Posted on January 15th, 2015 in Experiences, Performance | No Comments »

CBU_1760x950_4We believe in the power of performance, but not just three or four high-stakes concerts—hundreds of performances.

Our belief in the power of performance is what sets us apart from other music schools. In a traditional conservatory setting, students typically rehearse a small repertoire over and over again, with the intention of delivering two or three flawless recitals at the end of the semester.

At CBU, we turn the conventional conservatory model on its head by helping you master your repertoire quickly and testing it with numerous performances in a wide range of venues. You might play with a large ensemble in a local church or with a small group at a school in Montana. You might find yourself soloing in a celebrated concert hall in Spain.

If you want to be a professional musician, you’ll need to know what it takes mentally, physically and emotionally to perform multiple times a week. You’ll need to know how to adapt to different venues, how the size of the stage limits or enhances different aspects of your performance, how the sound system or the acoustics of the room affect how the audience will receive your performance.

The bottom line is that we want you to be prepared to convey meaning and emotion to the people who have come to see you perform, regardless of the venue, your state of mind or the demands of your schedule. We want you to connect with audiences, and that is a skill that must be developed over time. The only way to hone that skill is to perform, reflect on your performance, and perform again. And again. And again.

When you graduate from CBU, you’ll not only be equipped to deliver memorable performances, you’ll also be prepared to communicate in and adapt to a wide variety of professional settings. Regardless of what profession you pursue, the ability to perform confidently in the face of adversity will serve you well.

Posted on January 7th, 2015 in Experiences, Performance | No Comments »


Think back to the last time you really connected with a performer at a concert. What about his performance inspired you? Was it the lyrics of the song? The power of her voice? The emotion of the music? Was it the way the performer moved on stage? Was it the way he made eye contact and held it?

Chances are it was a combination of all of those things. And although it probably felt like a beautiful, mysterious, maybe even religious experience, it wasn’t an accident. That performer had honed his or her craft—trained his voice, perfected her onstage presence, did the hard work of mining his emotions in order to connect with as many people as possible and create a memorable performance.

Those are the moments we strive for in the Collinsworth School of Music. Plenty of musicians can become technically proficient with their instrument of choice. They will perform and audiences will recognize their proficiency. And that’s where the memory of the performance ends for audience members encountering that kind of skill.

When you can connect with an audience member, when you can make them feel deeply or change the way they think about themselves or the world—even for a second—you are fully realizing the beautiful gift that God has given you. Best of all, you’ve given the audience member a gift that they will never forget.

The ability to make meaningful connections will not only give you a deep sense of satisfaction as a musician, it’s also a skill that will enhance your personal, professional and spiritual life. Because what else are we really trying to do as human beings other than connect to one another in ways that are meaningful and present and authentic?

Posted on December 17th, 2014 in Community, Performance, Student-centric faculty | No Comments »

You have a voice—a distinctive voice that sounds like no one else. This distinctive voice is your greatest strength. It is the tool that will cut your path as a professional musician; it is the conduit for communicating real emotion in your performance; it is the thing that will enable you to connect deeply with members of the audience.

Chances are, you haven’t yet found your distinctive voice, and that’s OK. Finding your sound takes time, effort, repetition, and above all else, personal maturation. Finding your voice is a process that involves not only identifying your talent, but also learning to bring that talent under control—understanding its scope, where it is best applied, where your sweet spot lies.

At the Collinsworth School of Music, we are dedicated to helping you find your self. Through a rigorous performance schedule, participation in a wide range of ensembles and intense study with talented professors, you will find your voice, understand its effect on diverse audiences, how it can contribute to an ensemble, and how it can stand on its own. And you will do so in an environment that both challenges you to improve and nurtures your professional and artistic development.

We’re not interested in producing graduates who all sound the same. We want our students to go out into the world sounding like the best versions of their true artistic selves.

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 in Experiences, Performance | No Comments »


Welcome to The Collinsworth School of Music from Collinsworth School of Music on Vimeo.

Collinsworth ClassroomWhen young musicians dream about performing, the dream often involves a solo—a chance to showcase their talents and receive attention and adoration from the audience.

There’s nothing wrong with that dream; well-executed solos bring great joy to the performer and the audience. But there’s a different, more complex joy that comes from being a member of an ensemble.

It’s the joy that’s born from playing with a group of musicians, of working together to convey something that you couldn’t possibly achieve on your own. It’s the joy that accompanies being part of something bigger than yourself.

And though you won’t receive the same kind of individual attention in an ensemble, you still have the same responsibility to the music, to yourself and to the audience: You have to listen to the other people in your group, be mindful of how your part contributes to the piece of music as a whole, watch your conductor and be aware of how your fellow musicians are performing.

It sounds like a lot to master, and it is. But as a student in the Collinsworth School of Music, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an ensemble every semester. In fact, it’s required. By the time you graduate, you’ll understand that there’s a great difference between an ensemble and a group of individuals, and that’s a lesson you can apply to any work environment, regardless of which profession you choose.