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Precollege Certificate Program

Myra Jackson Blair Scholarship students and alumni

Blair School of Music awards two certificates to high school seniors who have completed formal programs that encourage excellence in performance and knowledge of music theory and history — all essential elements for development of mature musicianship in advanced students. Myra Jackson Blair Scholarship students are expected to enroll in the program, and all students are encouraged to participate.

Formal admission to the program is contingent upon a performance audition that meets departmental standards for the "Intermediate" or "Advanced" level. The private teacher's recommendation is required for the student to audition. Auditions are held during the performance examination period in May and are adjudicated by members of the Certificate Program Council.


Students are responsible for knowing and fulfilling all requirements. The student should keep a personal record of study and accomplishment to supplement similar records being maintained by the private teacher and Certificate Program staff. The student's private teacher is the primary adviser throughout the program, selecting repertoire suitable for study, ensuring that all major periods and styles are covered, and determining when a student is qualified for the intermediate and/or advanced audition. The Certificate Program Council determines policies and standards, working closely with the entire faculty in matters affecting the program.

Financial cost

There is no additional fee for participation. Total cost to the student will be the regular tuition for lessons, classes, and other regular fees.

Entrance requirements

The Certificate Program is open to students who have achieved at least an intermediate level of proficiency in instrumental or vocal study. Formal admission to the program requires the following:

Performance audition

Repertoire for the performance audition must meet departmental standards for the Intermediate or Advanced level. Audition requirements and repertoire for each instrument should be discussed with the studio teacher. The private teacher's recommendation is required for either audition level. Auditions at both levels are conducted by the Certificate Program Council, along with the student's private teacher. Auditions are held at the end of the spring semester, and the audition schedule is created by the Certificate Program Council Coordinator. Repertoire: Candidates for the Intermediate level must prepare two contrasting pieces. Candidates for the Advanced level must prepare three contrasting pieces.

Theory placement exam

This test determines the student's existing knowledge of music theory so he or she may be placed in the appropriate section.

An overview of the certificates

Certificate of Distinction

This certificate is designed for the student with outstanding performing ability who is seriously considering a career in music. Click here for program requirements.

Certificate of Merit

This certificate is designed for the student with strong performing ability at the Intermediate level. Students in grades 10 and 11 may later audition for thr Certificate of Distinction (Advanced) level. Click here for program requirements.