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Learning Beyond the Classroom Partnerships in Washington, DC

Our faculty utilize the depth of Washington, DC, as part of their classes. Whether you're in class exploring the hip-hop and go-go scene in DC or attending performances at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, or any number of nationally important venues, we are plugged into the music and arts scene in one of the most vibrant cities in the country.

Our Studio Faculty

Many of our private instructors are nationally recognized performers and members of the best known ensembles and companies in Washington, DC including:

  • The National Symphony Orchestra
  • The "President's Own" Marine Band
  • The US Army Band
  • the Washington National Opera


Well over 75% of our students take on readily available internships, making real-life experience available to students while still working on their degree. Because of our presence in Washington, our partnerships include organizations at the national and international level. Recent partners and internship placements include:

  • Washington National Opera
  • the Smithsonian Institution
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Folkways Records
  • National Symphony Orchestra
  • Folger Shakespeare Library
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • National Public Radio
  • DCBass Camp
  • Sirius XM Radio
  • Strathmore Music Center
  • Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Summer Programs
& Study Grants

Each summer we host and co-present the Washington National Opera's Institute for Young Singers at American University. This program draws thirty of the best budding high school opera singers from around the globe. Our students have the opportunity to work as program assistants and resident assistants. Earn summer money in the arts and get to attend every session! Our students also work with the institute singers to help guide them in making the most of their experience at AU.

Our innovative Koster Foundation Summer Study Grant provided by the American University Music Program and The Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation, allows students to design and propose their own summer study, research, and or travel projects and complete for funding. Imagine all the possibilities made possible by a grant program that allows our undergraduates to dream and think about their artistic/scholarly development and receive funding to explore during the summer months!

Study Abroad

We offer an array of fantastic study abroad programs that music majors and others can take full advantage of towards their program of study. Students have recently traveled to partner institutions in: Vienna, Paris, Kenya, London, Italy, and Australia. And some of our ensembles tour regularly to many international destinations.