Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

About MAT

Longy was the first  conservatory to offer a one-year accredited degree embedded in El Sistema teaching programs that are changing the lives of children in underserved communities through intensive music instruction. The program is open to inspired artists from all musical backgrounds—classical, pop, world, folk, jazz, instrumental, vocal, conducting, and more.

The MAT offers a unique and powerful graduate study in performance, pedagogy, and  social justice. Students have access to MAT faculty, including prominent Los Angeles musicians and leading scholars in music and education. MAT graduates will gain their initial teaching licensure in California and benefit from teaching in the public-school system.

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.

Major Areas: Brass, Composition, Conducting, Jazz/World/Folk, Percussion, Piano, Strings, Vocal Performance, and Woodwinds.
  Graduate (conservatory diploma or bachelor’s degree required).
Normal Program Length and Credits:  1 year (July-June), 63 credits required for graduation.

Financial Aid

All information about financial aid, cost of attendance, scholarships and assistantships, and other federally funded aid can be found on the Scholarships and Aid page.

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.


Monique Van Willingh, director
MAT Alum, former Director of El Sistema-inspired program, YOLA at HOLA

Jaqueline DesRosier
Dr. Ndindi Kitonga
Gabrielle Molina
Dr. Andrea Quaid
Brittney Rodriguez
Lauren Shelton
Miriam Singer
Steven Venz

Students enrolled in the MAT take private lessons on their major instrument, voice, composition, or conducting with Los Angeles-based professional musicians, such as members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Instructors who have previously taught in the MAT program include:

Nathan Cole,  First Associate Concertmaster, Ernest Fleischmann Chair
Elizabeth Baker
Vijay Gupta

Michael Larco
Minor L. Wetzel

Ben Hong,  Assistant Principal
David Garrett

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

David Howard

Michele Grego

Ethan Bearman,  Assistant, Bud and Barbara Hellman Chair

Christopher Still

James Miller,  Associate Principal, Abbott and Linda Brown Chair

Raynor Carroll,  Principal

Conducting  (not LA Phil)
Christopher Rountree

Enrolled Students

Required Enrollment Materials

Enrollment requirements for incoming students can be found on our Accepted Students page.

This page includes important information regarding:

  • Official transcripts
  • Immunization requirements
  • Student health insurance options
  • International student I-20 and visas

Teaching Credential Clearance Requirements

All MAT students are required to obtain additional materials for clearance to do their practicum in schools, in order to receive their California Teaching Credential.

These include:

  • Fingerprinting clearance – Please go to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website for directions
  • Tuberculosis clearance – see Immunization Requirements above
  • Social Security Number or International Tax ID Number – if you are an international student or do not currently have an SSN or ITIN, more information about applying for this will be distributed to the student in the Fall quarter.

Teaching Credential Completion Requirements

In order to earn the preliminary credential, in addition to the credential coursework offered through the MAT program, the state of California requires the following to be completed before a candidate can be recommended for a credential:

  • Baccalaureate Degree – Official transcripts from ALL Institutes of Higher Education, including community colleges, must be provided when applying for a credential.
  • California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) – The California Basic Educational Skills Test™ (CBEST®) was developed to meet requirements of laws relating to credentialing and employment. This test requirement does not replace any of the other requirements of subject matter knowledge, professional preparation, and practice teaching or field experience applicable to the issuance of credentials. The CBEST is designed to test basic reading, mathematics, and writing skills found to be important for the job of an educator; the test is not designed to measure the ability to teach those skills. For more info please see:
  • California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) – The California Subject Examinations for Teachers® (CSET®) have been developed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for prospective teachers who choose to or are required to meet specific requirements for certification by taking examinations. The CTC contracted the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson to assist in the development, administration, and scoring of the CSET. For more info please see:
  • Tuberculosis Clearance (TB) – Present original copy of test results. This needs to be completed before the start of the spring quarter.
  • California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC or CTC) Certificate of Clearance (fingerprint clearance):

California Education Code requires all individuals who seek to obtain a California teaching credential issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) to receive fingerprint clearance from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Commission. Individuals who have received fingerprint clearance through other California agencies or who are cleared for pre-professional work are not exempt from this process. The Certificate of Clearance is a requirement for all first time applicants for a teaching credential.

An applicant whose legal record con­tains anything more serious than minor traffic violations should contact the Commission at Any questions of personal qualifications must be resolved before beginning the program. Each applicant is responsible for submitting the application to the CCTC and applies as early as possible to allow the time for the Certificate of Clearance to be processed.

  • CPR – Infant, child and adult certification is required.
  • United States Constitution – This requirement can be met by exam or coursework.
  • CTAP Level 1 Certification – State technology requirement for credentialing.
  • TPAs – Teacher Performance Assess­ments.
  • Fieldwork – In order to attain the preliminary credential, students are required to complete 600 hours of fieldwork, which will consist of student teaching in a public school, practicums and observations (Please see Pg. 7 of Longy MAT Academic Overview for more details).

*Fees related to requirements for California single-subject credentials are set by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and are incurred by the MAT student. MAT faculty and the program director will shepherd students through the credentialing process, but it is the responsibility of the student to fulfill these requirements, and the student must supply the results to the MAT Program in order to graduate.

Please note: These admission, credential, fieldwork and completion requirements apply to all Los Angeles BARD MAT Program single subject areas. Please also see the Application for the Bard English, History, Science and Math MAT Degrees.

Housing and Meals

The Los Angeles campus of the Longy School of Music of Bard College MAT Program is uniquely integrated with the campus of Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA). Many of the standard college facilities do not exist at the residency program site. There are no dormitories or dining halls. Graduate students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. Longy does not offer on-campus housing, but we help students connect with roommates and apartments.

Roommate Requests

Although Longy does not serve as an official roommate referral service for its students, we want to do everything we can to help you get settled in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Office would be happy to keep the following information on file for other students who might be looking for roommates. Please note that completing this form is optional and that by submitting it you are permitting us to share this information with other students. Longy has no responsibility for problems that may arise with roommates and living situations.

Many students have successfully found housing and/or roommates through Craigslist. Areas of Los Angeles you can begin your housing search include: Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park, Mid-Wilshire and Koreatown. All of these locations are a short (15-25 minute) subway/bus ride.

LA Roommate Request Form (PDF)

Apartment Costs

Rents in Los Angeles and the immediate surrounding communities range from $700-1200/month for a studio; $900-1400/month for a one-bedroom; and $1,200+/month for a two-bedroom. It is recommended that you get a roommate. Contact Monique Van Willingh at 617-876-0956, x1761. Rents usually do not include utilities. It is common for landlords to require you to pay the first month’s rent, the last month’s rent, and a security deposit, which is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent. Make sure you get a receipt for every payment made to the landlord. If there is no damage to the apartment while you are living there, the security deposit will be refunded to you when you move out. As a result, the initial costs of moving into an apartment are very high but become affordable after the initial deposit.

Arranging for Utilities

Often your apartment will only be set up for one provider of each type of utility, so be sure to check with your landlord as to which utility company you should use before contacting a company. Also, companies usually offer discounts for combined phone, cable, and internet services.

Electricity, Water & Gas


Renter’s Insurance

You may want to invest in an insurance policy that provides coverage for your personal property from loss due to theft, fire, or flooding. These policies are relatively inexpensive, especially considering how useful they can be in the event of a major misfortune. They also generally include protection from personal liability if a visitor is injured while in your apartment. We also recommend that you obtain a policy that provides coverage for your instrument(s).

Housing Rights & Responsibilities

Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs provides valuable information on tenant rights, laws, and protection (applicable only within Los Angeles County).

As a student you need to consider the following when deciding to rent an apartment or room:

  • Distance of the apartment from Longy at HOLA
  • Accessibility to public transportation
  • Rent and other costs, such as security deposits and/or realtor fees
  • Cost of utilities and whether heating is electric or gas (electric heat is far more expensive)
  • Conditions of the lease that the landlord will require. These include time of payment, proper use of the apartment, maintenance and repair, subletting, and ending the lease
  • Cost of furnishing the apartment in the way you prefer to live
  • The Lease: 
Although it is possible to find apartments that are rented on a month-to-month basis, the vast majority of renters sign leases. The lease is a legal agreement between the tenant and the landlord that the tenant will stay in the apartment for a certain amount of time and pay the landlord a certain amount of money per month. It is meant to protect you as the renter as much as it is to protect the landlord, so make sure that everything that is agreed upon is in writing and that the landlord gives you a copy of the lease for your records. Also, be sure to read the lease thoroughly before signing it. If you would like to make any changes, discuss them with the landlord before you sign your name. The most common lease term is one year (12 months).

Follow these lease guidelines:

  • Read everything carefully.
  • Be sure the form is complete before signing.
  • If you have made special lease agreements with the landlord, make sure they have been added and are signed by both you and the landlord.
  • Find out how the lease can be renewed when the term is finished.
  • Keep a copy of the lease signed by you and the landlord.
  • Your lease should include:
  • Beginning and ending dates of the contract
  • Amount of the rent
  • Security deposit cost and what it covers
  • Furniture and appliances included with the apartment or house
  • Procedures for subletting
  • Party responsible for yard and shoveling of snow, trash removal, etc.
  • Whether utilities are included in the rent
  • Whether there is a parking space included

Common Lease Requirements

Amount of Rent – When you sign a lease you promise to pay the entire amount, not just the monthly amount. This means that if you leave the apartment before your lease expires, the landlord may require you, by law, to pay the rest of the rent due.

Amount of Security Deposit – The landlord is required to pay you interest on this amount. You should ask the landlord what the interest rate is equal to.

Rent Due Date – Rent is usually due on the first day of each month. If the rent is not paid on time, there is usually an extra charge you must pay.

Length of Lease – Most leases are for one year. You may be able to sign shorter leases at some apartments, although the rent may be higher.

Maintenance Requirements – You are expected to keep the apartment clean and free of excess garbage. If you break anything in the apartment, you are expected to pay to have it repaired. Normal wear is expected. However, grease on kitchen walls, for example, is not considered normal wear and a landlord may deduct from your security deposit to have the walls painted.

Breaking the contract – If you leave the apartment before the end of the lease, you may still be required to pay the remaining months’ rent if you cannot find another renter.

Subletting – With many apartments, you will not be allowed to rent the apartment to another person without the owner’s written permission. Be sure that you understand this if you think you may want to leave before your lease ends.


Longy does not offer any on-campus parking options for students. The HOLA parking lot is reserved for HOLA staff at all times. Metered spaces are available on all major and side streets around HOLA and there are several parking facilities within walking distance of the campus.

To avoid the hassle and expensive of parking and maintaining a car, students are highly encouraged to use public transportation.

MAT Academic Calendar 2020-2021

ACADEMIC YEAR 2020-2021  
Tuesday, August 18 Student Welcome & Orientation Week
Monday, August 24 First Day of Summer Quarter
Monday, August 24 – Friday, September 4 Student Teaching and CalTPA Orientation
Monday, September 7 Labor Day (no classes or practicum)
Tuesday, September 8 First day of Student Teaching
Friday, October 30 Last Day of Summer Quarter
Monday, November 2 Class Presentations or Make-up Classes
Tuesday, November 3– Friday, November 6 Fall Reading Week
Monday, November 9 First Day of Fall Quarter
Tuesday, November 24 – Sunday, November 29 Thanksgiving Recess (No Classes)
Saturday, December 19 – Sunday, January 10 Winter Break (No Classes)
Monday, January 11 Fall Quarter Continues
Monday, January 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (no practicum)
Monday, February 8 Class Presentations and Make-up Classes
Friday, February 12 Last Day of Fall Quarter
Monday, February 15 Presidents’ Day (no practicum)
Monday, February 15 – Friday, February 19 Winter Reading Week
Monday, February 22 First Day of Winter Quarter
Friday, March 26 Cesar Chavez Day (no practicum)
Friday, March 26 – Friday, April 2 LAUSD Spring Break (no practicum, classes continue)
Friday, April 30 Last Day of Winter Quarter
Monday, May 3 Class Presentations and Make-up Classes
Tuesday, May 4 – Friday, May 7 Spring Reading Week
Monday, May 10 First Day of Spring Quarter
Monday, May 31 Memorial Day (no classes or practicum)
Friday, July 16 Last Day of Spring Quarter
Monday, July 19 – Wednesday, July 28 Writing and Presentation Preparation Week
Friday, July 30 Commencement
See Also: Cambridge Campus Academic Calendar

Contact Information

We are here to help guide you through the process of becoming a student at Longy. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you have – we are happy to help.

Monique Van Willingh
Director, Master of Arts in Teaching Program (Los Angeles Campus)
617-876-0956, x1761

Lauren Flaherty
Director of Student Financial Assistance
617-876-0956, x1797

Benjamin Nourse Gross
Assistant Director of Admissions and Students Services
617-876-0956, x1796