The Honors Music Program offers majors in Instrumental or Vocal Performance, Composition, and Musicianship Studies with multiple avenues of study ranging from rigorous conservatory preparation for students pursuing advanced study or degrees in music to divisions designed for students interested in supplementing their current musical studies all within a supportive and vibrant community. Students may apply for a double major in two instruments or one instrument and composition.

Founded in 1985, The Honors Music Program (HMP) of Westminster Conservatory is central New Jersey’s leading pre-college program for talented classical young musicians. HMP develops musical artistry and scholarship through its comprehensive curriculum and its vibrant, supportive community. Students, age 8 to 18, attend their classes on Saturdays at the Conservatory’s Princeton campus. An exceptional faculty of performers, composers, and scholars inspire students and offer unmatched personal attention. By graduation students are prepared to pursue advanced study or careers in music.

The elementary- and middle-school programs are offered from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the high-school program is offered from 11:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. from September through early June. Students must attend a 45- or 60-minute weekly private lesson in addition to HMP. Students may choose to study with a private teacher on the Conservatory faculty or with an outside teacher.

The HMP program offers 3 levels of degrees:

  • Graduate
  • Honors
  • High Honors

The degree conferred upon graduation is determined by classes taken, grade point average, and length of recital.  Specific requirements can be found in our handbook or on our website.

The core curriculum includes a course sequence in Music Theory, Ear Training, Music History, and Dalcroze supplemented by rotating Music History and Theory electives.  Semester grades are awarded in all courses and a transcript is maintained.  Conservatory-wide recitals, outreach concerts, master classes, and workshops presented by distinguished artists are offered in addition to major specific performances and performance evaluations.  The core curriculum consists of the following classes.

  • Music Theory
  • Ear Training
  • Music History
  • Dalcroze
  • Jazz
  • Chamber Music

In addition, we have electives in the following areas (offered on a rotating basis)

  • Counterpoint
  • Conducting
  • Composition
  • Orchestration
  • Special Topics (subjects vary by professor)
  • 20th century theory
  • Form and analysis.

The Honors Music Program offers degrees in three areas:

  • Instrumental Performance
  • Vocal Performance
  • Theory and Composition

Instrumental Performance Major

The Honors Music Program’s performance major is aimed towards students who are interested in mastering there chosen instrument.  In addition to the core curriculum, Instrumental Performance Majors will participate in additional recitals, performance classes and chamber music. 

Vocal Performance Major

The Honors Music Program provides a highly specialized track specifically designed for Vocalist Performance Majors, created to teach proper vocal technique, repertoire and language skills.  In addition to the core curriculum, Vocal performance majors take classes in Vocal repertoire, Language and Diction, Vocal Skills and a Vocal Seminar.

Theory and Composition Major

This unique program is designed to engage and challenge students who are interested in Music Theory, Analysis and Composition.  In addition to the core curriculum, Theory and Composition majors take classes in Composition, Counterpoint and Orchestration.

Audition and/or application materials, a brochure, and the HMP handbook are available in the Conservatory office and on the program’s website.