Young Artist is HMP’s division for gifted students who are committed to developing their potential as performers or composers. Students become accomplished and versatile musicians and attend four weekly classes in addition to their private lessons. Young Artists receive personal instruction from our superb faculty whose dedication to each student is key to their success. Program graduates have gone on to top conservatories and universities to pursue degrees in music and other fields.
An audition and interview are required, as well as the recommendation of the student’s private teacher. YA instrumental students may major in Bassoon, Cello, Clarinet, Composition, Flute, French Horn, Guitar, Oboe, Piano, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Viola, Violin, and Voice. Voice majors may enter the program at age 14, and Composition Majors may begin as early as age 10 if the composition portfolio and theory requirements are met. YA Students may study with the private teacher of their choice, selecting from among the Westminster Conservatory faculty or other area teachers. A minimum 45 minute weekly lesson is required, and 60 minute lessons are recommended.
The YA Curriculum
Young Artists attend four classes each week: Chamber Music, Theory and Ear Training, Music History, and Jazz Improvisation.
Students showcase their achievements in five public performances each year. At the conclusion of each semester YA students perform in a Young Artist Solo Recital and also in an Honors Program Chamber Music Concert. In the spring students also perform alongside the Jazz faculty in The HMP Jazz Showcase. Four times during the year YA students also perform and receive instruction in Solo Performance Class.
YA students meet repertoire requirements and are evaluated yearly on solo performance. Students follow the Young Artist Performance Curriculum, a progressive course of study which ensures completion of comprehensive repertoire standards. At Young Artist, our students receive performance evaluation in two settings: first in public performance at the Young Artist Solo Recitals and again in a private session in which a faculty panel provides written commentary and scores pertaining to the student’s performance.
Outreach performances, workshops, and master classes presented by distinguished artists are included as special opportunities to our YA students.
Special Curriculum for Vocalists
The Young Artist Vocal Program includes four weekly classes: Singer’s Diction, Vocal Repertoire, Theory and Ear Training, and Music History.
In addition to weekly performance in Vocal Repertoire Class, YA singers showcase their achievements in four public performances each year. At the conclusion of each semester singers perform in a Young Artist Solo Recital and also in an Honors Program Chamber Music Concert. Vocal students are encouraged to enroll in piano lessons or have piano proficiency.
Singers follow the same Performance Evaluation process as Instrumentalists.
The YA Senior Year
The YA experience culminates with senior year, during which students complete Senior Seminar. Senior Seminar is a course that is custom-designed yearly to meet the particular interests of the senior class. Students submit topics, and faculty are selected with specialties in that area. Seniors work with collegiate instructors and are supervised on their research and writing of program notes for their senior recitals. All graduating seniors perform on a senior recital, and most apply to graduate with honors by producing and performing their own Senior Recital. A concert hall at Westminster College of the Arts or Rider University if included in tuition. The year ends in a special Graduation ceremony, at which time Young Artist Program graduates receive their engraved plaque.
Young Artist Program graduates receive significant college admissions support. Beginning junior year, families may meet with the Director to discuss options and strategies. An impressive College Packet accompanies seniors’ applications to music schools, or to colleges and universities as their Arts Supplement. The student transcript, a recommendation letter from the director, and press materials are included in the student’s folio.