Summer Music Leadership Programs for Majors and Non-Majors

Students from the 2021 ELA attending a workshop with keynote speaker Melissa Ngan. Screenshot taken by Stephen Biegner.

The Institute for Music Leadership supports its students year-round with access to entrepreneurial, business, leadership, and performance classes, the Arts Leadership Certificate Program, several grants, 1:1 career advising, as well as many other tools, materials, and programs to support a modern, 21st century musician’s diverse career. Over the summer, we’re able to offer additional leadership development programs for majors and non-majors alike.

Current students – whether from Eastman or another school – or even professionals looking to boost their knowledge with some leadership courses over the summer can explore two summer offerings from the Master of Arts in Music Leadership (MAML) program. The IML also offers three leadership development programs open to anyone – The Eastman Leadership Academy; the Eastman Leadership Conference; and new this year, the Eastman Leadership Bootcamp.

The ABCs of Music Leadership

Our three leadership development programs – for students (ELA), for young professionals (ELB), and for deans and chairs (ELC) are a great way for those currently involved with Eastman or those outside to join together with other like-minded students, musicians, and administrators to enhance their leadership effectiveness, learn new tools and skills, and tackle some of the big questions facing the music world today.

Eastman Leadership Academy (ELA)

Running from June 6-10, the ELA is a weeklong, online program for college juniors, seniors, and graduate students looking to dip their toes into the realm of music leadership. Each day, students cover a specific topic – non-profit 101, finance and fundraising, entrepreneurship, community engagement and DE&I – starting with lectures and conversations, followed by a hands-on workshop or case study. There are also 1:1 mentorship sessions with career advisors, group lunches, and times for everyone to just reflect on the day and get to know their fellow academy members.

While the ELA started as an in-person program, it moved online in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the decision was made to keep the ELA in an online format. The IML found that many of the activities and discussions still worked extremely well over Zoom. Destiny Cooper, a 2021 Academy student said of her online experience, “I was learning in ways that were hands-on – but via Zoom screen! The workshops were specific and applicable to my individual goals, and the discussions were meaningful and relevant.”

Steven DiBlasi, 2021 participant, speaking during Eastman Leadership Conference welcome event in Wolk Atrium. Photograph by Michelle Martorell.

Eastman Leadership Bootcamp (ELB)

Following the Academy is the ELB from June 13-17. The IML realized that there was a group of admins who were beyond the material covered in ELA, but were not far enough along in their careers just yet to join the Leadership Conference. The ELB program was developed with the young professional’s advancement in mind. We’ve tailored the program around a young professional’s schedule since they may not have the same access to professional development funds or afford to travel the way deans, chairs, and directors can.

Each day starts with an extended lunch session diving deep into a specific topic with a faculty member who is an expert in the field. Participants then join an early evening session after work to practically apply all they learned in the earlier lecture to a specific case study chosen from the Eastman Case Studies series. Following the week of courses and workshops, participants will have access to five mentorship sessions with the ELB faculty member(s) of their choice so they can continue developing their skills and getting the expert guidance they need to get to the next level.

Eastman Leadership Conference (ELC)

We wrap up our summer leadership programs with the ELC – the only in-person program on our list taking place here in Rochester from June 22-25. Conference participants will meet each day in Ciminelli Formal Lounge for presentations, workshops, and discussions facilitated by our lead faculty and special guest speakers. Lead faculty for 2022 include Todd Queen, dean of the Florida State University College of Music; Toni-Marie Montgomery, dean of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern; and our own Jamal Rossi, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music.

During the Conference sessions, participants will engage in discussions and explorations around topics critical to leaders today, such as identifying and analyzing critical issues and challenges facing music schools; develop successful strategies for implementing initiatives designed to meet these challenges; understand the leader’s role in fulfilling an institutional vision; and more. In addition to being able to meet and network with an intimate cohort of colleagues between sessions, participants of the ELC are also treated to lunches, dinners, and drinks to further develop relationships, ideas, and concepts discussed during the conference. “I wish that I had attended this training earlier in my career as a music administrator,” says 2021 ELC participant Isrea Butler. “This training is exceptional, timely and valuable.”

Elena Harroun, MA ML ’22


The MA in Music Leadership is a fully online graduate degree offering 10 required courses as part of its curriculum. Two of the courses – Music Administration & Governance (taught by Rachel Roberts) and Music & Law (taught by Ari Solotoff) – occur during the summer session. All online courses, including the summer session for-credit offerings, are created to provide professional experience and preparation for professionals on and off the stage. These courses are open to any learner within Eastman, at other schools, or professionals looking for a boost and focused study to enhance their knowledge and skillsets. For Eastman DMA or PhD students, these courses could also count towards a Minor in Music Leadership (for more info on that, please visit here).


Register Today!

The Eastman Leadership Academy is application based. Only 25 students will be accepted into the ELA cohort. Applications are due March 15th and decisions will be communicated via email no later than April 1st. You can apply to the ELA here.

The Eastman Leadership Bootcamp is capped at 30 participants. Early-bird registration is $1,300 until March 1st, and then after the fee increases to $1,500. Registration information can be found here.

And the registration for the Eastman Leadership Conference, also capped at 30 participants, is $2,300 until March 1st after which the registration increases to $2,500. ELC’s registration information is located here.

For anyone interested in the summer MA in Music Leadership courses, please follow the instructions on listed on the Music and Law or Music Admin and Governance pages.