Places to study Jewish Music: Schools

Centro di studi sulla musica ebraica

YUVAL Italia – The Italian Center for the Study of Jewish Music (Centro di Studi sulla Musica Ebraica), was founded in January 1997, in Milan, Italy. Its fundamental purpose is to provide written and aural documentation of Jewish musical traditions, particularly those in Italy. It holds a Library and a Sound Archive, and provides contacts to musicians and music festivals throughout the country. The Center, founded with the aid of Professor Israel Adler, is the first of its kind in Italy and operates in collaboration with the Jewish Music Research Center of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. YUVAL Italia is currently directed by Dr.Francesco Spagnolo. YUVAL produces a weekly live radio show from Radio Popolare, Milan.
For more information you may write to the following address:
YUVAL Italia –Centro di Studi sulla Musica Ebraica
via della Guastalla, 19
20122 Milano, ITALY.…

Commission on Synagogue Music -Training for Synagogue musicians

Training for Synagogue musicians. The Commission on Synagogue Music, in close cooperation with Hebrew Union College – School of Sacred Music, offers annual seminars for Synagogue musicians. “Accompanists and choral directors from all over the country come to the School of Sacred Music in New York each summer and study topics ranging from basic Hebrew to Jewish choral music in the 19th and 20th centuries. They return to their congregations with an increased knowledge of our (musical) traditions and lots of new repertoire.”

Das Europäische Zentrum für Jüdische Musik

Hannover, Germany. Das Europäische Zentrum für Jüdische Musik under the direction of Andor Izsák hopes to reconstruct and document the music of the synagogues that were lost during the time of WWII. Much of the Jewish cantorial, organ music and composers are unknown to most people today in Germany, and the Center’s mission is to increase awareness and knowledge. The Center will search after documents, present concerts and sponsor festivals and symposia, and publish music.

Department of Musicology, Hebrew University

The website states: “The Musicology Department, part of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was founded in 1965 by the late Professor Alexander Ringer from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. It was the first such department to be founded in Israel, and already in its first decade of existence it boasted such distinguished faculty members as Israel Alder, the late Bathja Bayer, Jehoash Hirshberg, Don Harrán, Josef Tal, Dalia Cohen, Ruth Katz, and Amnon Shiloah. Then as in nowadays, the Department seeks to advance knowledge and research of music as a multifaceted phenomenon having varied manifestations, in conjunction with both local and global contexts, and with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches. The Department offers courses in three major areas: historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and theory.…

H.L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music: Jewish Theological Seminary

The Miller Cantorial School trains cantors in the Conservative movement. The College of Jewish Music trains musicians for congregational service or as teachers of Jewish music, choral directors, composers or research scholars. The H.L. Miller Cantorial School awards the diploma of hazzan and the College of Jewish Music awards the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sacred music. Students preparing for the cantorate are enrolled in both schools and are expected to complete the diploma program and the master of sacred music degree simultaneously, on a full-time basis, preferably within a five-year period.

Hebrew College. Jewish Music Institute (JMI)& Cantor-Educator Program.

“Designed to prepare cantors who are educator-scholars as well as spiritual leaders, Hebrew College’s Cantor-Educator Program combines coursework leading to both a Master of Jewish Education (MJEd) and Cantorial Ordination within a transdenominational setting.” Hebrew College’s program started as an accredited school with Masters and Doctoral programs in Judaic Studies and Education and 10 years ago opened the Jewish Music Institute where both para-professional and professional cantor-educators are trained. The first graduating class of Hazzanim was 2006. The Jewish Music Institute (JMI) supports “educators, cantorial soloists and other interested students” to “engage the world of Jewish music through the academic courses and certificate programs. Courses range from a historical survey of Jewish music to cantorial recitatives for the Sabbath and High Holidays, from Ashkenazic prayer chant to Yiddish and Klezmer music performance styles.” In addition to materials for the study of Jewish education and general Jewish studies, the Gann Library of Hebrew College, now houses the New England division of the American Jewish Historical Society.…

Nederlands Israelitisch Seminarium (NIS)

The NIS is the eldest fully operational Rabbinical Seminary in Europe (founded 1740). The Seminary is funded and recognized as an institution for Higher Education on University Level by Her Majesties Minister for Education, Science and Culture. At NIS people can study Jewish Music or train to become Hazzan. Contact:
Nederlands Israelitisch Seminarium (NIS)
Gerrit van der Veenstraat 26
1077 ED Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Ron Shulamit Conservatory of Jerusalem

The Ron Shulamit Music Conservatory is located in Jerusalem, Israel. Since 1910 the school has been providing students with quality music and dance education, while bringing the arts to communities across Jerusalem and Israel as a whole, through performances by ballet troupes, chamber orchestras, ensembles, and youth choirs. The school has made 3 CD’s, including one by the accordian orchestra, one of the recorder trio and one by the chamber orchestra. Chassidic niggunim, songs based on psalms, traditional shabbat holiday melodies, as well as contemporary arrangements of Jewish classics (including several by Israel Edelson) are all contained on the CD’s. The recordings can be purchase by sending an email: To learn more, read this (pdf) description .

Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute

A leading insitute for training traditional cantors. “Graduates of TACI serve some of the most prominent synagogues in leading Jewish Communities worldwide. This institution was founded with a vision and far-reaching perspective regarding the importance of preserving the world of Chazzanut and nusach Hat filah for generations to come.” The campus boasts the Brodt Center, with a multi-functional auditorium, and state of the art recording facilities, which enable the publishing of both historical and commissioned new liturgical works. The library contains invaluable recordings, manuscripts, videos etc, dedicated to the library of the institute so that they can be available to researchers, artists and the public in general, thus creating a resource center for the cantorial art, Jewish liturgy and Yiddish song.

The Academy for Jewish Religion

The Academy for Jewish Religion, located at 6301 Riverdale Ave., Riverdale, NY 10471. Phone: 718 543-9360. They train cantors in a Jewish pluralistic environment. Cantors are trained to “lead dynamic, spiritually uplifting, meaningful religious services in all denominational liturgies and nusach.” They also train rabbis. “It offers full or part time study and mechina programs. Cantorial and rabbinic students study and learn together and ordination is conferred on both Rabbinic and Cantorial graduates.”

The Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJR, CA)

Located at the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA, The Academy for Jewish Religion, of California is a pluralistic Rabbinical and Cantorial Seminary and Chaplaincy Program. AJR, CA’s Cantorial Seminary is the only Cantorial school in the Western United States and its’ Dean, Hazzan Nathan Lam, is the hazzan of Stephen S. Wise Temple, the largest congregation in the world. The Cantorial Seminary trains men and women to become cantors who will be a living resource of the varied aspects of the Jewish musical tradition – with mastery of the melodies and chants for Jewish prayer, and of the music for home, school and community. This mastery, coupled with the ability to impart and inspire, includes the contemporary modes and sounds, which resonate with today’s generation.…

The American Seminary for Contemporary Judaism

New Cantorial school which has finished its first year of teaching the art of Chazzanut. Located at the Baldwin Jewish Center in Baldwin, New York. The Seminary is new,having opened in October, 2004, but it is affiliated with the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America (JMCA) which was foundin 1896 as the Hazanim Farband iand is the oldest cantorial association in the United Sttes. The JMCA will serve all denominations of Jewish cantors. One of the main advocacies of the group will be the preservation of nusach. The program of study is based on the “nuts and bolts” of what cantors need to know. The perspective is essentially Orthodox, although the Conservative and Reform perspective are also explained to students. The Seminary is at 885 East Seaman Avenue, Baldwin, NY 11510.…

The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance

For classical music studies in Jerusalem which include two orchestras, dance troupes, choirs, masterclasses, workshops for Baroque, contemporary music, chamber music, opera and many more…. “The unique character of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance lies in its three constituent institutions: the Academy, the Academy High School and the Conservatory.” At the Academy, one hundred and sixty professors, teachers, and artists are responsible for training more than 600 students, who study for the Bachelor and Master degrees in music, dance and music education. Some 550 students are currently studying at the Conservatory. The Academy High School is situated in the new Younes and Soraya Nazarian Building on the Givat Ram Campus adjacent to the Academy’s main building in Jerusalem. Telephone 02 -5619443, 02-5618881.Fax: 02-5630537.

The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS) University of London

The Department of Music at SOAS University of London offers Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Jewish music.
Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music, SOAS, University of London: Alexander Knapp
Regular Courses include: Aspects of Jewish Music (BA – undergraduate)
The Music of the Jews (MMus – postgraduate)
The aims and objectives of these courses are to explore a musical culture which began in the Levant some 3,000 years ago and which has been diffused throughout the world, constantly adapting to new conditions and yet retaining its identity in many widely differing ethnic and geographical environments. Scholarly investigations combine broadly ethnomusicological and intercultural approaches with elements of musicology. The music of the Jews is one of the fundamental factors in the understanding of Near Eastern and European traditions, first having influenced, and then having been influenced by, the musics of Christianity and Islam.…