Advanced students entering grades 8-12 can audition for CIM's Pre-College program, a comprehensive course of study that prepares them for acceptance into CIM's Young Artist Program, a college music school or conservatory. Pre-College program students take weekly hour-long private lessons with top faculty, attend classes in piano, music theory and eurhythmics, and participate in an ensemble.

Open House February 15

Join us at CIM main campus from 9am-5:30pm to learn more about the Pre-College program, observe classes, connect with current students and faculty, and learn how to enroll for fall 2020! RSVP for the open house today.

Program at a Glance

Pre-College program students will:

  • Attend weekly private lessons 
  • Enjoy Saturday classes in piano, music theory and eurhythmics and participate in a performance seminar
  • Gain access to educational seminars, workshops and conservatory master classes and performances
  • Experience ensemble training with top faculty, including members of The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Receive complimentary tickets to Cleveland Orchestra performances at Severance Hall
  • Enjoy full privileges at CIM's Robinson Music Library
  • Connect with staff to receive college application and audition guidance 
  • Optionally participate in CIM's annual Preparatory Concerto Competition for a chance to perform with the CIM Orchestra
  • Be evaluated by juries and exams at year end
  • Earn a graduation certificate signed by CIM President and CEO Paul Hogle

Application & Audition

Now accepting fall 2020 applications! Pre-College program students are required to apply online and audition for the program. Find important dates and deadlines, application instructions and material requirements, and audition information below. To inquire about the program, please email

    Important Dates

    Application Deadline: May 1, 2020 (applications received after this deadline will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and for an escalated application fee)

    Audition Date: May 17, 2020 

    Decisions Released: June 1, 2020 

    Enrollment Deadline: June 15, 2020 

    Application Materials

    All students applying for the Pre-College program must complete the online application and submit all necessary application materials to be eligible for an audition. In addition to completing the application, students are required to submit: 

    • One letter of recommendation from a person (non-family) who can attest to the student’s musical prowess and potential. 
    • 500-750-word essay around the provided prompts.  
    • Financial Aid application, if applying for need-based aid (this will be posted to your Status Page once the online application is complete). 
    • Recorded auditions only: video recordings of required audition repertoire on your instrument. 

    Auditions will be from 8:30am-1:30pm on May 17, 2020. Auditions will include a mandatory opening meeting, interviews and a short theory assessment. While students are auditioning, parents can attend information sessions, campus tours and more! Students and families should prepare to stay the entire 5 hours to accommodate all audition components. Breakfast, coffee and snacks will be provided. While live auditions are strongly recommended, we can accept a recorded audition if the student is unable to attend the audition day. 

    Review the audition repertoire to best prepare for auditions. 

    International Applicant Requirements

    International students applying for the Pre-College program are required to obtain an I-20 from their academic institution and have sufficient English fluency in reading, writing and aural comprehension. Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to submit test results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination; a minimum score of 79 is needed to participate in this program.