Hartt Preparatory Academy

HPA students

The gateway to an accelerated Bachelor of Music program.

Core classes meet Mondays and Thursdays, 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 and observe a class before applying. Merit-based and need-based scholarships are available.

Now accepting applications for Fall 2021!

Info Sessions

Join program director, Jessica Rudman for an info session to learn more about HPA!

  • Next Session: Monday, May 17, 7 p.m.



Student Spotlights

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

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. 

Auditions for 2020-21 will be conducted via video submission due June 13. Details are available here. Students are encouraged to submit their HPA application by June 15 to allow for scheduling their interview prior to the audition deadline. After July 1, applications and auditions will be considered on a rolling basis as space allows.

Audition requirements for different instruments/voice are given below. In addition to these requirements, scales and/or sight-reading may be required.

Piano: perform three contrasting pieces of different historical periods/styles. At least one of the pieces must be performed from memory.

Voice: Sing one aria or art song with or without accompaniment. Submit through the vocal audition submission form. This will serve as both your audition for HPA and your audition for placement in the HCS choirs. 

Classical Guitar: You will audition through an individual meeting with a member of the collegiate guitar faculty at a mutually convenient time. Once your HPA application has been received, Dr. Rudman will contact you about setting up an audition. You perform one prepared piece of your choice. You may also be asked to play music you are currently learning, perform scales, and/or do sight-reading.

All other instruments: perform one movement of the student’s choice unaccompanied.

Classes meet on Mondays and Thursdays, 6–8:40 p.m., September–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:
  • Diatonic Harmony
  • Elementary Ear-training 1
  • Piano Keyboard Class 1 (an alternative is provided for piano performance students)
  • University Interdisciplinary Studies or Academic Writing 110 (offered in alternating years)
  • Information Literacy in the Performing Arts
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 performance students)
  • University Interdisciplinary Studies or Academic Writing 110 (offered in alternating years)


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
    • Connecticut Children's Chorus (Primi Voci, Women's, and/or Men's Choir)
    • Advanced Chamber Ensemble (for pianists)
    • Guitar Ensemble (for classical guitarists) 
    • Composers Ensemble (for composers)
  • Composition students will register for two years of the Young Composers Project or a comparable composition private lesson experience
  • Complete a performance jury at the end of year one
  • Present a culminating recital at the end of year two

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.

2019-2020 Tuition: $5,000 per year ($10,000 in total) 

2020-2021 Tuition: To Be Announced

Tuition includes HPA coursework, 28 one-hour weekly private lessons, 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.


Please call us at 860.768.4451, or e-mail us at

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