Starting this fall, the Evening Division began offering the chance to earn a Certificate in Core Musical Skills to students who undergo an intense, two-to-four-year nonmatriculating program of study in the division. Since this is the first time this is being offered at Juilliard, I wanted to share some of the background and thinking that went into it.
In 2014, I embarked on a three-year review of the Evening Division (it's just about done!), and one thing that came up time and again was that students who had taken our most rigorous and demanding credit courses wished to have something to show for all their hard work. The faculty supported their desire to receive some sort of credential as they were impressed with the students' dedication and commitment.
We're not a performance division—that is, we're not in the business of training people to be professional performing artists—but we do offer credit courses that in content and delivery match the College Division courses and are often taught by the same faculty. The thinking behind the new certificate program is that these credit courses teach skills that can be demonstrated with little to no subjective bias. Students interested in pursuing the certificate will take 18 credits worth of Music Theory and Analysis as well as Ear Training classes, plus a few electives over the course of two to four years.
The Evening Division Certificate in Core Musical Skills is certainly not equivalent to a Juilliard degree. College Division students must undergo an intense audition process and be accepted to matriculate at Juilliard. And, once here, they engage in myriad other activities to prepare them for the life of a professional artist that we in the Evening Division do not offer—including private lessons with Juilliard studio faculty and ensembles. But since the academic music classes are the same, this is an opportunity for Evening Division students who are willing to put in two or more years of intense study to obtain a certificate of completion.—Danielle LaSenna, the director of the Evening Division, joined the Juilliard staff in 2008.