REGISTRATION FOR FALL 2013 will be available on April 8.
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New applicants click here for instructions.
Overview and Welcome from the Director
The Preparatory Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music has earned a national reputation for its superior training of pre-college level musicians throughout their development. Our alumni have excelled in the field, entering top-level collegiate music schools and conservatories, and distinguishing themselves professionally as performers, composers, teachers and scholars. Participants consistently report the program enhanced their personal growth, whatever their eventual career path.
With an outstanding faculty and a location in the Civic Center of San Francisco within steps of the Symphony, Opera and Ballet, the Preparatory Division is perfectly positioned to provide the ultimate experience for an emerging young musician.
If you are not already familiar with our program, I welcome you to explore our offerings and to attend a division recital at 11:30 am any Saturday or one of our many other performances. I know you will find the Conservatory to be an extraordinary place!
Director of Preparatory and Adult Extension Divisions
View the 2013-14 Brochure (Uniflip)
Preparatory Frequently Asked Questions
Preparatory and Adult Extension faculty
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music educates exceptionally talented musicians from around the world to become artists of the highest caliber, as well as musical citizens prepared for the challenge of the twenty-first century. The Preparatory Division provides an environment and a curriculum that allows young musicians to achieve the highest level of artistic excellence.
About the Preparatory Division
The Conservatory’s Preparatory Division offers comprehensive training at every stage of musical development, with classes in early childhood education, musicianship, composition and ensemble performance. Individual instruction is offered on all orchestral instruments as well as piano, organ, harpsichord, harp, guitar and voice. The program provides ample opportunities to attend and perform in Conservatory recitals, master classes and workshops, and in concerts throughout the larger community. The Preparatory Division meets for 32 weeks between September and May, on Saturdays and after school on weekdays. Private lessons are available during the summer, along with group classes and performances offered though Summer Music West.
Our students excel not only in local and national competitions; many distinguish themselves in the international arena as well. Last year, both junior and senior first prize awards at the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition went to Conservatory preparatory students. Preparatory piano students have won prizes in the Khachaturian International Piano Competition and been named National YoungArts winners. Our students consistently place well in the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition, the national ASTA competitions, the Pacific Musical Society Competition and numerous others. Preparatory students perform at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and with orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. They are frequently featured on broadcasts of National Public Radio’s From the Top.
Preparatory Frequently Asked Questions
What are the ages of Prep Students?
Our students range in age from four to eighteen. Early Childhood classes accept students beginning at age four. While most students enrolled in musicianship classes are at least 9 years old, some younger students are admitted on the basis of their interview. There is no age requirement for private lessons.
Does the Prep accept beginners?
Our early childhood classes do not require any previous musical experience. Chamber music is not offered to beginners on an instrument. In general, the Preparatory Division does not accept beginners into private lessons unless they have attended our early childhood classes; usually students have 1-2 years experience playing an instrument before they audition.
Is it possible to request a specific faculty member?
Yes it is highly encouraged. Please indicate at least one choice in the appropriate space on the application form.
What should I play at the audition?
Students should come prepared to play two contrasting pieces demonstrating their current level of proficiency. Pianists are expected play from memory.
How long does the application and audition process take?
The Preparatory office will call to schedule an audition after online applications are received. Upon acceptance, you will be placed with an appropriate faculty member based on your request and instructor availability. Upon acceptance, students will register for a full semester of weekly lessons. While students must be willing to commit for the entire academic year, tuition is charged per semester and is due at the time of online registration.
When are lessons and classes?
Private lessons are scheduled throughout the entire week based on the availability of the instructor and student. Once a lesson time is established, families must be prepared to adhere to the agreed upon schedule. Please refer to the make-up and refund policies in the online application.Some Early Childhood classes take place during the week; all other classes meet on Saturdays. All lessons and classes meet in the Conservatory. Please see Class Schedules for details.