The Honors Music Program offers three divisions, which provide a combination of academic and performance opportunities to suit needs and interests of the student body. All HMP students study Music Theory and Ear Training, and Music History. Young Artist and Young Musicians students also take Chamber Music, and Young Artist students add the study of Jazz Improvisation to complete their course offerings.
Areas Of Study
Music Theory and Ear Training
Music Theory & Ear Training are an integral part of every musician’s education. HMP students undergo comprehensive training following The Music Development Program, a nationally recognized syllabus with yearly standardized testing. Advanced students prepare for the AP Music Theory Exam and then move on to courses in Counterpoint, Composition, Analysis, and Orchestration. Our Theory and Composition faculty are music theorists, composers, arrangers, and performers with experience teaching in elementary, middle, high school, and university settings.
Listening to music is every musician’s greatest influence and joy. With audio/visual enhancement, students experience a broad spectrum of music and explore how composers’ lives and culture shaped their music. Students broaden their interests and learn to listen analytically, examining elements of style and form. Initial study is in survey classes, while later seminars focus on specific topics of interest, culminating in Senior Seminar.
The chamber music experience is a program focal point for HMP students, whose outstanding performances are met with audience acclaim in the Honors Music Program Chamber Concerts at semester’s end. Ensemble placement receives the director’s personal care. Guided by superb chamber coaches, some ensembles are inspired by remaining together for many years, building musical communication and performing increasingly challenging repertoire. Others enjoy the experience of performing with new partners and instrumentation. Ensembles rehearse weekly.
Our structured approach to Jazz improvisation provides both hands-on musicianship practice and a unique opportunity to learn America’s signature music. Our mission is to offer Jazz training to classical music students and to develop proficient improvisers of various styles. We are proud to have won the support of the Bharvaney Fund to that end. Students experience lab-style classes and combos and study with instructors who are active performers throughout the NYC/Philadelphia area.
YA Vocal majors refine their performance skills in two classes geared to the needs of the serious young classical singer. Vocal Repertoire focuses on communication, performance, and technique through study of chamber music and solo song repertoire. Language and Diction for Singers addresses the basics of the International Phonetic Alphabet and fundaments of the principal singing languages: Italian, English, Latin, French, German and Spanish. Master classes are included in Audition Skills, Baroque Ornamentation, Acting Songs, Vocal Health and Anatomy, and Performance Anxiety. Vocal students also attend Music Theory and Music History classes.
Four times a year, instrumentalists perform in solo master classes for a master/collegiate instructor and a small group of their peers. Students use these opportunities to perform newly acquired repertoire, bring polished performances to a higher level, and share insights with other students in a supportive setting. Instructors are well-known clinicians, who discuss performance skills and encourage students towards musical maturity.
Senior year is the culmination of an HMP student’s years and has several special components. Senior Seminar is a course designed yearly for the senior class according to their particular interests. Young Artist seniors produce and perform individual senior recitals. They learn about researching and writing program notes and about issues related to concert production. Concerts are performed in a Westminster Choir College concert hall, and rental is included in tuition. Graduating seniors also receive college admissions support. Services include family guidance in the college search and application support via the HMP College Packet, which presents the student’s transcript, letter of recommendation from the Director, and press materials to the colleges, conservatories, or university’s of the student’s choice. Graduates from the program, may be recommended for graduation with High Honors or Honors, receive a plaque at HMP Graduation.