Eastman Pathways Program

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Information for New Students

Open House: March 3, 2018

Information for Interested Students
What is Eastman Pathways?
What are the paths? Where do they lead?
When and where are lessons held?
What is the admissions process?
What does the program cost?
What is expected of students?
What is expected of teachers?
Contact information
Student/Parent Handbook

Returning Students

Re-application information for returning students
Contact information
Student/Parent Handbook

What is Eastman Pathways?

Eastman Pathways is a unique program sponsored by the Eastman School of Music that provides outstanding Rochester City School District (RCSD) students with generous scholarship aid to pursue music studies at Eastman. Pathways students showing exceptional musical ability and commitment may be interested in pursuing a rigorous course of study leading to the Eastman Community Music School diploma. The Pathways program is a component of an ongoing partnership between the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester City School District. This partnership was originally named in honor of William Warfield, the world-renowned bass-baritone and graduate of both the RCSD and Eastman School.

Pathways lessons and course offerings are meant to enrich and not replace what is being taught in the RCSD. Students begin instrumental instruction in their city school and are eligible for Pathways as they advance. Up to 70 students participate each year in Pathways. An enrollment goal for Eastman Pathways is to achieve a student population that reflects the ethnic mix of the Rochester City Schools.

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What are the paths? Where do they lead?

General Path (5th – 12th Graders):

New students may enter Pathways in 5th through 11th grade, (auditioning in 4th-10th grades) with preference given to middle school children. Selected students are enrolled at Eastman in weekly half-hour private lessons in their chosen instrument. Those exceptional younger students (4th – 5th graders) who audition and are accepted may be placed in “buddy” (2-person) lessons on an instrument or, for voice, in the Eastman Children’s Chorus (5th – 8th graders). First year students will concentrate on private lessons only. Qualified students may also enroll in a class or audition for an ensemble at Eastman at the discretion of the Program Coordinator. Music Theory enriches the student’s musical experience and builds the foundation and skills needed to progress more quickly on the student’s instrument/voice. Interested and motivated qualified Pathways students may elect to participate in one of the Eastman Pre-College Diploma programs by taking additional courses. See Diplomas for more information. Normally Pathways will support a student through the 2-year diploma.

Collegiate Path:

Pathways students who meet Eastman’s rigorous undergraduate admission requirements are eligible to receive up to a full tuition scholarship for all 4 years based on financial need. Pathways students who enroll at Eastman agree to return to city schools to serve as role models, to mentor, and to teach students in the RCSD and thus model what can be achieved through the Pathways program. This mentoring will be done during the student’s undergraduate years at Eastman.

Requirements: Students must have participated fully in the Pathways program for a period of at least two years and be eligible for Pathways scholarship for collegiate study at the Eastman School of Music.

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When and where are lessons held?

Lessons and classes are held in downtown Rochester at the Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs Street. Some lessons and classes are also held in Messinger Hall, the adjacent building at 10 Gibbs Street. There are 34 lesson weeks from September through June. Teachers are assigned on the basis of instrument and availability. Lessons are scheduled for after school or on the weekend at a time convenient for both student and teacher.

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What is the admissions process?

New Students

  • Step 1 – Ask your RCSD music teacher about this program. Information letters are available each February. Attend the March Eastman Pathways Open House.
  • Step 2 – In March, RCSD music teachers recommend talented students for consideration in Pathways. No student will be eligible without his or her RCSD music teacher’s recommendation. Recommendations are based on successful participation in the school’s music programs as well as demonstrated musical talent and aptitude.
  • Step 3 – The Application: Applications will be available starting at the annual Open House and for a period of 2 weeks after that date. All interested students must complete an application for Eastman Pathways at the Eastman Community Music School office located on the 3rd floor Messinger Hall, 10 Gibbs Street by the annually posted deadline.
  • Step 4 – Audition: Recommended students in Grades 4 through 10 are invited to audition in the spring so that a committee of Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) and RCSD music faculty can assess their musical potential, interest and motivation.
    • Contact the ECMS office (274-1400) in April to schedule an audition.
    • Auditions are held either the last Friday & Saturday in April or the first Friday & Saturday in May.
    • Students are expected to be well prepared for this audition, performing scales as well as short musical pieces from the NYSSMA Manual that demonstrate their level of achievement in tone and technique.  Band/orchestra music or lesson books are not acceptable.
      • We require instrumental 4th-5th graders to perform a NYSSMA solo at level 1 or higher
      • 6th-8th graders perform a level 2 or higher
      • 9th-10th graders perform level 3 or higher
      • Sight-reading will be given.
      • Students must be proficient in note reading.
      • Have your RCSD teacher help you select a solo.
      • Elementary choral students should sing a standard song like My Country Tis of Thee, My Favorite Things or Edelweiss or another traditional song.
    • All auditioning students (instrumental and vocal) should bring 2 copies of their music – one for you and one for the judges.
  • Step 5 – Students will be notified whether or not they are accepted by mid-May.

