[ non-degree study ]


Hearing is critical to music making, and the Hearing curriculum at the Yale School of Music develops students’ aural and musical skills to enhance their performing skills and to understand the structure of music. The course aims to bring the student inside the music.

Designed specifically for composers and performers at the graduate level, this unique program focuses on the ear first and only then the eye. Musicians learn to hear the details of many kinds of music before looking at the score, using the page to back up their instincts with more specific knowledge.

The class develops a strong sense of community. All the students — regardless of which section they are in — come together each week to sing and hear masterpieces of music. Repertoire includes the choral literature, such as the Magnificats of Bach and Pärt, as well as instrumental works such as a Haydn string quartet transcription. These works then become a common body of repertoire studied in all sections of the class.

Yale professor and composer Joan Panetti developed the program out of her experience as a composer and educator. The program teaches students to listen to music critically in real time, with the goal of being able to hear and articulate the effect of compositional choices and then connect these ideas to performance.