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.

About the 'Boot Camp'

This is a blended learning opportunity for students preparing for study in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts. Faculty member Amy Knoles guides the students’ strengthening of musical skills with the hope that they will pass through the placement exam to begin at the level of Theory A. All music, no matter what style one is interested in, is created with the same basic elements.  This course ensures that students have the essential tools to begin creating music their own way. If unable to pass through to Theory A, there will be a Music Fundamentals course offered, at which point the participants will have a clear picture of what’s to come. The first portion of the program takes place online beginning August 12 and is asynchronous to accommodate each student’s schedule. The online portion lays the groundwork for a week of intensive study on campus during CalArts Gateway. On-campus classes will take place Monday to Friday (August 26 to August 30) In addition to this academic boost, participation in Gateway gives students who will be living on campus during the regular academic year the opportunity to get settled into their assigned rooms and build relationships with fellow students before the general CalArts move-in and Orientation week commences.

Instructor Bio

*As a Performer/Composer Amy Knoles has received major awards from Meet The Composer (2006), American Composers Forum (2005 & 2007 & 2009), Durfee Foundation (2003), The UNESCO Prize (2001), C.O.L.A. (2001), Lester Horton (2001), and was the 1996 ASCAP Foundation " Composer-in-Residence at the Music Center of Los Angeles”.  Amy was the Executive Director of the California E.A.R. Unit for thirty years (2011 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for “Adventurous Programming” and the “Letter of Distinction” from the American Music Center in 1999). Recording over 30 CDs of new music, she has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, Pierre Boulez, Rachel Rosenthal, LA Master Chorale, NatPlast, Squint, Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, The Bang On A Can All Stars; Composers: Cage, Carter, Feldman, Knowles, Andriessen, Kagel, Wourinen, Wolfe, Preston, Zappa, Subotnick, Reich, Machover, Flea, Jones and many others.

The Living Experience


On-campus housing is available to students who will be residing in CalArts housing during the fall semester. Students move into the room that has been assigned to them for the regular academic year, thus allowing the student to settle into their new home on campus and get to know members of their community. Students who will not be living on campus during the academic year will have to find housing off campus. There are no short term housing options available. For information on CalArts housing options, please email Residence Life at

Meal Plan

The Gateway meal plan is included in the tuition fee for the program. The meal plan includes a light breakfast, box lunch and hot dinner. Students are also welcome to stock their kitchens and prepare meals and snacks for themselves. Program leaders will provide advisement and transportation assistance for students wanting to access shops/markets.

2019 Program Details

Program Dates
Online: Aug. 12-25, 2019
On campus: Aug. 26-30, 2019

CalArts campus, Online


Amy Knoles

Tuition and Board

Housing Fee (optional if not living on campus)




DEADLINE FOR PAYMENT: July 25, 2019 by 4 pm, PST

To Register for the program, please fill out the Music Gateway Enrollment Form.

Payment or enrollment requests made after the Deadline for Payment are subject to late fees.

For program information, and application and payment details, please email us at

Eight students playing wind instruments on stage