Music is an essential, sustaining life force that engages and carries human experience. Recognizing this universal need, we teach students who serve humanity by providing a broad range of musical experiences in diverse ways.
We teach different musical styles for all walks of life: we produce specialists and generalists, those fluent in multiple forms of music, and those whose creative lives guide them elsewhere. We teach majors and minors, students who pursue vocations in music as well as those who will incorporate the many benefits of musical practice into their lives. Some graduates excel at the art of live performance; others have a passion for shaping music in recorded mediums and streamed video. But regardless of major, our students will be teachers and creators in one form or another: teachers of the young and old, professionals and amateurs, teachers by profession, by occasion, or of necessity.
We carry music to all populations: those who buy season tickets to the symphony or the opera; those who go to rock concerts; those who download music. Our students provide worlds of music—for every life, for every day: music for the rich and the poor, the very young and the very old, those who live in urban as well as rural locations, the healthy and the sick. Our students learn not merely discipline and self-sufficiency but compassion and the ability to connect to others. We reach the concert stage and the nursing home, the autistic seven-year-old and the 70-year-old with Alzheimer’s.
For years now, many musical organizations have pursued security through exclusion. Yet, music is not a “niche” product for a chosen few, but a human service, a relationship, a form of communication and a vehicle for community. Hence, a great school of music must be judged not on how many it can exclude from the practice of music, but rather, how many it can draw in. The goal is not to see how many we can turn away; the goal is to see how many we can inspire.
We honor the practice we have inherited from our ancestors by carrying music to all people, and music for all people. We move music from the margins to the center—alongside the academic traditions of reading, writing, and arithmetic; and with food and water, as a basic requirement of life.