Bard College, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic have partnered to develop the Longy School of Music of Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program for musicians with a desire to respond to today’s educational needs, and who aspire to participate in the growing El Sistema movement in the U.S. With the belief that effective music teachers must themselves be active performers, the intensive 12-month MAT curriculum, modeled after the original BardMAT Program on the college’s New York State campus, integrates advanced studies in musical performance and education with the daily demands of the classroom.

The program is housed on the grounds of Heart of Los Angeles' (HOLA) community campus, home of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at HOLA. YOLA at HOLA is a full partnership between the Los Angeles Philharmonic and HOLA and is one of the premier El Sistema-inspired teaching sites in the country. The MAT program offers candidates access to MAT faculty including Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians and leading scholars in music and education.

MAT graduates are awarded California single-subject K-12 teacher credentialing in music. The average MAT class size is 12-15 students.


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.

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.



MAT L.A. Campus at HOLA







We are currently accepting applications. Please contact us at for more information and details on the application process.