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Graduate Awards

The Eastman School of Music provides financial support to its graduate students primarily through the Graduate Award Program, a merit-based system of financial aid. Through its graduate awards, Eastman is able to provide in-depth professional training for graduate students and receive valuable services in return. A graduate award normally consists of a stipend (salary for the work done) and a tuition scholarship (a partial remission of tuition). These are inseparable components (a student may not accept one portion and decline the other). A small number of awards are tuition scholarship only. Admission to a graduate program does not guarantee a graduate award.

To apply for a Graduate Award, indicate your interest in up to four different Graduate Awards within the online application for admission.

  • Many awards have no additional requirements and are decided on the basis of your audition/interview for admission.
  • Some awards require additional interview via phone or Skype.  Applicants will be notified if an interview is needed.
  • Accompanying graduate awards require an on-campus audition which will be scheduled on the same day as your audition for admission.

Details for each award are specified in the descriptions below.

Graduate students who have questions about their graduate award should contact the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at gdean@esm.rochester.edu, or contact the Graduate Studies Office at 585-274-1560

Graduate Awards:

APPLIED STUDIO TEACHER: Recipients of this award teach instrumental or vocal lessons to students such as non-music majors. Graduate Awards in studio teaching are awarded in consultation with the performance faculty, and are based on the applicant’s degree program audition.  Studio teaching awards for Piano and Organ are available to DMA performance majors only.  An interview via Skype may be requested.

ENSEMBLE PERFORMER: Recipients of this award perform in large instrumental or vocal ensembles, including Conducting Orchestra, as assigned. Award decisions are based on the applicant’s degree program audition.  No additional application, audition, or forms are required.

CLASSROOM TEACHER OF PIANO:  Recipients of this award will teach Class Piano using a Yamaha Music Lab to Eastman music majors (non-pianists) and beginning level piano students from the UR River Campus.  Candidates are selected on the basis of their classroom teaching experience and knowledge of keyboard labs.  Applicants for this award will be asked to provide background information detailing their prior pedagogy coursework and teaching experience within the application.  An interview via Skype may be requested.

STUDIO ACCOMPANIST – PIANO: This award requires an on-campus audition.  Applicants to the Accompanying & Chamber Music program are automatically considered for this graduate award.  Other applicants must have previous studio accompanying experience, excellent sight-reading skills, and score reading ability.  A collaborative audition will be scheduled on the same day as their degree program audition and applicants must be prepared to perform the following:

1. The 1st movement (or selections as indicated) of an instrumental sonata, selected from the Repertoire List, Group A, and performed with music. Accompanying Audition Repertoire List

2. One song, selected from the Repertoire List, Group B, prepared in the indicated key, and performed with music.  Accompanying Audition Repertoire List

Applicants for this award should indicate their repertoire selections within the application.  Appropriate collaborative artists, both singers and instrumentalists, will be provided by the school.

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LUTE OR HARPSICHORD CONTINUO, COLLEGIUM MUSICUM:  This award requires an on-campus audition.  Applicants will be expected to demonstrate advanced proficiency with continuo realization by reading figured bass from an unrealized part at sight during an audition scheduled on the same day as their degree program audition.  Lute and Harpsichord majors are automatically considered for this award based on their audition for admission.  This position entails performing in the Collegium Musicum ensemble. No additional form or materials are required to apply for this award.

HARPSICHORD ACCOMPANIST: This award requires an on-campus audition.  Applicants will be expected to demonstrate advanced proficiency with continuo realization by reading figured bass from an unrealized part at sight during an audition scheduled on the same day as their degree program audition.  Harpsichord majors are automatically considered for this award based on their audition for admission.  This position typically entails accompanying vocalists and instrumentalists. No additional form or materials are required to apply for this award.

SACRED MUSIC ASSISTANT: This award is typically awarded only to organ majors, and preference is given to students admitted to the Sacred Music Diploma program.  Award decisions are based on the applicant’s degree program audition.  No additional form or materials are required to apply for this award.

ORGAN MAINTENANCE: This award is typically awarded only to organ majors.  Preference is given to those with previous experience maintaining organs.  Award decisions are based on the applicant’s degree program audition.  No additional application is required.

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VOICE DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT: This award involves assisting in the voice department office, and is typically awarded to a voice performance major.  It does not require an interview, nor any additional forms or materials.

JAZZ DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT: Graduate awards offered in the jazz department include departmental and/or teaching assistantships in jazz theory, jazz history, improvisation, jazz writing and arranging, performing in ensembles, and instrumental teaching.  These awards are typically awarded to jazz majors.  No additional forms or materials are required.

MUSIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT:  Graduate awards offered in the music education department include both departmental assistantships (available to Music Education majors only) and assistantships for classroom teachers of music education techniques (available to any interested performers except those who play guitar or keyboard instruments).  Recipients of this award assist with teaching duties in the Music Education curriculum.  Interviews via phone or Skype may be requested.  No additional forms or materials are required.

CONDUCTING TEACHING ASSISTANT: This award is restricted to applicants admitted with a major in conducting.  Duties may include assisting conducting faculty in rehearsals, leading sectionals, and otherwise preparing for concerts.  Doctoral students may be asked to teach conducting classes.  Awards are based on the applicants audition and interview; no additional forms or materials are required.

MUSICOLOGY TEACHING ASSISTANT:  Only applicants to the Musicology or Ethnomusicology degree programs are eligible for this award, and will be considered based on their interview for the degree program. Applicants to other programs will not be considered.  Recipients of this award assist with teaching duties in the musicology and music history curriculum.

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CLASSROOM TEACHER OF THEORY/AURAL SKILLS: This award is highly competitive, and applicants with any aural skills/theory grades lower than an A-, or a submitted TOEFL score below 100, will not be considered. While preference is given to graduate theory majors, applicants in other majors may also apply.  Recipients of this award assist with teaching duties in the theory curriculum.  Applicants for this award will be asked to submit a short statement within the application explaining why they want to be an aural skills instructor and how their background/training has prepared them for this position.  Additionally, one of the applicants recommendation letters must be from a teacher of theory or aural skills.  An interview via Skype may be requested.

COMPOSITION DEPARTMENT ASSISTANT: This award is restricted to applicants admitted with a major in composition.  Duties can include assisting with department performances and projects, and teaching composition-related courses. No additional interview or application is required.

COMPUTER MUSIC STUDIO ASSISTANT: Composition applicants are automatically considered for this award.  Other interested applicants may apply; a background in either system programming or electronic music is required.  Recipients of this award assist in the Eastman Audio Research Studio with projects, performances and/or teaching.  An Interview via phone or Skype may be requested.

INSTITUTE FOR MUSIC LEADERSHIP – DEPT. ASSISTANT: The ideal candidate for this position is an enthusiastic self-starter who is eager to learn and can take responsibility for projects and duties with minimal supervision.  Excellent writing skills are needed, as is the ability to communicate effectively with a broad range of constituents.  A working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications is required.   Data entry experience and familiarity with graphics or video, social media (Facebook, etc.), and web authoring applications are extremely desirable.   Interview via phone or Skype may be requested. More information is available here: esm.rochester.edu/iml/alp/dept_asst.php

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