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 (ranging from 1-2 units to full 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 an additional interview or audition component for consideration.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Graduate Studies Office at 585-274-1560
- Applied Studio Teacher
- Ensemble Performer
- Classroom Teacher of Piano
- Studio Accompanist
- Lute or Harpsichord Continuo, Collegium Musicum
- Harpsichord Accompanist
- Sacred Music Assistant
- Organ Maintenance
- Voice Department Assistant
- Jazz Department Assistant
- Music Education Department Assistant
- Conducting Teaching Assistant
- Musicology Teaching Assistant
- Classroom Teacher of Theory/Aural Musicianship
- Composition Department Assistant
- Computer Music Studio Assistant
- Institute for Music Leadership–Department Assistant
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 online interview 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 Keyboard Lab). The curriculum is designed for 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, music software programs such as Classroom Maestro, SmartBoard® interactive display (7000 Series), and the creativity shown when using these teaching tools. Applicants for this award will be asked to provide background information detailing their prior teaching experience. An online Zoom interview may be requested. Further information can be studied at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/classpiano/
STUDIO ACCOMPANIST – PIANO: All Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music Degree applicants are automatically considered for this graduate award; however, skilled pianists with previous studio accompanying experience and excellent sight-reading skills who are applying to degree programs other than Piano Accompanying may also apply.
Applicants should indicate their interest in being considered for this graduate award within their Eastman School of Music online application, and must submit a complete list of their collaborative repertoire, both vocal and instrumental, at that time. If you are under consideration for this award a collaborative recording will be requested. This recording should offer a mixture of repertoire which may include song, opera, duo sonata and/or chamber music that represents the applicants highest pianistic, artistic, and collaborative achievement. A more detailed guideline regarding the required contents of your recording will be provided if you are selected for consideration.
HARPSICHORD CONTINUO, COLLEGIUM MUSICUM and/or BAROQUE CHAMBER MUSIC: Applicants will be expected to demonstrate advanced proficiency with continuo realization by reading figured bass from an unrealized part at sight. Harpsichord majors are automatically considered for this award based on their audition for admission but still must indicate their interest in a continuo grad award. This position entails performing in the Collegium Musicum ensemble as well as in Baroque Chamber Music groups.
HARPSICHORD ACCOMPANIST: Applicants will be expected to demonstrate advanced proficiency with continuo realization by reading figured bass from an unrealized part at sight. Harpsichord majors are automatically considered for this award based on their audition for admission but still must indicate their interest in a continuo grad award. This position typically entails accompanying vocalists and instrumentalists.
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.
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.
CLASSROOM TEACHER OF THEORY/AURAL MUSICIANSHIP: This award is highly competitive, and applicants with any written theory or aural musicianship grades lower than an A-, or a submitted Duolingo English test score below 120, will not be considered. Recipients of this award assist with teaching duties in the undergraduate theory curriculum. Applicants for this award will be asked to submit a short statement within the application explaining why they want to be an instructor in the undergraduate theory core at Eastman, 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 musicianship. An interview via videoconference may be requested, which will include demonstration of sight singing, keyboard, and pedagogic abilities. Graduate students assigned one of these awards must commit to attending TA training sessions in Rochester one full week before the beginning of classes.
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 (EARS) with projects, performances and/or teaching. An online Interview 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: iml.esm.rochester.edu/alp/iml-department-assistantship/