The ISM and Yale School of Music

The ISM maintains a dynamic partnership with the Yale School of Music, and students in performance areas of choral conducting, organ, and voice prepare themselves for careers in churches, the academy, and the concert stage. Occasionally, the ISM admits composition majors with an interest in sacred music after they have been accepted by the Yale School of Music.

ISM music students receive a broad musical education identical to that of all Yale School of Music students, and they are also trained with an eye toward understanding the biblical and liturgical roots of the music they perform. Many Institute students take on a variety of leadership roles in the rich lives of Marquand Chapel and other chapels on campus. Opportunities for musical and liturgical participation abound.

All ISM students attend the Institute colloquium and elect courses with Institute faculty. See ISM bulletin for details. For further information on the degree programs themselves, please consult the YSM bulletin. All students in these programs must attend full-time and be in residence in the New Haven area.

Music students in the ISM are candidates for one of three degrees. See School of Music Bulletin for full descriptions.

  • A two-year post-baccalaureate degree in musical performance, the Master of Music program includes intensive study of a primary discipline (e.g., keyboard, conducting, composition), augmented by theoretical and historical studies. See the specific program for ISM expectations.
  • The Master of Musical Arts degree is conferred on candidates who successfully complete two years of study (at least 16 credit hours per term). Applicants must hold a Master of Music degree in the field in which they are planning to apply. The program provides intensive training in the student’s major field—performance, conducting, or composition—supported by studies in theoretical and historical subjects. Students who hold an M.M. degree from the School of Music are expected to complete the program in one year. Those who hold a D.M.A. degree or are currently enrolled in a D.M.A. program are not eligible to apply for the Master of Musical Arts program. In addition to private lessons and chamber music, students take part in relevant ensembles such as Yale Schola Cantorum. M.M.A. candidates will perform a recital in each year of study.

  • The Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Yale is a distinctive program comprised of a two-year residential component on campus followed by a three-year dissertation period during which candidates develop and demonstrate professional and artistic excellence. The degree provides intensive training in the student’s major field—performance, conducting, or composition—augmented by studies in theoretical and historical subjects. Yale University confers the Doctor of Musical Arts degree on those candidates who have successfully completed four terms of residential requirements, demonstrated expertise in the major field through artistic excellence and distinguished achievements in the dissertation period, and concluded the program requirements by passing the final D.M.A. recital and oral examination.

Church Music Studies

The Institute offers a curriculum for any ISM performance major wishing to specialize in Church Music Studies. For this certificate, some candidates may require a fifth semester of study.