The Certificate Program is designed for students who are looking for an organized, advanced placement-like path to a comprehensive musical education. It offers an ambitious, sequential progression of learning, all in the company of other students who share the same goals.

The Program challenges students to achieve at a high level in a full spectrum of musicianship, including their own performance skills, music theory, and a knowledge of choral, orchestral, chamber and solo repertoire. Earning a certificate acknowledges significant accomplishment under the instruction of at least three different faculty members.

Entry level into the Certificate Program is determined by audition and a music theory placement evaluation. (To be eligible, 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. Though age is not necessarily 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.

Department chairs and the Director of the Preparatory School advise students, monitor progress, and guide curriculum decisions. We encourage students who seek an even more rigorous experience to supplement their studies with additional performance ensembles and elective courses.

Certificate Requirements

All requirements for the Certificate Program at each of the four levels are outlined below. Exceptions and waivers must be requested in writing and may be granted only by the Faculty Council. The instrumental repertoire and technique requirements vary by level and department. Please consult with your studio teacher on specific pieces. Required grade on PLE to receive the certificate is a High Pass.

Level I

  • Meet vocal repertoire & technique requirements: Present a minimum of 3 songs in English (and Italian or other language if the teacher chooses) to be memorized and presented in any order for the year-end PLE evaluation.
  • Sing from memory on at least two workshops and/or masterclasses and one departmental recital
  • Demonstrate Piano Proficiency equivalent to 1 year of piano instruction through one of three options:
  1. 1 year of private piano instruction at NEC Prep
  2. 1 year of Piano Class for Singers at NEC Prep
  3. Piano Proficiency Exam - Required of certificate-seeking voice students who do not choose to participate in the above 2 options. For requirements, see below.

Piano Proficiency Exam Requirements:

  • Play one solo piece equivalent to at least 1 year of piano study. (Does not need to be memorized.)
  • Play 2 scales of the students choosing - Major and Minor - Hands Together or Hands Separate
  • Sight reading

The piano proficiency exam only needs to be completed once at Level I. 

Level II

  • Meet vocal repertoire & technique requirements: A minimum of 4 songs in at least two languages (English and Italian required, additional languages if the teacher chooses) to be memorized and presented in any order for the year-end PLE evaluation.
  • Sing from memory on at least 3 workshops and/or masterclasses and two departmental recitals.
  • Demonstrate piano proficiency (see Level I)
  • Complete 1 year of NEC Chorus from one of these three options: Young Women's Chorus, Chamber Chorus, CI A Cappella Group.
  • Complete Music Theory II
  • Complete Audition Preparation Class
  • Complete Diction and Language for Singers (both semesters)
  • Vocal Chamber Music

Level III

  • Meet vocal repertoire & technique requirements: A minimum of 5 songs in at least three languages (English and Italian required + French or German) to be memorized and presented in any order for the year-end PLE evaluation. Student must demonstrate ability to sing in several different styles.
  • Sing from memory on at least 4 workshops and/or masterclasses and two departmental recitals, including at least one special guest masterclass
  • Complete one year of Youth Chorale at Level III
  • Complete Music Theory III-1
  • Vocal Chamber Music
  • Demonstrate piano proficiency (see Level I)
  • Present half recital program

Level IV

  • Meet vocal repertoire & technique requirements: A minimum of 6 songs including English, Italian, German, and French, other languages optional to be memorized and presented in any order for the year-end PLE evaluation. Student must demonstrate ability to sing in Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary styles.
  • Sing from memory on at least 4 workshops, including at least one special guest masterclass.
  • Demonstrate piano proficiency (see Level I)
  • Complete Music Theory III-2
  • Vocal Chamber Music
  • Present full recital program

2016-08-02


MUSICIANS OWN MUSIC BECAUSE MUSIC OWNS THEM. VIRGIL THOMSON