Students at GraduationThrough the Certificate Program, students are taught to achieve their optimum performance skills, competence in music theory, and a knowledge of the literature that includes choral, orchestral, and chamber, as well as solo repertoire. The granting of a certificate acknowledges significant achievement in the full range of Preparatory School activities, under the instruction of at least three different faculty members. The general program and the range of faculty are sufficiently broad to accommodate students of varied outlook, proficiency, and professional intent. Entry level into the Certificate Program will be determined by instrumental audition and a music theory placement evaluation. To be eligible for the Certificate Program, a student’s instrumental study must be with a Preparatory School teacher, registered through the NEC program.

There are four levels of achievement in which students are evaluated yearly. While experience has shown that age is not a limiting factor, time is a crucial ingredient in the student’s developing maturity. Work at each traditional music certificate level normally requires two years of study. Eurhythmics and early musicianship classes lead to readiness for the theory classes.

Department chairs and the Director of the Preparatory School are available to advise students, monitor progress, and guide curriculum decisions. Students of special ability are encouraged to supplement their studies by participating in additional performance ensembles and in the elective courses offered as an enrichment of the program.  

For specifics about each of our certificates, please choose an option below.

Piano, Composition, & Orchestral Instruments



Certificates/Awards Ceremony

At the close of each academic year, eligible students will be awarded their certificates in a joint ceremony with graduating seniors. Departmental and large ensemble awards are also presented to a number of outstanding seniors.

Frances B. Lanier Award

Named for the remarkable teacher and violinist who founded the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, this prestigious award is given to the most outstanding senior performers who have integrated their innate ability and skills into an emerging musical personality. This honor presupposes the student’s thorough technical mastery, a capacity for independent endeavor, and the motivation and initiative that will lead to the achievement of creative dis- tinction. Recipients of this award have completed their Level IV certificates and have been recommended by the Faculty Council.