Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

In partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Longy's innovative 12-month Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program prepares musicians to become agents of change

Located on the campus of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's El Sistema-inspired Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), this community-based teaching residency provides MAT candidates an integrated graduate music program with hands-on learning experiences at both YOLA and in urban public schools throughout Southern California.

The MAT in Music offers a unique and powerful graduate study in performance, music pedagogy, and social justice, as well as access to MAT faculty, including Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians and leading scholars in music and education. We are looking for inspired artists from all musical backgrounds-classical, pop, world, folk, jazz, instrumental, vocal, conducting and more. 

With an intimate class size of 12-15, Longy offers a personal learning environment that encourages innovation and allows for more individualized attention. MAT graduates are awarded a California single-subject K-12 teaching credential in music.

Level: Graduate (conservatory diploma or bachelor’s degree required).

Normal Program Length and Credits: 1 year, 63 credits required for graduation.

Information on how to apply can be found here.  

Please contact us at admission(at) with any questions.


Learn about our innovative MAT program:  


MAT students work directly with inspiring musicians and educators from the LA Phil and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela:


Course Highlights


Writing and Thinking: MAT students gather for a weeklong intensive introductory course modeled after Bard’s signature Writing and Thinking workshop. Here they examine core beliefs and assumptions about music and education and begin to build the sense of community integral to the MAT.

Core Courses: MAT students are required to take four graduate-level courses in music and four graduate-level courses in education. These courses are thematically designed to answer essential questions about teaching and learning and are framed by practice-based research.

Teaching Laboratory: MAT students, joined by resident faculty and outside guests, convene for weekly sessions that examine the practical applications of concepts and ideas they encounter in their core courses.

Teaching Practicum: As teaching interns, MAT students design and teach classes, assess student understanding, and modify practices to adapt to students’ needs. MAT students teach in school classrooms, community music centers, and El Sistema-inspired nucleos.

Private Lessons: Students enrolled in the MAT take private lessons on their major instrument, voice, composition, or conducting with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other Los Angeles-based professional musicians.

Research Projects: MAT students work closely with faculty mentors to prepare two final research projects: a performance-based
presentation, as well as a scholarly inquiry focused on teaching and learning in the classroom.




Elsje Kibler-Vermaas


David Cubek
Christine D’Alexander
Vijay Gupta
Ndindi Kitonga
Lori Lausche
Juan Felipe Molano
Richard Valitutto
Monique Van Willingh
Steve Venz

Private Lessons with LA Phil Faculty

Students enrolled in the MAT take private lessons on their major instrument, voice, composition, or conducting with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other Los Angeles-based professional musicians. Additional instructors from the LA Phil  may be available to MAT students upon personalized request. 

Nathan ColeFirst Associate Concertmaster, Ernest Fleischmann Chair
Elizabeth Baker
Vijay Gupta

Michael Larco
Minor L. Wetzel

Ben HongAssistant Principal
David Garrett

Catherine Ransom KarolyAssociate Principal, Mr. and Mrs. H. Russell Smith Chair
Sarah Jackson

David Howard

Michele Grego

Ethan BearmanAssistant, Bud and Barbara Hellman Chair

Christopher Still

James MillerAssociate Principal, Abbott and Linda Brown Chair

Raynor CarrollPrincipal

Conducting (not LA Phil)
Christopher Rountree



MAT and Take a Stand


The powerful message of El Sistema, Venezuela’s revolutionary music education program, is spreading across the United States and igniting a movement that engages thousands of children and families in music making and community building. To support this pioneering field, Longy School of Music of Bard College, Bard College, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic have formed TAKE A STAND, an innovative national initiative that supports social change through music. Together, we seek to change the face of music education in the United States.


MAT Los Angeles Admission Open House - Saturday October 22

Please join us to learn more about our unique and innovative 1-year Master of Arts in Teaching program located in the heart of Los Angeles! Register here: Open House

  • The majority of the skills and tools that I use on a daily basis are a product of my experience in the MAT program. The MAT is all about experience, meaning that I learned these skills through doing. Without a shadow of a doubt, I would not have the job I have today had I not gone through the MAT program and formed meaningful relationships with my professors and mentors.
    Gabrielle Molina (Longy MAT '14)

I want to know more!

Request more information and we will send you a copy of Eric Booth's Fundamental Elements of El Sistema, an in-depth exploration of this inspiring model that is effecting social change through musical excellence around the world.