The music theory courses at the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program are designed to support our private teaching curriculum and to enhance the student’s musical knowledge and enjoyment of music. Admission to the theory courses are by invitation of the Preparatory Program Director Julia Jalbert. All music theory courses are taught at the Shepherd School of Music building. Music theory courses are offered for fall and spring semesters only and are not offered in the summers and are all non-credit courses.
Participation is open to students studying privately in the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program as well as other pre-college students in the Houston and surrounding community. Chamber music coaches are Brown Scholarship recipients who are current graduate students at The Shepherd School of Music. Students taking private lessons in the Preparatory Program receive priority in chamber music group placement as well as free tuition for participation in the chamber music program. Students not taking private lessons in the Preparatory Program may participate in the chamber music for $200 fee per semester. Placement in a chamber music group is contingent upon the need to formulate the ensembles. Interested students should contact the Preparatory Program Chamber Music Coordinator, Ms. Rose Van der Werff.
The Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program organizes a monthly recital during the academic year, from September through May, with the exception of April which is reserved for jury adjudications. All the monthly recitals are held at Rice's prestigious Duncan Recital Hall on the weekends. Recital participation is through the nomination of their private lesson teachers. These recitals are free and open to public.
The Preparatory Program offers a jury process once a year, which provides an opportunity for the student to receive additional comments outside of their private lesson teacher. Jury also serves as an annual review of progress on their chosen instrument. Jury comments are mailed to the students as well as to the teachers for review. Jury evaluations become part of the Preparatory Program students' permanent record.
The Preparatory Program organizes at least two piano master classes per year in Stude Concert Hall. These master classes are free and open to the public. Select Preparatory Program piano students are featured at these master classes while The Shepherd School of Music piano faculty members generally teach at these piano master classes. Please see the Preparatory Program calendar for these events and other special events offered through the program.