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

Learn more about what this robust program has to offer and who is eligible to apply. 

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  • 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 Hall
  • Typically, students attend a local high school in the morning and attend classes, coachings and lessons at CIM in the afternoon

If you are considering this program and do not live in the Cleveland area, please contact us at preparatory@cim.edu or 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.

Admission

Acceptance into the Young Artist Program is competitive. Applications from highly qualified students preparing for their junior or senior year of high school are accepted between September 1 and December 1, with auditions in February 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. 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 and Theory Testing
  • The live audition and theory testing take place at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Not all dates are available for all instruments; please check the audition schedule before selecting your intended audition dates. Students are notified if they have been approved for an audition date once the application is complete and the appropriate faculty members have reviewed the prescreening recording
  • Theory testing is both written and aural. The test focuses on key signatures, intervals, triads, scales, part writing and harmonic progressions
  • It is suggested that parents accompany students for this onsite visit
Audition Requirements

Piano

  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios
  • An etude of virtuosity
  • A Prelude & Fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier, or another work by Bach containing a fugue, or another suite or partita (This includes a suite or partita with fugal writing. No transcriptions, please.)
  • A movement of a Sonata by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven (excluding Op. 49.)
  • A Romantic piece by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, or Liszt.

Voice

  • Be able to read treble and bass clefs, and a background in piano is needed
  • All compositions must be performed from memory
  • Audition to include works from the standard song repertory chosen from the Italian Anthology, the Reliquary of English Songs or works by Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Barber, Rorem, Dello Joio or other representative composers. Songs may be sung in any language; one song must be in English. At least three songs should be prepared.

Violin

  • Major and minor scales in three octaves with various bowings
  • Two studies by Kreutzer, Rodé, or Fiorillo, or more difficult studies at the discretion of the applicant
  • Any one movement from Bach's unaccompanied Sonatas or Partitas
  • A slow and fast movement (or two contrasting movements) from a concerto by a composer such as Mozart, Kabalevsky, Bruch, Wieniawski or Mendelssohn

Viola

  • Major and minor scales in three octaves
  • An etude of Kreutzer or Rodé
  • Two contrasting movements from a concerto by Telemann or Stamitz, or a work of comparable difficulty

Violoncello

  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios in three octaves
  • An etude on the level of Duport Etudes Book I, or Popper High School of Cello Playing
  • Two contrasting movements from a Bach suite for unaccompanied violoncello or two contrasting movements from a concerto by a composer such as Saint-Saëns, Boccherini, or Lalo

Double Bass

  • Major and minor scales
  • An etude or exercise showing the applicant's degree of technical advancement
  • A solo piece comparable in difficulty to the Sonatas for String Bass and Piano by Marcello to show applicant's musical and technical ability

Harp

  • Two studies from Bochsa's Forty Easy Studies, Op. 318
  • Two contrasting solos comparable in difficulty to Automne by Marcel Grandjany

Flute

  • Major and minor scales
  • Two contrasting studies showing the applicant's degree of technical advancement
  • Two contrasting pieces: one from the Baroque or Classic literature, and the other from the Impressionistic or Contemporary literature

Oboe

  • Major and minor scales
  • Two contrasting studies from Ferling Forty-eight Studies, or one of the Fifteen Grand Studies from the Barret Method
  • Solo piece by Handel or equivalent

Clarinet

  • Major, minor and chromatic scales
  • An etude comparable in difficulty to those by C. Rose
  • One movement or section from a piece comparable in difficulty to the Concerto for Clarinet in A Major, K. 622 by Mozart, or Concerto for Clarinet in F Minor, Opus 73 by Weber

Bassoon

  • All major and minor scales
  • Two etudes from Weissenborn studies (advanced section) or Gambro Studies, or Milde (Scales and Chords)
  • A work of the applicant's choice

Composition

A prescreening video is required. Two video recordings (uploaded separately) demonstrating technical and musical accomplishment on an instrument or voice. These recordings should present two (and only two) contrasting selections of the applicant's choice. Accompaniment is not required, except in voice.

Requirements are the same as for a live audition.

To accommodate prescreening, applicants are strongly urged to submit applications well before the deadline of December 1. After preliminary score review, selected applicants are invited to Cleveland for an interview and for completion of required admission examinations. To qualify for admission, this live audition is necessary.
Applicants must forward 2-3 original compositions (hard copy scores only) to the following address. Also include a CD with any recordings of these compositions, if available.

   Cleveland Institute of Music
   Admission Office
   11021 East Boulevard
   Cleveland, OH 44106 USA

Scores become the property of CIM and are not returned.

Additional supporting materials must be uploaded at the time of application to include the following:

  • A chronological list of completed compositions (including date of composition, instrumentation, duration, and any performances)
  • A short resume showing musical activities and training

Guitar (Classical)

  • Three pieces of contrasting style - the repertoire chosen must include a slow selection as well as one that demonstrates the applicant's upper level technical ability.
  • Major and minor scales, arpeggios, slur studies, and sightreading may be requested (not required on video recording).

Horn

  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios (not required on recorded auditions)
  • Etude by Kopprasch or the equivalent
  • Solo or concerto selected by the student
  • Selected contrasting orchestral excerpts

Organ

  • A work of Bach
  • A contrasting work by a 19th, 20th or 21st century composer.

