Billboard recognizes MA in Music Leadership, Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media, Electroacoustic Music Studios @ Eastman (EMuSE),  and student-run Ensemble OSSIA

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Leadership is truly a never-ending learning process. If you aren’t learning, you probably aren’t leading.

Director of Operations, College Music Society
Christopher Corona ’24

The online Master of Arts in Music Leadership degree program is designed for musicians who seek to lead traditional or non-traditional musical arts organizations. This degree combines engaging online learning, courses from Eastman’s performance and scholarly offerings, and hands-on experience through the capstone project. Drawing from a musical background, graduates will be able to assume leading roles in musical arts initiatives of all kinds, connecting with leaders in the Eastman community and beyond. This degree fulfills the NYSED requirement for K-12 Music Teachers to advance from an Initial Certificate in Music to a Professional Certificate.

The backbone of this degree is a combination of intense online coursework and hands-on experience with leading musical arts organizations and mentors. Full-time students complete the program over 14 months, starting in either the end of June or mid-January. The degree can also be pursued on an extended timeline, through part-time study over multiple years, as it is designed to be flexible to students’ needs. Students will advance their creative mindset, sharpen their decision-making ability, and utilize case studies to continue their individual artistic growth.

Course Curriculum

The online MA in Music Leadership maintains the standard of rigor, focused study, and collaborative learning environment that is central to the degree experience. All required Music Leadership courses are taught online through a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences, allowing maximum flexibility for student schedules. Elective courses are chosen from Eastman’s rich performance and scholarly curriculum; those who are remote will choose from a select number of online elective options, and those who study in Rochester can choose from nearly all of Eastman’s curricular offerings.

The conclusion of the degree is a capstone experience that allows students the opportunity to apply their MA in Music Leadership coursework into a final project with a national-level music organization. Each capstone is individually designed to meet the students’ entrepreneurial interests and is supervised by Eastman faculty and senior management from the host organization. Previous capstone host organizations have included the Aspen Music Festival and School, Mass MoCA, Street Symphony, Fifth House Ensemble, and Interlochen.

Elena Harroun ’22
Development Associate,
The Metropolitan Opera

Degree Options

“The online Music Leadership courses are engaging and filled with wonderful information! The instructors are eager to create a collaborative learning environment within the online structure. The instructors do not shy away from a rigorous course schedule, but the information is all very organized and the students are given all of the tools needed to succeed in the online environment.” 

-Sarah Bertrand, ‘22
At bench at Miller Center Courtyard

Full-time vs. Part-time

The Master of Arts in Music Leadership is designed to be flexible to students’ needs, and can be pursued full-time or part-time. Full-time students complete the degree over 14 months, starting in either the end of June or mid-January. Part-time students pursue the degree over multiple years, according to their schedule.

The coursework is fully online, with a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous classes. All synchronous courses are scheduled based on students’ availability.


The MA in Music Leadership can be combined with other performance graduate degrees at Eastman. Students must be accepted into the MA and MM programs individually and are subject to the application processes of both programs. MA in Music Leadership students are motivated musicians, and this dual degree option allows for rigorous conservatory performance training combined with the rigor of the Music Leadership coursework. Pursuing these dual degrees typically takes three years of full-time study.

Simon Business School at the University of Rochester


Created to recognize and support students who seek to further music leadership skills and acquire the skills and knowledge than an MBA offers, The Eastman School of Music and Simon Business School offer the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Music Leadership with a Master of Business Administration for Professionals degree. This combined degree opportunity is the first of its kind to merge a conservatory level music administration degree with an MBA.

Students will be accepted into the combined degree program through each school’s separate admissions process, and will complete the full ESM Music Leadership curriculum and Simon’s MBA mandatory core. Students will spend the first summer and full academic year at Eastman, then transition to Simon for a second summer and full academic year, and conclude both programs with the Music Leadership capstone during the third summer. This combined degree course of study provides a one-of-a-kind experience for comprehensive preparation in both music leadership and business administration.

Application & Program Costs

Application Deadlines are flexible based on your need; For application information and degree program costs, visit Eastman’s Graduate Admissions.

Contact & Brochure

Download Program Brochure


Rachel Roberts
Director, Institute for Music Leadership
Associate Professor of Music Leadership


Christina Crispin
Associate Director of Admissions

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