Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Part-time Commuter Program

Pre-College Music immerses high school students in a world-class conservatory experience within an internationally recognized university.

Our intensive part-time six-week summer program models the curriculum of a first-year undergraduate student in the Carnegie Mellon School of Music. You get to live the life of a music major, discover your potential for a career in music, take conservatory-style music classes, and perform with other students from all over the world.

Through the Commuter: Part-time Option, build a program based on your interests and stay involved with music through the summer. These options are highly flexible and allow local Pittsburgh students to be part of this innovative fine arts community as they expand and maintain their musical study over the summer.

Program Dates

  • Full Session: June 24 – August 2, 2024
  • Session A: June 24 – July 13, 2024*
  • Session B: July 15 – August 2, 2024*

*3-week participation is available, but we encourage students to register for the 6-week program if possible, which offers the deepest experience. Session B is a continuation of the Session A curriculum, not a repeat.

Part-time Commuter students do not typically attend every day during the week. Schedules depend on the student's chosen elective(s) and ensemble(s). (See the Weekly Schedule.) Weekly private lessons are scheduled individually between the student and teacher.

Other Important Dates

  • Music Student Orientation (all sessions): June 22, 2024, at 3:30pm
  • Instrumental placement auditions (all sessions): June 23, 2024 at 9:00am
  • Ensemble Performances
    • Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble: July 13, 2024, at 3:30pm
    • Concert Week: July 29 – August 2, 2024 (see the Concert and Events Calendar)


  • In order to be eligible as a commuter student, the parent or legal guardian must have a permanent residence within approximately 30 miles of campus or within Allegheny County. Families who relocate temporarily to the Pittsburgh area are not eligible for commuter status. There are no exceptions to this policy.
  • While students as young as thirteen have been welcomed to the program as Part-time Commuters, the admittance of students who have not yet completed 10th grade is at the discretion of the program director, who can be contacted via email for more info.
  • All students must have a strong interest in music.

Application Requirements

  • Admission is by invitation or audition only for Commuter: Part-time students. Applicants must email an audio recording of a solo representative of your level of performance (vocal/instrumental applicants), scores of recent original compositions (composition applicants), or representative works (music technology/electronic music applicants).  Please include a summary or résumé of your musical training and accomplishments. These materials can be sent to
  • Auditions are waived for members of PYSO, TRYPO, RCYBB, WYSO, PYCO, and past Pre-College students.
  • The application fee is waived for Commuter: Part-time applicants.
  1. Navigate to the Pre-College Programs Application and log in or register for an account
    1. If you are a new user, you will need to activate the account by verifying your email address.
  2. Start a new application
  3. Review the Application Instructions and confirm your agreement. Important notes for Part-time Commuter applications include: 
    1. Deadlines: The Part-time Commuter Option does not follow the same deadlines as the full-time applications. Admission is rolling until the program is filled.
    2. Application Fee: The Part-time Commuter Option does not require an application fee.
    3. Letters of Recommendation: The Part-time Commuter Option does not require letters of recommendation.
    4. Scholarships: Students requesting scholarships should email the music program director. Part-time Commuter applicants do not submit financial information via the online application.
  4. Submit your Personal Information.
  5. Submit your Program Selection. Part-time Commuter applicants must select Music > Commuter Part-time Option as the First Choice Program.
    1. Do not select "3-week Option" or "6-week Option" as your program length. Part-time students confirm their preferred program length at a later step.
    2. Leave the Second Choice Program and Third Choice Program questions blank.
    3. Music Commuter: Part Time students choose their program length in this final section.
    4. Current grade options are limited on the application. If the applicant is not yet in 9th grade, please email the music program director to request approval. If approval is granted, select "9th grade" on the application.
  6. Submit your Household Information.
  7. Sign, Review and Submit your application.
  8. Check your email for confirmation and next-steps.
    1. Once admitted, Part-Time Music students can find more information on this web page.

Part-Time Program Options

Comprehensive Part-Time Program

$1200 (6 weeks) / $700 (3 weeks)

Instruction for students looking to expand and maintain musical study over the summer. All students choose an area of study and enroll in:

  • Private studio lessons (60 minutes, weekly)
  • One elective course
  • Any/All Performing Ensemble(s)

Performance & Production Program

$1200 (6 weeks)

The Performance & Production program is a six-week experience for high-school instrumentalists at the intersection of music performance and music production.

  • Group chamber music coachings (30 minutes, twice weekly)
  • Courses in music technology & recording techniques
  • Large ensemble performances

At the end of the program, students will have the opportunity to engineer a recording session of peer musicians and leave with a high-quality audio recording for their portfolio.

Performing Ensembles Only

$375 (6 weeks) / $260 (3 weeks)

Join any and all summer performing ensembles.

Instrumental ensembles: Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Improvisation Ensemble
Vocal ensembles: Concert Choir, Jazz Choir, Opera Workshop

Optional Add-ons

$450 (6 weeks)

In addition to the regular part-time offerings, the conducting scholars meet in the weekly conducting seminar and receive podium time with peer musicians. No previous experience is required, but students must submit a brief statement of interest to enroll in this program via email to

$700 (6 weeks) / $350 (3 weeks)

Introductory or advanced lessons in any instrument, or enroll in additional classroom courses.

Program Overview

Areas of Study

  • Instrumental Performance
  • Vocal Performance
  • Composition
  • Music Technology/Electronic Music
  • Performance & Production

Elective Courses

  • Music Theory
  • Dalcroze Eurhythmics
  • Solfège (sight-singing)
  • Recording Techniques
  • Music Technology Lab
  • Jazz Improv

Performing Ensembles

  • Orchestra
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Concert Choir
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Choir
  • Opera Workshop
  • Other small & medium ensembles

Weekly course schedule

summer concert calendar

Student performing on piano
Student adjusting faders on mixing board
Student singing in choir