Mission & Vision

Our Mission

Longy School of Music of Bard College prepares musicians to make a difference in the world. Longy is a degree-granting conservatory with a curriculum rooted in the tradition of Western art music. Its faculty promotes profound musical understanding and technical mastery, encourages growth of imagination, and fosters an attitude of inquiry about the role of music and the musician in the larger world.

We make a school-wide commitment to:

  • Uphold uncompromising standards of musical excellence
  • Provide an expert faculty for all of our students
  • Offer programs which provide our students with opportunities to engage with the world in new ways
  • Help each student realize his or her individual potential

We value:

  • The transformational power of music
  • The joy of making and sharing music with others
  • The art of teaching
  • Honest, ongoing assessment
  • Respect for the individual
  • A diverse and supportive community
  • Dynamic interaction with the larger world
  • Creative thought and innovation
  • The freedom to explore
  • Advocacy for our art

The Vision for Longy

How do you prepare musicians to make a difference in the world?

Ask them to be great. Provide them with the most rigorous education. Hold students of all ages to the highest standards of uncompromising excellence. Inspire them to be artists who can move hearts, enlighten minds, cross boundaries, and bridge divides. Show them how exceptional musicians must also be exceptional human beings.

Then ask them to be leaders. Motivate them to walk not just the welltrod paths but to blaze new ones, forging opportunities for themselves and others as they go. Provoke them, as they’re learning and refining musical skills, to consider where those skills can take them.

Nurture collaboration, since great leaders must also be great listeners. Focus on chamber music where, in the absence of a conductor, students must assume the responsibility for finding their own voices.

Instill an entrepreneurial spirit and build critical thinking skills in students to match their musical abilities. Teach them how to start a slow movement one day, to launch a concert series the next and to perform in concert halls, clubs, and anywhere they can find a hungry audience.

Inspire students at every level to dream of how their music can transform their lives and the lives of others. Help them to articulate their dreams and then put them into practice. Create partnerships with businesses, schools, and neighbors where students can test their ideas in the real world.

Create an environment for incubation—a place where great musicians and great ideas can be cultivated. Make it a diverse place where difference can broaden minds and enlarge perspectives. Keep it intimate, so individual attention is guaranteed. Prize collaboration and creativity as highly as musical prowess. Encourage every student to ask their peers — “How can I help you achieve your dreams?”

This is how Longy School of Music of Bard College will prepare musicians to make a difference in the world: by providing an education that teaches students to be extraordinary musicians and human beings, while challenging them to find new ways to change the world through music.

This is our dream. This is our vision.