Hartt Preparatory Academy

The gateway to an accelerated Bachelor of Music program.

Core classes meet twice a week, 6–8:40 p.m., September–May.

The Hartt Preparatory Academy (HPA) is a two-year, comprehensive pre-college 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 director Jessica Rudman before applying. Observing a class meeting may also be possible. Merit-based and need-based scholarships are available.

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Who Should Apply?

Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • 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

Partnership with the Hartt School

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.

Course Schedule and Curriculum

Classes 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 two evenings per week from 6–8:40 p.m., in addition to private lessons and ensemble work. Students receive 28 one-hour weekly lessons during the school year as part of their HPA tuition package.
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


Students must complete the following performance requirements:
  • Four semesters of private lessons with an approved HCD faculty member
  • Four semesters of an HCD advanced performing ensemble:
  • Connecticut Youth Symphony,
  • Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, or
  • Connecticut Children's Chorus (Primi Voci, Women's, and/or Men's Choir)
  • Composition students will register for two years of the Young Composers Project or a comparable composition private lesson experience.
  • Present a culminating recital


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.

Application Process

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.


Please call us at 860.768.4451, or e-mail us at harttprep@hartford.edu.

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