A View into the Eastman Experience



By Petar Kodzas, Eastman Associate Dean and Director of Eastman Community Music School

For over 30 years, the Eastman School of Music has housed a premiere residential program for high-school students who aspire to careers in music.  This program was known to generations as a Music Horizons and, as the name suggests, it opened new vistas to hundreds of students.

So why change the name? 

Eastman: The program structure and mission are deeply steeped in Eastman’s spirit, and it seemed natural to reflect that in the name of our summer program.  Our wish is to distill the essence of an undergraduate year at Eastman into three weeks.  Starting from recording an audition video and completing the application to the final recital, each step is teaching students about the demands and opportunities that are a part of the Eastman undergraduate life.  Students in our program demonstrate the highest levels of achievement for their age group, academically and artistically, and they develop a supportive atmosphere conducive to studying and practicing.

We are proud to point to two guiding principles that are woven through our program: tradition and innovation.  Just as Eastman’s physical campus combines historic buildings with a stunning contemporary architecture, our program combines traditional components (private lessons and chamber music) with forward-looking opportunities (Composition and World Music).  As leaders of entrepreneurship in the field of music, we understand the ever-changing nature of our profession.  That is why all students attend Careers in Music class. To complete their summer education, students have the option to customize their program by choosing the classes they are most attracted to in the areas of music theory and history.

Experience: Every part of the program is geared toward giving students practical knowledge that they will be able to use immediately.  Whether you practice, perform in a lesson, history class, opera scene rehearsal, or repertoire class, you will be making music for several hours every day.  You will be learning from our faculty, but you will also be learning from your peers.  And, not to be forgotten, you will develop life skills: managing class and practice schedules, and living in a Student Living Center!

One of the most important factors for making and listening to music is the space in which we perform.  All students will play in fantastic halls and have the opportunity to hear nightly concerts given by faculty members and guest performers.



Summer: Finally, our two residential summer high school programs — Summer Jazz Studies and Summer Classical Studies — which share the same goals and philosophy for different musical styles, are now united under the same name: Eastman Experience!

We invite you to widen your music horizons at the Eastman Experience: Summer Classical Studies program!


Eastman Experience: Summer Classical Studies runs from July 6-26, 2019; applications are being accepted through April 15. For more information, visit https://summer.esm.rochester.edu/course/summer-classical-studies/.


The photographs show performances by 2018 Music Horizons participants in Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall.