Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Longy offers the first, one-year accredited degree program in the world inspired by El Sistema, the Venezuelan program that is changing the lives of children in underserved communities through intensive music instruction.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program was developed with the LA Phil to establish a hands-on approach to learning. Now in partnership with the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) and Street Symphony, you will “learn by doing” by working in the surrounding underserved neighborhoods of the Rampart District of Los Angeles. Within weeks you will gain new skills by teaching in urban public schools throughout Southern California and El Sistema-inspired programs such as YOLA and Opus, while empowering communities experiencing homelessness like Skid Row.

The MAT in Music offers a unique and powerful graduate study in performancemusic 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 admissions(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.




Monique Van Willingh - monique.vanwillingh(at)


  • David CubekConductor and Associate Professor of Music, Scripps College (Claremont College) 
  • Reena EsmailComposer in Residence, Street Symphony
  • Andrew GrueschowWorld music percussionist, Faculty at CalArts (California Institute for the Arts)
  • Vijay GuptaLA Philharmonic Violinist, Founder/Artistic Director of Street Symphony
  • Ndindi KitongaPhD Education, Founder of Angeles Workshop School
  • Lori LauscheLead Music Teacher and Choir Director at Larchmont Charter School
  • Michelle RearickProfessional Cellist, and former Lead Strings TA at YOLA at HOLA
  • Adam SawyerPhD International Education, Assistant Professor of Education, Bard College
  • Lauren SheltonVisual and Performing Arts Coordinator (Chula Vista Elementary School District)
  • Richard Valitutto, Piano soloist, Chamber musician, Vocal Accompanist, and Composing/Improvising creative; Contributing composer and performer of "Wild Up", a well-known modern music collective
  • Monique Van WillinghInterim Director of the MAT Program, MAT Alum, former Director of El Sistema inspired program, YOLA at HOLA
  • Steve VenzVisual and Performing Arts Coordinator (Orange County)

Private Lessons with LA Phil Faculty

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 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



  • 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.