamber Music Emphasis

Chamber music is aligned with the current trend in classical to smaller, more versatile groups that can embed themselves in diverse communities and remain relevant to many aspects of society. When you decide to pursue a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Performance with Chamber Music Emphasis, you will focus on small ensemble works. Through the study of chamber music, you will learn about the history and practice of this art form, including negotiating of the rehearsal process, and how to effectively communicate with an audience and your groups alike. Specialized chamber repertoire classes provide in-depth study of the most significant works, and you will be able to explore all the elective classes relevant to creating and maintaining a successful small ensemble.

To see a complete list of degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog
Elective Emphasis

The Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Performance with Elective Studies emphasis addresses current practice and trends in the professional performing arts field. When you choose to pursue this degree, we provide you with the essential core knowledge and skills inherent in our Western Classical Music studies and broaden that to include additional knowledge and skills that are necessary and relevant for the 21st century performing artist. By choosing this degree path, you will have the flexibility to design a course that is specific to your interests and goals.

To see a complete list of degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog

Suzuki Pedagogy Degree Options


The Hartt School is excited to be the first institution in the US/Canada to offer a 5-year combined Suzuki degree program. The 5-year BM/MM degree in Instrumental Performance with a Suzuki Pedagogy Emphasis offers a comprehensive pedagogical curriculum with one of the premiere Suzuki programs in the nation. With three Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) registered teacher trainers on The Hartt School faculty, degree candidates have the opportunity to observe this long-standing program in action and experience various practicum opportunities between the Community Division and college. The current degree program allows for violin and cello training, with violists having the option of pursuing violin training. 

Graduates will be more marketable, and will further Suzuki education across the country, meeting the growing demand of parents desiring Suzuki instruction for their children.

Note: There is also the option of pursuing only the Masters of Music performance degree with a Suzuki Pedagogy Emphasis.


Photo credit: Seina Shirakura

Suzuki Faculty

Teri Einfeldt
Suzuki Violin Faculty; Music Skills Specialist in Suzuki Pedagogy
Instrumental Studies
HCD Music

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Christie Felsing
Suzuki Violin Faculty; HCD Director of Teaching and Learning; Music Skills Specialist in Suzuki Pedagogy
Instrumental Studies
HCD Music

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Applied lessons (private instruction) is the backbone of a comprehensive music education. The ultimate goal of teaching is to eventually render oneself unnecessary, to foster independence, to help students acquire the insight to be able to ask questions, to look for and find the answers on their own.

Carrie Koffman, Associate Professor of Saxophone

One hour weekly lessons focus on developing the complete player by reinforcing already-strong areas in the student's playing and addressing less developed areas that need attention. All aspects of classical and contemporary styles and techniques are learned through the use of scales, exercises, etudes, concertos, sonatas and other solo works, and orchestral excerpts.

Studio class is a collaborative forum, a kind of laboratory, which meets weekly. The experience of performing for one’s peers allows for the free sharing of ideas and perspective. Often, students find that much can be learned through the comments and critiques of their instrumental colleagues. Studio class also serves as a vehicle to give and receive collegial support and discuss issues of common interest. It is required of all students studying performance.

Apart from orchestra, band, and chamber music experiences, some studios offer same-instrument ensemble playing opportunities. Skills emphasized in these courses include balance, blend, intonation, musical responsiveness, intelligent imitation, rehearsal technique, and the development of sound, interpersonal interaction through music.

Master classes by visiting performers/teachers of international notoriety are regular occurrences at Hartt. These guest artists provide comments, criticism and feedback on our students’ playing, but also offer their own perspectives on their art and arts purpose in the world. All musicians are strongly encouraged to attend and/or perform at these classes.

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