BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Aspiring music teachers studying at Illinois Wesleyan University now have the opportunity to earn an accelerated master’s degree after graduation through a new IWU partnership with Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Longy is a private music school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, associated with Bard College. This collaboration is the first of its kind between Longy and any undergraduate music program, which was initially negotiated by Interim Director of the School of music, Adriana Ponce, and Director of Teacher Education at Longy School of music of Bard College, Erin Zaffini. Illinois Wesleyan music education faculty member Scott Whitman is the liaison for the partnership.

“Longy sought us out for their first undergraduate partnership, which speaks to the quality of students graduating from IWU. Students from institutions like ours have a high rate of success in their program. This collaboration sends highly qualified students their direction while making our students strong candidates for jobs,” said Whitman. “Earning a master’s degree quickly after graduating from IWU gives students more earning power in the teaching market.”

A student playing piano on stage at IWU
Aspiring music teachers studying at IWU have the opportunity to earn an accelerated master’s degree after graduation through a new partnership with Longy School of Music of Bard College.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in music education from IWU, students can immediately enter into Longy’s online or in-person program for a master’s in music education, which can be completed in a one-year accelerated program or the usual two-year program. Students must complete the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in the spring semester of their sophomore year at Illinois Wesleyan after completion of two foundation courses. Acceptance into the TEP at IWU will double as pre-acceptance to the Longy program. 

The application process to Longy is free with no GRE requirements or auditions. The program is accredited and asynchronous, and will not require any curricular changes for IWU students. Whitman said this new offering simplifies the graduate school application process for IWU students interested in furthering their education. 

“If you think about the process that music education students go through at the end of undergrad, having that acceptance process already largely completed is less stressful than if they were to do that all at once. Through this partnership students are able to stay in communication with Longy representatives who will have that seat ready to go for them after graduation,” said Whitman. 

The partnership will operate on a two-year contract, with hopes of extending the agreement. For more information about this program, contact Scott Whitman at