You don’t have to travel far to bring your child (or yourself!) to a nationally recognized conservatory of music because there’s one right in your own neighborhood! Established in 1970, Westminster Conservatory is the community music school of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts and it offers music instruction at five convenient locations in Princeton, South Brunswick, Lawrenceville, and Yardley, Pa.
Music study at Westminster Conservatory presents a unique opportunity for students of all ages and stages of musicianship to achieve musical and personal growth. At Westminster students find a faculty of professional musicians who teach voice, strings, guitar, brass, woodwinds, piano, organ, harp, percussion, theory, musicianship and composition. All teachers hold advanced degrees or certificates in music.
Additionally, the Conservatory offers a wide range of classes and performing ensembles to engage every student, from beginner to young maestros, regardless of age. Some classes are an introduction to music and require no previous experience, while others are designed to complement private instruction. There is no audition required to enroll for lessons or classes at Westminster Conservatory, where students range in age from 4 months (early childhood music classes) through senior citizen.
Westminster Conservatory’s Honors Music Program (HMP) is central New Jersey’s leading pre-college program for talented classical young musicians. HMP develops musical artistry and scholarship through its comprehensive curriculum and its vibrant, supportive community. Students, age 8 to 18, major in instrumental or vocal performance, composition, music theory, or musicianship studies. Students enroll in one of three divisions of study and attend their classes on Saturdays at the Conservatory’s Princeton campus. An exceptional faculty of performers, composers and scholars inspire students and offer unmatched personal attention. By graduation students are prepared to pursue advanced study or careers in music.
“The Conservatory’s goal is for our students to grow musically and for them to look at music as a lifelong pursuit,” says assistant director, Marianne Lauffer. “We want to bring the gift of music into their lives.”
Conservatory teachers inspire students in a collaborative environment that nurtures their passion for music. They lead them through a journey of musical theory, literature, and compositions both past and present. Students come away with an unforgettable, life-affirming experience that builds confidence and self-esteem.
In addition to private lessons and classes, Westminster Conservatory is the home of several performing ensembles composed of community members. The Westminster Community Orchestra, conducted by Ruth Ochs, is open to dedicated high school and adult amateur musicians from intermediate to advanced levels, and it performs several times each year. The Westminster Community Chorus, conducted by Sinhaeng Lee, welcomes high school and adult singers. Yvonne Macdonald and Patricia Thel conduct four choral ensembles for children ranging from kindergarten level through middle school.
Scholarships and competitive opportunities, family and senior citizen discounts, and financial aid are available for most Westminster Conservatory programs. To learn more, call 609-921-7104 or go to www.rider.edu/conservatory.