Vision for the Future

In 2017–18…

Organizational Culture

  1. The three schools at NEC—College, Prep, and CE—now enjoy an unprecedented depth of integration that reflects the true strength and unique mission of the entire institution. The alignment of programs and mission throughout the organization acts as a multiplier of NEC’s institutional impact, and offers a unique opportunity for all of its constituents by providing multiple entry points into a dynamic, multifaceted musical education.
  2. Prep/CE’s programs and student populations embody the major priorities and institutional values of NEC, and vice versa—the institution’s priorities and values reflect the needs of both our students and the field of music.
  3. Through its culture of openness combined with high-quality instruction, Prep/CE continues to advance the organization’s vision by increasing revenue, broadening NEC’s constituencies, identifying significant emerging talent, and serving as NEC’s largest gateway for community engagement.
  4. Prep/CE’s community programs, offered through a diverse array of delivery systems such as Music-In-Education internships, distance learning, and the Abreu Fellowship community placements, play an integral role in NEC’s overall community engagement strategy.
  5. The new campus has led to a burgeoning of new and enhanced programming, which brings a consistent and significant additional revenue stream into the institution. With more program space available, Prep and CE students now have the opportunity to work and live side by side with students from the college, which creates a more dynamic, integrated community.


  1. Departments that already represent the strength and depth of the College curriculum—strings, piano, chamber music, orchestral studies, composition, jazz—continue to grow, with consistent involvement from College faculty in classes, lectures, and coachings.
  2. The internal culture has shifted so that equal value is placed on a three-dimensional pathway to success, not just a vertical one, in recognition of the fact that each student’s individual goals may lead them to different destinations. Students can have an equally rigorous and rewarding experience on any point of the learning pathway, regardless of their level of proficiency. Faculty and staff are still committed to helping each student reach his/her individual potential, knowing that the results will look different for each child.
  3. Growth areas have been identified and cultivated.
    a. The voice department expands to reflect the college’s growing focus on voice and opera, and addresses market interests with high-quality programming in areas such as musical theatre.
    b. Prep’s well-established early music offerings have developed into a structured program that is solidly integrated with the College’s new Historically Informed Performance (a.k.a. early music) initiative.
    c. The curriculum for winds, brass, and percussion provides a continuum of training and performance experience that matches the rigor of string and piano pedagogy.
    d. Early childhood offerings have expanded, providing a wider entry point into musical engagement for our youngest learners.
    e. Prep’s Contemporary Improvisation department is established.
    f. Entrepreneurship programs that encourage young musicians to engage with their communities are developed.
    g. Increased donor base. Donors now include not only those that are directly served by Prep programs, but those that are interested in music education, children, and community engagement through the arts.
  4. Revenue development.
    New programs are key to revenue development in the Prep School. Examples include (but are not limited to) the following:
    a. Satellite offerings at partner sites, such as the Walnut Hill School, specializing in early childhood classes.
    b. Distance learning. Prep offerings are now delivered to the classrooms, community centers, and homes of children who are unable to participate in on-site programs.
    c. New and expanded programs are introduced, including additional large ensembles (instrument-specific ensembles, a classical repertoire orchestra, a wind training ensemble), and musical theatre classes.

Continuing Education

  1. CE has become an efficient and effective vehicle to respond to the ever-changing needs of the music education field.
    a. The identification of new audiences has resulted in the creation of vibrant adult learning centers at off-campus locations, in partnership with presenting organizations.
    b. CE is known as a staunch supporter of music education in the schools by offering high-quality, sequential, and content-rich professional development opportunities for both classroom teachers and arts specialists.
    c. The Abreu Fellowship and Music-In-Education program have found multiple points of curricular integration, including internship placements and oversight.
  2. Revenue Development.
    Revenue development that will be realized through Continuing Education will result from program developments once the programs reach full maturity. As with Prep, opportunities for realistic and sustainable program growth that are a direct result of the new campus development (e.g. summer programs) are not included, since there are many variables yet to consider, and projections would be premature.
    a. Our distance learning program has grown to address the needs of all constituents—life-long learners, teachers, and otherwise inaccessible classrooms and learning environments, thereby significantly increasing our sources of tuition revenue.
    b. The number of students enrolled in credit-bearing certificate programs has doubled, drawn to CE because of its reputation for offering high quality, full-service music education to those seeking alternate pathways to a high-level conservatory education.
    c. Expanding our reach into suburban communities through organizational partnerships (e.g. Arsenal Center for the Arts, community colleges) accesses new audiences and revenue streams.
  3. The diversity of CE’s programs, as well as its community of teachers and learners, fully reflects NEC’s culture of creative inquiry, engagement, and flexibility.

Abreu Fellowship

Although it would be premature to envision the program’s future beyond the five-year assessment benchmark, in 2017 the work of the Abreu Fellowship continues to resonate throughout the United States in the forms of nucleo leadership and development, and as a reflection of NEC’s role as a dynamic partner in the continuously developing field of community music education.