The future of music, made here.

Modern Languages

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The Modern Languages department offers students the study of French, German, and Italian at the undergraduate and graduate levels in classes and at NEC’s Foreign Language Center. The department also provides international students support in their study of English.

Recognizing that music is culturally and linguistically situated, the Modern Languages department strives to be a resource for the NEC community in the study of language and culture. We support NEC’s mission to produce musicians with a broad intellectual perspective, respect for other cultures, and an awareness of global issues.

Teacher speaking with a classroom of students.
Teacher referring to a projection of a computer screen.

Megan Barrett

From the Department Chair

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Hello! Bonjour! Guten Tag! Buongiorno! Welcome to NEC’s Department of Modern Languages! Unique among our conservatory peers, our department is a demonstration of NEC’s commitment to producing musicians with a broad intellectual perspective, as well as a respect for other cultures and an awareness of global issues. Additionally, language skills offer greater professional possibilities, giving musicians the chance to live and work in a broader range of markets worldwide. Courses in the Modern Languages department go beyond musical terminology, allowing students to develop the language skills, confidence, and agency to build an international career.

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After NEC

Department Highlights

Training global musicians to enter new communities, find new ways of communicating, and connect more deeply with people and humanity.

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    Language Resource Center

    NEC’s Language Resource Center not only provides free language tutoring and conversation tables, but also assistance with linguistic aspects of repertoire, professional communications (e.g. emails, applications, bios) and skills evaluations for grant applications and programs abroad.

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    Summer ESL Certificate Program

    NEC offers new undergraduate and graduate students who need support with English language learning access to an intensive summer English program.

  • NEC Student Brittany Bryant outside of an NEC building.

    Brittany Bryant ’23 Wins Fulbright to Study Linguistics in Italy

    Vocal Performance major Brittany Bryant ’23, whose studies explore the intersection of linguistics, culture, and music, was one of the first NEC undergraduates to receive a Fulbright fellowship to study in Enna, Sicily. Her Fulbright research focuses on the evolution of gender-neutral terminology in Italian.

  • Student presenting in front of a class.

    Liberal Arts Minor

    NEC’s Liberal Arts Minor provides students the opportunity to gain breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding in a focused area of study, including literature, history, philosophy, politics, cultural studies, social sciences, environmental studies, film, and foreign language, and to provide them with a useful credential as they pursue further study and careers beyond NEC.