Returning Students

  • Continuation in Eastman Pathways must be earned; it is not an entitlement
  • All students must reapply annually.
  • In March, the student and parent must complete an application and submit to the Eastman Community Music School office by the annually posted deadline.
  • Auditions are not required for students who receive the necessary recommendation from the ECMS teacher. Those who receive a conditional recommendation must re-audition in April. See Student Handbook for Evaluations.

All Accepted Students

Attend a mandatory Orientation Meeting in early June to register for lessons and classes and pay registration fee.

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What does the program cost?

Eastman Pathways is supported through the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna Foundation, and by the Eastman School of Music, with generous assistance from local and national foundations, corporations, and friends.

  • There is no cost for ½ hour private lessons or chorus for students whose families earn less than $40,000 per year.
  • Students whose families earn over $40,000 annually will be charged a fee toward ½ hour private lessons based on a sliding scale ranging from 12% to 85% of tuition.
  • Once a student qualifies the scholarship may include one class or ensemble each year at no cost, regardless of family income.
  • Students may increase the length of their lessons to 45 minutes or longer by paying the tuition rate for the additional time; scholarships cover the first half-hour of lessons only.
  • Parents will be notified in the acceptance letter of any tuition payments for which they are responsible. Page 1 of your annual IRS (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) on which the student is claimed as a dependent must be submitted by May 1. Scholarships cannot be calculated without the current IRS information.
  • All Scholarship students must pay a $20 registration fee each year.

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What is expected of students?

See Pathways Student/Parent Handbook for more details.
Students are expected to:

  • Practice diligently and show commitment to the program
  • Come to all lessons and classes prepared and on time
  • Participate in the annual RCSD Citywide Concert
  • Participate annually in either or both the MCSMA and NYSSMA solo festivals
  • Perform in at least one recital at ECMS – Saturday, Studio or Pathways
  • Participate in home school music ensemble

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What is expected of teachers?

Eastman Community Music School teachers are expected to:

  • Immediately notify the Pathways Coordinator via electronic Progress Report of unexcused absences, or regular tardiness to lessons/classes or difficulty with mastering the assignments. The Pathways Coordinator will forward the absence/tardy notice to both parents and RCSD music teachers.  Depending on the difficulty reported, the Pathways Mentor will be asked to contact the teacher and family to work out a solution. 
  • Monitor the student’s progress through entry evaluation, mid-year evaluation and year-end exam/jury.
  • Alert the parent and/or Pathways coordinator of problems that may be impeding the student’s musical progress.
  • See that each student performs an annual exam or jury and participates in at least one (two if in the diploma track) Eastman Community Music School recital(s) or studio recital(s) each year.
  • Help the student select and prepare an appropriate piece for performance at the MCSMA and/or NYSSMA Solo Festivals. Notify the RCSD music teacher of selected solo. Please note that SOTA students are required to participate in both festivals. (Solo Registration Form)
  • Attend faculty meetings or workshops with other Eastman Community Music School Pathways teachers.

RCSD teachers are expected to:

  • Recommend outstanding students who participate in their school music programs for Eastman Pathways.
  • Notify the Pathways Coordinator:
    • On the musical progress of Scholarship students at the end of the first semester of the school year through the annual Recommendation Form.
    • Of scholarship students’ continued participation in school band, jazz band, chorus or orchestra.
    • Of problems that may be impeding the students’ progress in his or her lessons at Eastman.
  • Help scholarship students find appropriate instruments that are in good working order.
  • Annually recommend and register all Pathways students for the RCSD Citywide Concert.
  • Register scholarship students annually for participation in NYSSMA and MCSMA Solo Festivals.

Opportunities for RCSD Teachers

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Contact information

Hannah Harrow, Program Coordinator Eastman Pathways
Eastman Community Music School
email: eastmanpathways@esm.rochester.edu

Dominic Pickard, Director of Arts
Rochester City School District
email: Dominic.Pickard@rcsdk12.org
Kelly Follman, Pathways Liaison
Rochester City School District
email: Kelly.Follman@rcsdk12.org
Eastman Community Music School

email: community@esm.rochester.edu

Special Thanks

The Eastman School of Music is grateful to the many individuals and foundations for supporting Eastman Pathways through generous gifts.  Eastman Pathways is supported by endowments established through the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Surdna Foundation, the Jean Ellis Reed Endowed Scholarship at the Eastman School of Music, S. and L. Toole Eastman Pathways Fund, the Elaine P. and Richard U. Wilson Foundation, and the Anne M. Zwick Eastman Pathways Pre-Collegiate Discretionary Fund and through generous gifts and grants from individuals and foundations, which in 2016-2017 included:

  • Adoracion Morales Balonon Memorial Fund
  • Rob and Priscilla Brown in loving memory of their son, Robert Elliott Brown III
  • Mitchell R. Rosen and Alma Balonon-Rosen

Last updated: June 28, 2018