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Excellence and Innovation in 21st Century Musician Training

Excellence in professional training is at the center of a Peabody education. Your studio
experience will form the core of your Peabody education, and the supportive academic program which has long been a hallmark of Peabody’s curriculum will equip you with a strong, holistic foundation in music and the humanities.

Today’s artists acknowledge, however, the changing cultural environment of the future demands even more.

To align our training with the reality of industry shifts, the Peabody Institute Breakthrough Curriculum in Music Leadership infuses our grand historical tradition with new perspectives to
create a model at the forefront of arts training in the United States.

As a student at Peabody, you will learn:

  • Excellence in your craft, positioning you to compete for high-level opportunities as
    a soloist, orchestra member, chamber musician, conductor, composer, educator, recording engineer, critic or scholar.
  • Musical flexibility, and the ability to apply appropriate stylistic attributes across a wide
    range of performing contexts, musical styles, and ensemble configurations found in the
    current diversity of professional models.
  • Leadership as a citizen artist, building creative collaborations with diverse
    stakeholders both within and beyond the performing arts, actively cultivating existing and
    new audiences, responding to the needs of your community, and bringing value to the
    vitality and economy of your landscape.
  • Communication, marketing, and practical skills with which you can propel your career in any direction immediately upon graduation.

The Breakthrough Curriculum is fully integrated into the historical excellence of Peabody performance training, ensuring that every student graduates prepared for a world that is constantly changing, increasingly driven by disruptive technology, yet still deeply in need of what music brings to the human experience.

The Breakthrough Curriculum in Music Leadership addresses three topics, with core coursework in each area:

  • Performance
    Through a rotation of ensemble experiences, the Breakthrough Curriculum’s instrumental
    ensemble program ensures training across a range of styles critical for developing
    musical flexibility. A course in improvisation for classical musicians builds skills in tonal
    improvisation, listening and awareness, the understanding of the links between harmony
    and melody, the connections between music theory and improvisational practice, and
    attitudes of personal investment in the music-making process.
  • Career Development
    A foundational course in music business and career development builds knowledge of
    traditional and new markets and diverse career paths and professional communication
    skills. Students construct a digital portfolio which is then refined over the course of their
    degree. Elective courses in specialized topics are projected to include Music and the
    Law, Orchestral Management, Entertainment Marketing, Teaching Artistry, Non-Profit
    Management, Music and Healing, and Public Speaking.
  • Citizen Artistry
    The Breakthrough Curriculum scaffolds skills in entrepreneurial thinking, leadership skills,
    and citizen artistry in a sequence of traditional coursework and curated project-based
    learning through its first three levels, called Explore, Build, and Implement. An optional
    fourth level, Launch, provides exceptional students with competitive fellowships and
    residencies in community contexts.


Designed as a Freshman level experience, Explore begins to develop entrepreneurial and citizen artist habits of mind, skills of collaboration and communication, and awareness of context in art-making. The course introduces students to citizen artistry in action through visiting guest artists/presenters and by gaining knowledge about the arts community in Baltimore.


Delivered in a hybrid online/face-to-face format, this course builds knowledge and skills in community engagement and project development through readings, case studies, discussion, observation, and practical experience in community performances in the city of Baltimore.


A project-based course undertaken in small cohorts in which students practice essential skills of programming, audience development, marketing, collaboration, and citizen artist skills through a mentored experience within the community.


Elective leadership and fellowship opportunities for students to delve into stipended longer-term, deeper partnerships to advance their skills in community engagement.