Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Note from the Director, Alex Marthaler


The Carnegie Mellon School of Music is a stimulating, vibrant, conservatory environment where talented performers, composers, conductors, and educators prepare for professional careers in music. Instruction is challenging, creativity is expected, and the responsibility of making music and training musicians is taken very seriously. At Carnegie Mellon, we are proud of our history in which tradition and technology co-exist. 

Becoming a professional musician requires extraordinary talent and versatility. The complete musician must be prepared to play classical as well as contemporary repertoire. Students in every discipline are strongly encouraged to reach their full potential. Music at Carnegie Mellon is more than practicing an instrument—it is an intense, exciting course of study, experienced side by side with other young musicians who share similar goals and aspirations.

By participating in the Carnegie Mellon Music Pre-College Program, which has taken place every summer for over 30 years, you have the opportunity to experience what college is really like. You’ll have the chance to study in the same highly regarded environment that continues to graduate superb musicians who are known worldwide as masters of their art. This is not high school and it is not a camp—this residential program is as close to college as a high school student can get. If you are thinking of taking the next step in your musical studies, this program is for you.

I would like to first encourage you to read about the Full-Time option. I truly believe that there is no better way for the prospective music major to spend their junior and senior summers. This option allows you to participate in the complete curriculum, to play in every ensemble, to take every elective, and to live with the other talented students from all over the country. In short, it is the kind of experience that can change your life as an aspiring musician.

If you’re a Pittsburgh area high school musician, you have a tremendous opportunity waiting for you in your back yard.  If neither the residential nor the commuter Full-Time option can work for you, then I hope that you will learn about the Part-Time option. Through our Part Time program, you can still have a wonderful music-filled summer. This option is highly flexible and allows for local students with limited availability to participate in lessons and to perform in ensembles.

Please feel free to contact me via email or call the School of Music Pre-College office at 412-268-6743. I  would be very happy to talk with you and/or your parents to help everyone understand what an outstanding program we offer.

Alex Marthaler
Director, School of Music Pre-College