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CalArts Music Gateway

For inquiries, or to apply, contact Hilary Darling at gateway@calarts.edu.

The Music Gateway Program allows students to arrive on campus early to participate in Music Theory “Boot Camp” and get settled in their new homes before the Fall semester begins. In addition to formal classroom instruction, students participate in activities and trips designed to familiarize them with the CalArts campus and its surrounding areas. While settling into their new environment, students have the opportunity to meet CalArts faculty and staff and establish a supportive peer community.

The Learning Experience

Music Theory 'Boot Camp'

Music classes are held Monday – Friday for two weeks and focus on the needs of music students preparing for study in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts. Faculty member Amy Knoles guides the students’ strengthening of musical skills through explorations into the music of Africa, Indonesia, India, Latin America, Aboveground / Underground, Classic Techno, and much more. All music, regardless of genre or style, is created with the same basic elements. This course ensures that each student has the tools to begin composing and performing music in his or her own way. Our hope is that students will be able to pass through Music Fundamentals—and that if they cannot, will at very least, gain a clear understanding of the skills they will need to do so before beginning their studies in the fall semester.

Community Building

On evenings and weekends students relax and socialize with their peers. Activities include, but are not limited to, swimming, movie screenings and shopping excursions. Students learn to navigate the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond through public transportation, to find shopping, restaurant and entertainment venues of their choices.

Pre-Orientation Activities

During Music Gateway students participate in pre-orientation activities designed to establish themselves in their new environment. The Music Gateway Program Administrator welcomes students, and along with the support of various staff and faculty members, familiarizes them with their rights and responsibilities as CalArts students. During this time students attend to their initial administrative duties which frees them up to focus on events within their métier during the traditional Orientation week.

The Living Experience


On-campus housing is available for Music Gateway students who will be living in a CalArts residence hall during the Fall semester. Students move into the room that has been assigned to them for the regular academic year, allowing them to settle into their new home on campus and get to know their Resident Assistant (RA). Students who will not be living on campus will need to provide their own transportation to and from campus to participate in Gateway.

Meal Plan

The Gateway meal plan is included for on-campus students and is optional, though highly recommended, for off-campus students. The meal plan includes lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday only. Because one of the key objectives of this program is to encourage self-sufficiency, students stock their kitchens and prepare occasional meals for themselves.

Program Dates: August 22-Sept. 4, 2015


  • Fee for instruction and activities: $1,500
    (does not include room and board)
  • Fee for room and board: $850
    (includes transportation from LAX Airport, on-campus housing, and lunch and dinner Monday-Friday for both weeks)
  • Fee for meal plan only: $350
    (includes lunch and dinner Monday-Friday for both weeks)


  • Deadline to enroll: June 15, 2015
  • Deadline to pay: June 18 by 4 pm PST

Payment Options


International Payments



Hilary Darling
Critical Studies Faculty & Director of Summer Session

Last edited by cziemba on Feb 17, 2015
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