The Young Artist Program is the honors music
program of Westminster Conservatory of Music, the community
music school of Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
The program is available to piano, voice, wind, brass,
and string students from ages 7 to 18 who desire a comprehensive
music program in addition to their weekly private lessons.
The program offers a unique opportunity
for gifted and motivated students to develop and refine
their musical knowledge, skills, and performance techniques.
The program brings together like-minded young musicians
in a nurturing and challenging environment. The dedicated
faculty members offer high caliber instruction in a
professional atmosphere, which includes a structured,
sequential curriculum in music history and theory as
well as instruction in chamber music, jazz improvisation,
and performance. The Young Artist Program strives to
develop well-rounded and informed musicians and performers.
The Young Artist Program includes:
Music Theory and Ear Training
- Students explore the structure of music from the
earliest fundamentals to college level studies.
Music History - Students study
music history in both survey and seminar style classes
and learn to examine how composers' lives and cultures
shaped their music.
Chamber Music - Students and
a chamber music instructor meet weekly in small
ensembles. Their work culminates in two chamber music
recitals each year.
Performance Class - Students
experience varied repertoire and develop their solo
performance skills in a master-class setting.
Improvisation Class -
Students are introduced to various styles of jazz.
They study the tools of improvisation with the goal of
becoming proficient improvisers.
Recitals - Solo and chamber
music recitals provide special venues in which Young
Artist students showcase their most polished work each
Workshops - Distinguished
guest artists present exciting workshops and master
classes designed to inform and to inspire students
while exposing them to the diverse world of music.
Evaluation - At the
conclusion of the year, each student performs for a
faculty panel and receives written evaluation of
technique, musicianship, and repertoire achievements.
Young Artist students have the opportunity
to work with an international faculty who are graduates
of some of the world's finest musical institutions,
while adapting their teaching to the needs of today's
young musicians. For information about Young Artist
faculty, please consult the faculty section of the Westminster
Excellent attendance is required for
participation in the Young Artist Program. Ensemble
partners depend on one another to make music. They rely
on the presence of the complete ensemble to integrate
their individual parts into a fine musical performance.
Young Artist students and their families sign a contract
confirming their understanding of the attendance
Students in the program must also be
enrolled in a 45 or 60-minute weekly private lesson,
whether the student studies with a private teacher from
Westminster Conservatory or outside of it. Students
audition for the program and are accepted on the basis
of level and space availability. The cost of private
lessons is not included in the Young Artist Program
THE ANIL T.
Created to honor the memory of Anil T.
Bharvaney, who tragically lost his life on September 11,
2001, this fund enhances the Young Artist Program by
providing financial assistance to deserving students,
expanding the jazz component of the Program, and
underwriting enrichment activities for all Young Artist
Program students. The Young Artist Program gratefully
acknowledges the Anil Bharvaney Endowment Fund. To learn
how you can support the Anil T. Bharvaney Endowment,
please go to How to
Theory class participants study the fundamentals
of music, including music notation, clefs, intervals,
scales, key signatures, chords, rhythmic values, and
time signatures. Students learn how these materials
are used to create the basic organizing principles of
music -- melody, harmony, and rhythm. In addition to
written exercises, students reinforce material presented
in class through in-class performance, singing, and
clapping. These hands-on techniques allow each student
to draw connections between the theoretical material
and his or her own musical performance. Emphasis is
also placed on the cultivation of each student's aural
skills through solfege and dictation exercises. Elementary
students study music theory in a fun and encouraging
setting, and graduate from this level with a solid foundation
in the basic mechanics of music.
Building upon the fundamentals learned at the elementary
level, students delve deeper into the principles of
melody, harmony, and rhythm. Through analysis and written
exercises, students study topics that include harmonic
progressions, cadences, chord inversions, part writing
and voice leading, seventh chords, modulation, non-harmonic
tones, melodic contour, odd meters, and irregular rhythms.
Students gain insight into the craft of musical composition
by applying the concepts they have learned to their
own original compositions. Each student continues to
develop aural skills through weekly dictation and solfège
Advanced-level students analyze the compositions of
composers from various historic periods. The various
pitch systems used by these composers, including the
modal, tonal, and 12-tone systems are studied. Students
explore common forms and processes, such as sonata form,
rondo, concerto, variation, canon, and fugue. Students
compose in various styles: from and species counterpoint
through atonal music. Students continue to practice
dictation and sight-singing skills. Most students graduating
from the advanced level place out of at least one year
of college-level music theory.
Students explore music of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic,
and 20th century periods through listening, discussion,
reading and writing. Stories of the great composers
provide fun and interest throughout the elementary level.
Elements of style are emphasized and simple research
is introduced. Students are encouraged to form and share
their own observations about the music they encounter.
Students have short weekly listening assignments.
The intermediate course begins with a two-year history
survey course covering the Baroque period through the
early 20th century. Students explore the development
of each musical period, with emphasis on understanding
style through the study of musical genres and major
composers. Connections are made between historical events
and musical trends, enriching each student's historical
perspective. The intermediate students use the Norton
interactive CD and textbook. This sourcebook provides
quality reproductions of major works of art, architecture,
and historical instruments as well as self-directed
listening guides for compositions from each musical
Students are introduced to Early Music and make a deeper
study of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th
century musical periods. Each year's topics are chosen
to suit the interests and needs of the students enrolled
in this level. Students present at least one analysis
of a piece per year. Some research and writing is included
in this class.
As an exciting aspect of the Young Artist
Program, chamber music class offers students a chance
to explore a new world of repertoire and to build performing
partnerships with other musicians. Each week the chamber
instructor coaches students on repertoire and fundamentals.
Students are offered opportunities to work with different
instructors and different chamber combinations throughout
their course of study in the program. Appropriate ensemble
placement is crucial. Year after year, our students
tell us how privileged they feel to play chamber music.
Performance class provides an opportunity
for students to gain valuable performance experience
by playing for their peers. The class addresses issues
frequently encountered in performance situations. Students
are exposed to new repertoire and develop skills of
critical listening and constructive commentary, while
they support one another's musical growth. Both students
and their private teachers appreciate this chance for
the student to try out solo repertoire, and every student
is required to perform regularly. Each student's performance
is videotaped for the student's own viewing and study.
The instructor also provides brief written comments
for each student.
Improvisation should be included in every
musician's study. Students are introduced to the various
styles of jazz, through critical listening and discussions
of the genre's history. They are supplied with the tools
to become proficient improvisers and are expected to
practice their skills both in and out of class. Both
students who have some jazz experience, as well as others
who are not familiar with the idiom interact and learn
about America's most indigenous music.
Several times each year, the Young Artist
Program offers workshops, which are presented in either
master class or seminar format. Students are offered
both the opportunity to learn from visiting experts
and the experience of performing for and working with
master teachers. Recent Young Artist students have composed
a mini-opera, improvised with a professional jazz trio,
and studied Baroque ornamentation and dance. Young Artist
Program students learn about world music. Students have
played a Javanese gamelan and learned about Romanian
folk music. Workshops offer opportunities to meet and
talk with musicians and to learn about some of the many
careers in music.
All students perform for a panel of Conservatory
faculty in May. This required performance evaluation
assures each student's progress through the levels of
the Young Artist performance curriculum in his/her performance
major. It also provides an opportunity for the student
to receive valuable comments about technique and musicianship
from other professionals.
Students receive grades for each Young
Artist class in January and June, based on class participation,
test scores, and attendance.