2023 Summer Undergraduate Courses

Discover the excellence of New England Conservatory's undergraduate courses with the 2023 summer session. This program is designed for current NEC undergraduate students, as well as students from other universities looking to experience NEC and transfer credits to their respective institutions.

The six-week summer session will start on May 30, 2023, and run through the week of July 7, 2023, offering a flexible schedule to suit your availability. The courses, worth three credit hours, include:

  • INTGS 531S — Sensor-based Instrument Prototyping with John Mallia
  • LARTS 296S — Fundamentals of Graphic Design with Katya Popova
  • LARTS 291S — Visual Arts Studio with Katya Popova
  • THYUS 364S — Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas with Andrew Schartmann
  • MTHY 093S — Fundamentals of Musicianship* with Chi Wei Lo
  • MHST 435S — Chamber Music Literature from Mozart to Brahms with Sean Gallagher

*Exclusively available to students not currently enrolled at NEC.

Enrollment will begin on Tuesday, March 14, and will close on May 1, or when a course fills. Seats will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis, and tuition payment is required to reserve a spot.

Important Dates and Information:

  • Application Opens: March 14
  • Application Deadline: May 1, 2023, or until space permits
  • Undergraduate Tuition*: $3,000/course
  • Housing & Meals: $850/week (includes three meals a day)
  • Application Fee: $50

*Students requesting refunds before May 15 at 5 PM ET will receive a full refund. For requests made between May 16 and 26, 80% will be refunded, while requests made between May 27 and June 2 will be refunded at 60%. No refunds will be granted after June 2, 2023.

Apply For Summer 2023 Now!

Undergraduate Course Information

Please note: courses meeting on a Monday will be adjusted by the faculty member teaching the course for the Memorial Day holiday.

INTG 531S — Sensor-based Instrument Prototyping with John Mallia

May 30–June 16, 2023 | Meets Daily; Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:00AM–11:30AM; 1:00PM–2:30PM

This course takes place in a lecture/maker-lab environment and will provide students with an understanding of how sensor-based microcontroller systems may read physical data and generate controlled responses in the form of sound, light, image, and vibration/movement. Each class, students will assemble electronic circuits using solderless breadboards and work with introductory programming techniques, Arduino microcontrollers, and provided audiovisual software sampling and synthesizer templates to create working prototypes of sensor-driven controller instruments. Existing sensor control systems used by a variety of musicians working in the field will be examined. Beginning with projects that utilize only a few simple electronic components, students will work toward the creation of a final prototyping project combining sensors, actuators, indicators, and haptics in a manner that results in an engaging interaction between the user/performer and the controller instrument. 

LARTS 296S — Fundamentals of Graphic Design with Katya Popova

June 5–July 7, 2023 | Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:00AM–1:30PM

In this introductory course to Graphic Design, students will study the basic elements of Visual Language: shape, image, color, typography, and layout. Using successful examples from the history of Graphic Design, we will learn how to clearly communicate a message by creating work in different design genres, including logotype, posters, book/brochure, and websites. This course is designed to help both beginners and more experienced students learn the elements of self-promotion, from posters to websites. Note: Students must provide their own laptops. The primary software to be used is Adobe Creative Suite; the license for this software is available for purchase as either a monthly or yearly subscription. Students may opt to use Open Source tools to complete course assignments and projects. Those opting to use other software programs to realize the approaches and techniques discussed in class will be responsible for learning the functions and navigation of these programs on their own, through consultation of manuals and any other online resources (tutorial videos, forums, etc.) that they may find available pertaining to the program in question. The primary software to be used is Adobe Creative Suite, specifically Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign.

LARTS 291S — Visual Arts Studio with Katya Popova

June 5–July 7, 2023 | Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:00AM–1:30PM

Visual Arts Studio is a studio course introducing the fundamentals of visual art, with a focus on freehand drawing techniques and watercolor painting. In the first part of the semester, students will learn the basic techniques of working from observation: from fast gesture sketches and blind contour drawing to using 2D perspective to create an illusion of three-dimensional space and form using line and value. During the second part, students will be introduced to the basic techniques of working with watercolor, from “a la prima” (wet on wet) to “layering,” from fast sketches to long term pieces. Classroom exercises and experiments will be accompanied by homework activities. Working from observation will be complemented by abstract assignments; we will study a realistic approach as well as more expressionistic attitudes. Group critiques and museum visits will inspire the discussion and understanding of the process. This course is designed for beginners as well as for more experienced students. Note: This course includes $60 materials fee.

