October 20, 2021

News Release: Manhattan School of Music Unveils New Two-Year Professional Performance Diploma

The new degree program offers a two-year course of study for classical musicians seeking to hone their craft while developing critical entrepreneurial skills

NEW YORK, October 19, 2021 – Beginning in fall 2022, renowned international music conservatory Manhattan School of Music (MSM) will offer the Professional Performance Diploma (PPD), a new two-year degree for career-focused, accomplished performers possessing a Master of Music degree or the equivalent. The program’s individualized course of study is designed for classical musicians seeking to hone their craft while developing critical entrepreneurial skills – valuable career-building tools that will help graduates thrive as they navigate their own distinctive professional paths.

“This is an individualized program that will help develop individualized careers,” says MSM President James Gandre. “There will be a handful of classes that are required, but the accomplished student artists participating in this two-year course of study will be given great freedom within the program to self-direct and to link to their own career goals.”

The advanced diploma’s two-year duration will give students the opportunity to “go deep,” to gain a breadth of time and experience with faculty, major lessons, graduate electives, performance opportunities, while at the same time identifying a focus to advance their career goals.

“Students in the PPD program will have the opportunity to hone their craft as musicians while developing critical aptitudes related to entrepreneurship, freelancing work, and other business-related skills required of an independent musician,” says MSM Executive Vice President and Provost Joyce Griggs. “This new degree program will help them to meet their potential and broaden their skills and their access to a variety of performance work. In addition, the program’s coursework will prepare them to engage in repertoire planning that meets the demands for more diversity in programming, addressing current needs and gaps in the professional performing arts world.”

The program includes a career-focused seminar followed by three semesters of student-selected, career-relevant, core coursework, in addition to a wealth of private lessons, large ensembles, electives, and a graduation recital for a total of 55 credit hours completed.

For further information, please contact Jeff Breithaupt, Vice President for Media and Communications, at jbreithaupt@msmnyc.edu or (917) 493-4702.

Learn more about the program here

About Manhattan School of Music

Founded as a community music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, today MSM is recognized for its 990 superbly talented undergraduate and graduate students who come more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 states; its innovative curricula and world-renowned artist-teacher faculty that includes musicians from the New York Philharmonic, the Met Orchestra, and the top ranks of the jazz and Broadway communities; and a distinguished community of accomplished, award-winning alumni working at the highest levels of the musical, educational, cultural, and professional worlds.

The School is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of aspiring musicians, from its Precollege students through those pursuing doctoral studies. Offering classical, jazz, and musical theatre training, MSM grants a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. True to MSM’s origins as a music school for children, the Precollege program continues to offer superior music instruction to 475 young musicians between the ages of 5 and 18. The School also serves some 2,000 New York City schoolchildren through its Arts-in-Education Program, and another 2,000 students through its critically acclaimed Distance Learning Program.

MSM Land Acknowledgement

Manhattan School of Music acknowledges that we gather on the traditional land of the Lenape and Wappinger past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. This calls us to commit to continuing to learn how to be better stewards of the land we inhabit as well.