Instrumental majors focus on technical and interpretive development as individuals. They learn how to shift roles from soloist to ensemble performer through participation in recitals and in large and small ensembles, with repertoire from the baroque to the present day. Semester by semester, they acquire a personal repertoire of works in multiple styles, and the versatility needed to perform such a wide range of works.
Vocal majors focus on bel-canto vocalism, expressive communication of text, and acting. Special attention is given to preparation for auditions and competitions and development of a personal repertoire of concert, sacred, symphonic and operatic works. As students mature vocally, they perform frequently in public to build confidence and to expand their interpretive and theatrical skills.
The Private Lesson program offered by the Music Division is unique. Each student has the privilege of studying on a one-on-one basis with the New World artist faculty. Rigorous daily practice and preparation is expected of each student with their progress closely monitored. Each student is required to perform a solo jury at the end of each semester before the entire faculty of their area.
The academic music curriculum fosters creativity and develops a knowledge of musical heritage. Course work strives to develop the student's growth and maturity in comprehensive musicianship. The study of music history and theory is pursued by taking a variety of classes including foundations of music; surveys of music history in the western world, jazz and pop music in America, and music of the world's people; and seminars in composition aesthetics, jazz improvisation, chamber music, and general musicianship.