The Peabody Conservatory Post-COVID Think Tank was formed in the fall of 2020 to focus on the future of Conservatory training, and the performing arts industry more broadly, as the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Numerous studies have detailed the devastating damage the pandemic has wrought on the arts and culture industry in the United States. In August of 2019, a study published by the Brookings Institution reported losses of more than 2.3 million jobs and $74 billion in average monthly earnings for creative occupations such as musicians, artists, performers, and designers, with those in the fine and performing arts – visual arts, music, theater, and dance disproportionally affected.

Considered in the context of the challenges already facing the performing arts industry, the pandemic has prompted important questions about the long-term landscape for Peabody and the performing arts.


The Peabody Conservatory Post-COVID Think Tank is charged as follows: 

  • With the development of the Breakthrough Curriculum and the launch of new programs of study at Peabody, the Conservatory has staked out a distinct position around creating highly trained, flexible, adaptable musicians and dancers for a constantly changing environment that characterizes the 21st 
  • Now, with the impact of COVID-19 and its devastating short-term impact on already fragile arts institutions and artists, and with the expected residual impact likely to be felt for years to come, it is reasonable to see the impact of the pandemic not as a temporary interruption but rather as an acceleration of trends already underway prior to the pandemic. 
  • Within this framework, Peabody will again examine its mode of training and challenge itself as to whether we are being bold enough in how we think about training artists now in a post-COVID 21st century environment. 

The Peabody Conservatory Post-COVID Think Tank will devote itself to these questions and issues, with the intention of making broad recommendations for further changes to the Peabody curriculum to be delivered by May 2021. 

Questions for Consideration

  • Based on what we know about pre-pandemic trends, what are the possible long-term implications of COVID-19 on the performing arts, specifically classical music, jazz and dance?
  • Is COVID-19 a dramatic interrupter or an accelerator?
  • How should we address potential known and unknown changes to the field through curriculum and training of students?
  • What is the potential impact of industry conditions over time on recruitment to professional performing arts schools?
  • How do we react and stay on the forefront of changes without overreacting?


The Peabody Conservatory Post-COVID Think Tank is comprised of members of the Conservatory faculty, staff, and university and volunteer leadership, including: 

Tony Arnold, associate professor of voice
Fred Bronstein, dean
Velvet Brown, tuba lecturer
Farouk Dey, vice provost for integrative learning and life design, Johns Hopkins University
Zane Forshee, LAUNCHPad director and chair of professional studies
Sarah Hoover, associate dean for innovation, interdisciplinary partnerships, and community initiatives
Judith Ingolfsson, professor of violin
Sean Jones, Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies
Michael Kannen, Sidney M. Friedberg Chair of Chamber Music
Andrew Kipe, director of concert and ensemble operations
Paul Mathews, associate dean of academic affairs
Amit Peled, professor of cello
Joel Puckett, associate professor and chair of music theory
Robert Rearden, horn instructor
Anicia Timberlake, assistant professor of musicology
David Warnock, Peabody Institute Advisory Board
Joseph Young, Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Artistic Director of Ensembles