Core Curriculum

The Core Music Curriculum includes

> chamber music study and performance

> private lessons

> master classes

> scheduled individual practice

> solo performance

chamber music

Students are assigned one chamber ensemble each session. Ensembles range in size from duos to octets. Each ensemble receives 4-5 hours of coaching per week by a member of our renowned faculty.

Coachings focus on

  • developing and refining tone production, articulation and vibrato
  • expanding artistic expression and knowledge of repertoire
  • cultivating the art of ensemble playing and ensemble rehearsal technique
  • observation of dynamics, stylistic concerns, and phrasing

The skill level of the individual will determine the specific goals of each group. In most cases, by the end of the session the ensemble will be prepared to perform at least one movement of its selected piece.

Ensemble placement is made based upon

  • the student’s level of playing as demonstrated in the audition
  • the student’s specific technical and artistic challenges
  • the age of the student

private lessons

Students receive a minimum of 2 hours of private instruction per week. Additional lessons may be offered to the student based on the availability of the faculty member at no additional cost.

Our faculty members focus upon repertoire that is requested by the student’s regular private teacher as well as assigned chamber music. Technical considerations and suggestions are made within the context of the student’s recognized school of playing. Faculty members determine goals for the lessons with the students. Lessons are scheduled with the students upon their arrival and take place during the scheduled practice hours. Our faculty is pleased to help students prepare for upcoming concerts, music school auditions and competitions.

The broad goals of the private lesson is to

  • develop the student’s recognized school of playing
  • improve individual practice techniques
  • encourage goal-setting habits
  • learn and polish repertoire

The students’ home teachers are encouraged to suggest repertoire they would like our faculty to cover during the student’s time at RMSC.

master classes

Students are offered one master class per week. Students are invited to participate in master class by their assigned private teacher and may receive coaching from faculty other than their assigned private teacher. Master classes focus upon the mechanics of practicing, technical foundations and artistic expression. In addition to solo repertoire, students often play scales and etudes. Students will also receive instruction in the importance of warming up and physical conditioning. The master class is not intended to be exclusively performance class, they are intended to be windows into successful preparation and performance.

A faculty pianist is available for master class when necessary.

individual practice

Students are assigned approximately 3 hours per day of individual practice, 6 days per week in a private space. Additional individual practice is available during free time.

It is recommended and encouraged for students to practice effectively and efficiently a maximum of 4 – 5 hours a day. Students who exceed 6 – 7 hours per day are subjecting themselves to the potential of injury and may not be using their time effectively.

solo performances

Polished solo pieces may be included on the chamber music performances as well as master class.