Young Artists at the Cleveland Institute of Music immerse themselves in lessons, chamber music, ensembles and classes that prepare them for auditions and acceptance into a conservatory. As a Young Artist Program (YAP) student, you have access to all of CIM’s facilities, including practice rooms, studios, concert halls and the lounge. The welcoming, inclusive culture celebrated in the Conservatory extends to YAP students – you’ll find your colleagues to be competitive and supportive at every turn.

Program at a Glance

  • This program is for gifted musicians in their final two years of secondary school (grades 11 and 12).
  • Students participate in weekly applied lessons with CIM faculty (many of whom are members of The Cleveland Orchestra).
  • Weekly chamber music coachings are offered.
  • Students playing orchestral instruments regularly perform with the CIM Orchestra and may audition for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and/or the Contemporary Youth Orchestra.
  • Music theory, Eurhythmics and sight-singing classes are available.
  • Students have access to seminars on topics including performance strategies, healthy lifestyles, college readiness and more.
  • College-level classes where credit can be earned and transferred to a baccalaureate program are offered.
  • Students experience outreach performances and honors and department recitals.
  • Students have full access to all CIM master classes and performances and receive complimentary. tickets to almost all Cleveland Orchestra performances at Severance Music Center.
  • Typically, students attend a local high school in the morning and attend classes, coachings and lessons at CIM in the afternoon.
Learn More

If you are considering this program and do not live in the Cleveland area, please contact the Preparatory team via email or by phone at 216.791.5000, ext. 3, to discuss available education options. Please note that minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian unless they are enrolled in a boarding school; CIM does not offer housing for YAP students at this time.

If you are currently enrolled in a Cleveland area school, please check with your current school to see if early dismissal is allowed. YAP students must be at CIM by 1:30pm every afternoon. If your school allows for early dismissal you do not have to enroll in one of the cooperative schools.


Acceptance into the Young Artist Program is competitive. Applications from highly qualified students preparing for their junior or senior year of high school are currently being accepted for fall enrollment. To apply, students should fill out the online application. All applicants are required to submit a prescreening recording with an application, in addition to their unofficial transcript(s) from their current (and any former) school. Applications will be accepted after July 1 on a case by case basis, as space allows. Audition dates are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

International students applying to the Young Artist Program should have sufficient English fluency in reading, writing and aural comprehension. Please note that CIM does not offer ESL study to Young Artists. International students are required to fill out the application and submit the following materials:

  • 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
  • An I-20 from their academic institution
  • Transcripts; if transcripts are not in English, students should submit notarized English translations. An official copy can also be sent to: Admissions Office, Cleveland Institute of Music, 11021 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Audition Requirements

Find details for your specific area of instruction on the Conservatory audition repertoire page, following the undergraduate audition requirements. All YAP applicants are required to submit a prescreening recording. All recordings must be in video format. See the prescreening page for details regarding video specifications, uploading instructions and a tutorial video.

YAP applicants are also required to take the first-year freshman applicant theory placement exam. Learn more about theory placement testing.

Required Courses

Principal Performance Area:

  • MUAP 101YA – MUAP 102YA Performance (Junior Year); credits: 0, 0
  • MUAP 101YA – MUAP 102YA Performance (Senior Year); credits: 3, 3

Conservatory jury at end of the year. Conservatory credit given for high school seniors.

Freshman Performance Jury:

  • MUAP 150 Freshman Performance Jury (Senior Year); credits: 0
    Taken in spring of senior year.

Chamber Music:

  • MUEN 358 Chamber Music (required each semester); credits: 1
    Coaching weekly and a public performance.

Orchestral Experience:

YAP students who play orchestral instruments are required to participate in orchestra each semester. Options to fulfill the orchestral experience requirement may include: 

  • MUEN 381 CIM Symphony Orchestra; credits: 1
  • Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra – by separate audition; learn more at 
  • Contemporary Youth Orchestra – by separate audition; learn more at

YAP Seminar/Performance Class:

  • MUGN 098 Seminar/Performance Class (required each semester); credits: 1


  • MUDE 101 Eurhythmics 1 – MUDE 102 Eurhythmics 2; credits: 1,
    Concurrent registration in MUTH 101 and 102. (Fall/Spring)
  • MUDE 203 Eurhythmics 3 – MUDE 204 Eurhythmics 4; credits: 1, 1
    Prerequisite: MUDE 102, 203 (Fall/Spring)

Music Theory: 

  • MUTH 101 Music Theory 1 – MUTH 102 Music Theory 2; credits: 4, 4
    Prerequisite: placement exam. (Fall/Spring)
  • MUTH 201 Music Theory 3 – MUTH 202 Music Theory 4; credits: 4, 4
    Prerequisite: MUTH 102 or placement exam. (Fall/Spring) 


2024-2025 Annual Tuition - $15,750

2024-2025 Annual Fees - $1800 ($800 - student services, $1000 - performance services)


2025-2026 Annual Tuition - $16,500

2025-2026 Annual Fees - TBD

Cooperative Schools

Andrews Osborne Academy

Learn more and get in touch with AOA:

Andrews Osborne Academy
38588 Mentor Ave, Willoughby, OH 44094
Phone: 440.942.3600

Shaker Heights Schools

Learn more and reach out to their guidance counselor:

15911 Aldersyde Road, Shaker Hts., OH 44120
Phone: 216.295.4220
Guidance Counselor: Elizabeth Vokes