Advancing the careers of 21st century musicians


  • 2022 Instrumental, Solo Piano OPEN NOW
  • 2022 Collaborative Piano late applications being considered
  • 2022 Voice and Vocal Piano application now closed
  • 2022 Vocal Institute Directing Fellow application now closed

Music Academy of the West is a performance-based training center and incubator that empowers musicians to positively impact society.

Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Academy presents the preeminent full-scholarship Summer School and Festival for classically trained fellows ages 18 to 34. As both a school AND Festival, the Music Academy is the best of both worlds in a spectacular coastal setting, where fellows study and perform with more than 50 exceptional faculty and teaching artists, all while forging close connections with the community. The Academy proudly welcomes everyone from across all generations, cultures, and backgrounds to experience the transformative power of music.


All enrolled musicians attend the Summer School and Festival on full-scholarship, including free tuition, accommodations, and meals.


Receive advanced training and mentorship both on-stage and off-stage, honing your talent with world-renowned faculty and guest artists while enjoying a wide variety of training and performance opportunities to propel you into your career as a 21st century musician and artist of impact. Curriculum includes private lessons, studio classes, weekly public masterclasses, orchestra, chamber music, solo performances, opera and vocal productions, art song, recitals, and competitions. The Academy’s commitment to long-term collaborations and exchanges with leading orchestras and opera companies results in unparalleled mentorship and career-advancing prospects. Curriculum is balanced by a variety of extracurricular resources and events including a dynamic Wellness Program, social events with community members, and opportunities to enjoy the nearby beaches and beautiful city of Santa Barbara.

I am so grateful to have formed meaningful connections with faculty, fellows, and administration that I hope will last a lifetime. Music Academy created a safe space for me to learn and grow as a musician. I found myself learning so much as a fellow, and also allowed me to realize what I really enjoy doing as a musician – making good music!

— 2021 fellow

It was an amazing summer. The generosity and support the Music Academy has for each and every fellow is something no other institution can come close to.

— 2021 fellow

There is no place on earth like the Music Academy. Every experience was an opportunity to learn, and it was a blessing to have the experience in such a beautiful part of the country. I think I will look back on my time here for years to come and realize how impactful it has been on me as an artist and musician.

— 2021 fellow


During and after the summer, the Music Academy Innovation Institute provides inspiring mentorship opportunities, practical training, and funding opportunities. As part of the summer curriculum, industry leaders share best practices for building rewarding and sustainable careers and harnessing the power of music to impact the world via workshops covering business, entrepreneurship, communications, finance, and technology. Recent Speakers: 2020, 2021. Musical performance and entrepreneurial competitions offer coaching and platforms for launching creative projects and defining one’s artistic vision. Yearly Alumni Enterprise Awards offer grants for bold and diverse initiatives.


The Summer Festival features nearly 200 performances, attended by over 40,000 community members, whose enthusiasm for the Festival is unparalleled. Through the “Compeer Program” each fellow is connected with community members who host social events and regularly attend performances, providing a familiar face in the audience. The strong connections forged through this program make the Festival more meaningful for all involved.


The Music Academy requires all administration, faculty, fellows, and other constituents on campus to provide proof of COVID vaccination.

Programs of Study

For admissions inquiries, please email [email protected]