THYU 364S — Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas with Andrew Schartmann

May 30–June 16, 2023 | Daily Monday–Friday, 4:00PM–6:00PM & 6:30PM–7:30PM

This course explores Beethoven’s piano sonatas from the perspective of modern-day approaches to sonata form-primarily those rooted in William E. Caplin’s theory of formal functions and James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s Sonata Theory. With respect to Caplin’s work, students will learn how Beethoven organizes musical elements to express different temporal functions (e.g. beginning, middle, after-the-end). With respect to Hepokoski and Darcy’s Work, students will learn how Beethoven’s music strives for large-scale formal goals (e.g. medial caesura, essential expositional closure) and interacts with established norms to create a compelling musical journey.

MTHY 093S — Fundamentals of Musicianship* with CHI WEI LO

May 30–July 7, 2023 | Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:00PM–5:00PM

The goal of the course is to prepare students with a foundation in music literacy and musicianship, and prepare students for future studies in music analysis, theory, or composition courses, if desired. During the course, students work on clef reading, simple rhythm and meter reading, major and minor scales, intervals, and triads. Each topic is examined through multiple modalities such as ear-training, score reading, singing, playing keyboard, and music writing. Please note that students will be required to purchase Artusi software for the duration of this course. The approximate cost for a short-term license is $30, and information about a recommended software purchase will be shared directly with enrolled students.

MHST 435S — Chamber Music Literature from Mozart to Brahms with Sean Gallagher

May 30–July 7, 2023 | Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:00PM–5:00PM

This course is a survey of Chamber Music literature from the 19th century conducted primarily from a chronological standpoint. In the course of the semester we will situate the literature in three ways—as representative of a composer’s individual style, as representative of the genre, and finally as part of the specific era from which it is drawn, whether that be the Classic or Romantic movement in Western Europe. Various interpretive strategies will be discussed (as Hausmusik, as conversation, etc) as well as the evolving conception of form. Composers covered include Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms. (Note: While the lieder tradition is technically a chamber music tradition, in this course the focus is narrowed to only instrumental works.)


Frequently Asked Questions

Will financial aid or scholarships be made available for the summer courses?

Unfortunately, scholarships and financial aid are not available for summer courses.

Can international students apply?

International students in valid F-1 status (from NEC or any other school) who will remain in valid status throughout the time of their enrollment in a summer class at NEC are eligible to enroll in (a) summer class(es).  F-1 students sponsored by NEC are eligible to enroll without requiring any change in their current visa status or SEVIS record.  F-1 students sponsored by institutions other than NEC are encouraged to consult with their school’s DSO prior to enrollment to ensure their eligibility to enroll in NEC’s summer programs.  

NEC will NOT sponsor an application for a new F-1 visa or issue a new I-20 to students enrolling in summer programs. Therefore, any international students applying to our summer programs must provide proof of valid F-1 status and a current I-20 before an application to our summer programs can be considered.

Is housing available?

Yes, housing is available for students who elect to live on campus. The rate for on-campus housing is $850 per week and includes three meals a day.

Can students take more than one course?

Yes, students may take as many courses as their schedule allows. However, it's important to note that during the summer, some courses may have overlapping schedules which may result in conflicts.

Can an undergraduate student take a graduate-level course?

No, undergraduate students cannot take graduate-level courses. These courses are only open to students who have completed their undergraduate studies and meet the necessary requirements for admission into a graduate program.

Are there any prerequisites for the courses being offered?

There are prerequisites for two of the summer courses being offered. For example, Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas course requires applicants to demonstrate adequate proficiency in principles of tonal harmony and musical form, especially sonata form, in order to be eligible for enrollment. Please check the course descriptions for specific prerequisites and requirements.

Can students who do not attend NEC take summer courses?

Yes, matriculated students at institutions outside of NEC are eligible to take any of the summer courses offered. However, please note that some courses such as THYG 082 – Principles of Harmony and Form* and MTHY 093 – Fundamentals of Musicianship* are exclusively available to students from other institutions and are not open to NEC students.