Timpani & Percussion

  • Snare Drum: Demonstrate advanced skills by performing rolls, rudiments and/or other technical aspects of snare drumming in two contrasting etudes from advanced sources; e.g., Delecluse, Peters, Goldenberg, Wilcoxin, or Pratt. The performance of orchestral excerpts is optional for undergraduate applicants.
  • Keyboard Percussion: Show evidence of advanced technical and musical skills by performing at least two contrasting movements from one or more concerti or solo works; e.g. Stout: Mexican Dances; Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin; Creston: Concertino for Marimba; or works by Abe, Burritt, Smadbeck, etc. The performance of orchestral excerpts is optional for undergraduate applicants. Applicants may be asked to demonstrate advanced technical skills by performing scales, arpeggios, and/or other technical exercises.
  • Timpani: Demonstrate skills in performance of rolls and single strokes. Perform at least one etude or solo for three or four timpani, showing musicianship and aptitude. Show knowledge of intervals, pitch recognition and tuning ability. Perform at least one standard Classical timpani part (Beethoven or Mozart).
  • Sightreading may be requested in any segment of the audition.

All students study both percussion and timpani. Study during the third and fourth years is customarily in the major field of concentration, as determined by the department in consultation with the student. However, with the agreement of the department, in consultation with the student, a student may continue to study both percussion and timpani during the third and fourth years of the undergraduate program.

Trombone and Bass Trombone

  • All major and minor scales and arpeggios (not required on recorded auditions)
  • 2 contrasting technical studies, lyrical and technical, from Blazhevich or Bordogni
  • Demonstrate knowledge of tenor and alto clefs
  • Solo selected by the student
  • Contrasting orchestral excerpts such as: Mozart, Requiem; Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel; Hindemith, Symphonic Metamorphosis; Wagner, Lohengrin; Mahler, Symphony #3
  • Sightreading (not required on recorded auditions)

Trumpet

  • Two etudes of contrasting style from Charlier, Brandt, Characteristic Study from Arban, or the equivalent
  • Concerto or solo piece selected by the student
  • Orchestral passages from standard repertoire optional

Tuba

  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios (not required on recorded auditions)
  • Two contrasting etudes
  • Solo selected by the student
  • Orchestral excerpts
  • Sightreading (not required on recorded auditions)
Required Courses

MUDE 101-102 Eurhythmics (1,1)
The physical expression of rhythm in which large bodily movements form the reference for rhythmic analysis. Study of pulse, meter, patterns, cross-rhythms, improvisation, rhythmic canons, and bodily coordination emphasizing proper tension and relaxation.
Concurrent registration in MUTH 101 and 105. (Fall/Spring)

MUDE 201-202 Eurhythmics (1,1)
Continuation of MUDE 101-102, with materials of increased difficulty, as well as study of syncopation, rhythmic counterpoint and conducting movements.
Prerequisite; MUTH 153,154 (Fall/Spring)

MUTH 101-102 Harmony-Keyboard (2,2)
Study of scales, intervals, triads, seventh chords, and their inversions. Harmonization of melodies and bass lines, chorale study, modulation, analysis; taken concurrently and correlated with MUTH 105,106. Both aspects of course must be passed in order to complete requirements.
Prerequisite; placement exam. (Fall/Spring)

MUTH 105-106 Sightsinging-Eartraining (2,2)
Aural and vocal study of isolated and contextual rhythmic patterns, scales, intervals, triads, seventh chords, and traditional and contemporary songs in treble and bass clefs. Correlated and taken concurrently with MUTH 101,102. Both aspects of course must be passed in order to complete requirements.
Prerequisite; placement exam. (Fall/Spring)

MUTH 201 Harmony - Keyboard (2)
Study of chromatically altered triads and seventh chords; modulation, ninth, eleventh; thirteenth, analysis Neapolitan and augmented sixth chords; regular and irregular resolutions. Correlated and taken concurrently with MUTH 205. Both aspects of course must be passed in order to complete requirements.
Prerequisite; MUTH 102 or placement exam. (Fall/Spring)

MUTH 202 Chromatic and Post-Tonal Theory (4)
Continuation of MUTH 201. The course consists of two parts: (1)
Conclusion of tonal and chromatic topics, such as augmented sixth chords, enharmonic usage of diminished seventh chords, chromatic modulation, etc., through written assignments and analysis, keyboard harmony, sight singing, and aural skills. (2) Theory and analysis (including aural skills) of post-tonal compositions, including bridge period music, set theory, serialism, and other topics chosen by the instructor.
Prerequisite; MUTH201, or placement exam.

MUTH 205 Sightsinging-Eartraining (2)
Aural and vocal study of isolated and contextual rhythmic patterns, scales, intervals, triads, seventh chords, and traditional and Contemporary songs in treble and bass clefs. Correlated and taken concurrently with MUTH 201-202. Both aspects of course must be passed in order to complete requirements.
Prerequisite; MUTH 106 or placement exam. (Fall/Spring)

MUAP 101YA-102YA Principal Performance Area (0-3,0-3)
Study in principal performance area.
Conservatory jury at end of the year. Conservatory credit given for high school seniors.

MUGN 098 Seminar/Performance Class (0)
Seminars focus on artistic management as well as informational and personal development. Performance Classes provide performance opportunities and serve to develop stage deportment and professional performance skills.
Required both fall and spring.

MUAP 150 Freshman Performance Jury (0)
Taken in Spring of Senior Year.

MUEN 358 Chamber Music (1)
Coaching weekly and a public performance.

OPTIONAL COURSES FOR THE YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAM

Orchestral Experience
Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
Contemporary Youth Orchestra
(both by separate audition)

Cooperative Schools

Andrews Osborne Academy

Learn more and get in touch with AOA:

Andrews Osborne Academy
38588 Mentor Ave, Willoughby, OH 44094
Website: andrewsosborne.org
Phone: 440.942.3600

Shaker Heights Schools

Learn more and reach out to their guidance counselor:

15911 Aldersyde Road, Shaker Hts., OH 44120
Website: shaker.org
Phone: 216.295.4200
Guidance Counselor: Geri Kleinman