• InstrumentalConcentration

    Instrumental Concentration (BFA)

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    Admission Contact
    College of Performing Arts
    55 West 13th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    212.229.5150 or 800.292.3040
    [email protected]

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  • The Instrumental concentration within the BFA Jazz and Contemporary Music degree prepares you to become a unique contemporary musician. Our challenging and flexible curriculum lets you chart your own course, combining technical, conceptual, aesthetic, and historical aspects of jazz and contemporary music. Your academic journey as an instrumental student includes composition, improvisation, ensembles, lessons, and individual choice. Under the mentorship of faculty who are leading contemporary musicians, you gain instrumental fluency and performance experience and develop innovative skills to pursue a wide variety of careers in music. Take classes across The New School, including Parsons School of Design and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts.

    • Degree Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
    • Credits 128
    • Format Full-time
    • Duration 4 years
    • Start Term Fall
  • Curriculum

    A full account of degree requirements and procedures is contained in the Academic Catalog (PDF). The course requirements for completing the Instrumental concentration within the BFA in Jazz and Contemporary Music consist of the following general categories: 

    • Fundamentals Improvisation: In this sequence, you study ear training and improvisation techniques in a variety of styles. 
    • Fundamentals Composition: In this sequence, you study theory, harmony, and ear training to write their own compositions.
    • Improv Ensembles: Each semester instrumentalists (and vocalists who choose to do so)  participate in an Improv Ensemble. Ensembles recast each semester, allowing you to choose the type of music you want to make, the musicians you want to play with, and the directors you want as your mentors.
    • Lessons: Our “artist-as-mentor” pedagogy means you can take private lessons from leading contemporary and jazz artists across the NYC metro area. You can request to study with anyone in the city and change your requests each semester.
    • Music Tech Seminar: Technology is an essential part of today’s music industry. In this seminar, you learn how to create in digital audio workstations, use notation software, and understand ways in which technology is used in composition, recording, and content creation.
    • Entrepreneurship: Learn about the current music business landscape from artists making a living today. From contracts to socially conscious business platforms, our entrepreneurship courses focus on what it means to make a living in today’s world.
    • Electives: One semester, you’ll be playing in the Electric Miles Davis Ensemble, under the direction of a musician like Adam Holzman, who played with Miles in the 1980s. The next semester, you may  play in The New School's Studio Orchestra, collaborating with Mannes performers in our largest ensemble, under the direction of legendary musicians like Ingrid and Christine Jensen, or Arturo O’Farrill (ensemble leaders change every semester). Make any of our fifty elective ensembles your own, and choose from a variety of composition, songwriting, arranging, and technology electives.
    • Performing Arts Core: Students also engage in a series of cross-disciplinary courses through the Performing Arts Core program,  which includes a combination of required and elective courses that all  undergraduate students at the College of Performing Arts participate in.  These courses explore themes including:  Improvisation & Collaboration, The Whole Human Artist, Socially Engaged Artistry, and  Technology & Experimentation.

  • Lessie Vonner

    Lessie Vonner, BFA Instrumental Concentration ’15 is a professional trumpet player who has shared the stage with some of the world’s biggest performing artists.

    At The New School’s School of Jazz, Vonner, a Texas native, was introduced to the New York City music scene and joined a community that has helped her advance her career.

  • Instrumental Areas of Study

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