Program Components

Music Study

Private Study with a Major Teacher

  • Each student is matched with a teacher in his or her major field.
  • The college attempts to place students with the major teacher of their choice.
  • The student receives private instruction for one hour each week throughout the academic year.

Performance Classes

  • Students majoring in all instruments and in voice participate in a variety of ensemble classes as a required part of their course of study.
  • Classes include:
    • The Mannes Orchestra
    • The Mannes Opera (via audition)
    • Vocal performance classes
    • Various brass, wind, guitar, and percussion groups
    • Chamber music classes for instruments and voice

Techniques of Music

  • Ear Training
  • Dictation
  • Theory
  • Analysis
  • Keyboard Skills

The well-schooled musician must hear accurately, read fluently, write with awareness of musical meaning and syntax, and be able to analyze works of varying styles and periods with insight into their structural and stylistic characteristics. Mannes' approach is based upon the pioneering work of Heinrich Schenker as developed at the college by Felix Salzer.

Undergraduates partake in four years of the Techniques of Music program.

  • In the first two years, students are introduced to the basic technical materials of their art. They learn to read in the various clefs; they acquire the ability to identify by ear the specific rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic events occurring in music of relative simplicity; they master the fundamental concepts of harmony and counterpoint; and they become acquainted with principles of musical form.
  • More advanced work is undertaken in the third and fourth years: reading and hearing more complex music, including orchestral scores; and writing and doing keyboard work in a variety of styles. Classes in analysis, rather than merely labeling chords or identifying thematic groups and sections, help the student to hear and understand musical works as unified wholes in which each detail must be related to its immediate and to a larger context.

Master of Music students are required to enroll in Techniques of Music classes as determined by the results of their entrance exams and the curriculum requirements for their major field of study.

Undergraduate Academic Studies

  • Students undertake coursework with particular reference to Western culture, past and present.
  • The curriculum includes classes such as English Composition, Western Civilization, Fine Arts, History of Music, Undergraduate Studies, and Humanities, to name a few.


  • Students are required to take elective coursework.
  • Various elective courses are offered each semester at Mannes.
  • Students may choose from a wide variety of electives available at The New School at no extra cost to the student (see director of Academic Advisement for details).
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