The conservatory’s comprehensive curriculum of musical education is broken into three divisions
Theory & Musicianship
Specialization classes are provided on an individual basis. Students receive training on an instrument of their choice under the direct tutelage of master instructors. The conservatory offers specialization in piano, violin, cello, flute, guitar, and vocal training. As a matter of principle, new specialization classes are only incorporated into the curriculum when such interest is expressed by at least five students.
Lark offers weekly private lessons for each of the 40 weeks of the academic year. Students are required to pass an examination before a faculty jury toward the end of each semester of every year. Students in grades II through IX pass an additional technical exam in the middle of each semester.
Theory & Musicianship classes are offered collectively according to grade level and include the following: Introduction to Music, Sight Singing, Theory, Harmony, Counterpoint & Fugue, Form & Analysis, Orchestration, Composition, Music History, and Armenian Music History.
- Introduction to Music: A core class, offered to all students at no charge. Alongside guided listening to celebrated and popular works, this class establishes a base knowledge of musical movements, figures, and accomplishments.
- Solfège (Sight-Singing): Preparatory – Grade V: Music notation through aural awareness and oral practice; training in identifying, reading, and singing “fixed-do” scales, intervals, triads; sight-singing exercises in treble and bass clefs; articulation of rhythm and meter; melodic and harmonic dictation.
- Music Theory: Preparatory – Grade II: Teaches fundamentals of musicianship literacy; provides an understanding of the building blocks of music.
- Harmony: Grades I-III: Study in melodic writing, chord constructions, chord successions, harmonic analysis, and 4-part writing. Topics include harmonic practice of the classical music of central Europe during the eighteenth century, chromatic harmony and modulation; students perform complex chord progressions and modulations in a tonal setting.
- Music History: Grades I-III: Explores music through the ages, delving into the evolution of musical form and practice. Divided into three epochs: Antiquity to 1650; 1650 to 1900; 20th century and contemporary music.
- Counterpoint & Fugue: An introduction to contrapuntal forms of the eighteenth century, including species counterpoint, canon and fugue. Training in the composition of tonal melody and small-scale development; regular assignments include composing fugues in 18th-century Baroque style.
- Form and Analysis: An introductory course examining the relationship of content and form. Students examine the canon, the fugue, the sonata, the variation, and other major forms through the 20th-century.
- Orchestration: Examines tonal resources of instrumental and vocal media, and concentrates on arranging and transcribing for band and orchestral instruments.
- History of Armenian Music: Introductory Level: A bird’s eye view on the history of Armenian music from antiquity to the 19th century, with special emphasis on the life and achievements of the father of Armenian music, Komitas Vardapet.
- Piano for Non Majors: Course designed of non majors in piano. Students will familiarize themselves with and gain proficiency in keyboard playing skills. Students above Grade II in their specialization instrument are required to take this class.
- Choral Ensembles: Various choirs(grouped according to age and experience) that explore the full range of unison, two-voice, and multi-voice singing. See Tziatzan Children’s Choir under Performance for further details.
- Chimes: The Chimes Ensemble prepares music for concerts and outreach programs. Students learn basic ringing techniques and apply these skills to performance. The class is designed to encourage the ability and desire to work together as a team.
- Percussion Ensemble: An introduction to mallet and battery percussion. Students learn and perform works ranging from easy to moderate difficulty.
- String Consort: An instrumental class for ensemble playing for students majoring in the same family of instruments.
- Conducting: Learning fundamentals of conducting techniques, score reading, and orchestration.
- Graduation Recital: Conservatory diplomate candidates either present a graduation recital at the end of their final year, or play a Sonata allegro movement from a concerto.
Performance instruction includes classes in Choral Ensembles, Orchestra, Hand-Chimes, Percussion, Consorts, Chamber Music, Piano for non-majors, Strings Class, Improvisation, and Conducting.
In addition to the requisite courses that students take in musicianship and performance, the Conservatory offers the following electives:
- Composition: Introduction, Intermediate level, Advanced level
- Orchestration: Orchestration II, Orchestration III
- Modal Music
- Choral Writing
- Music Arrangement
- Introduction to Ethnomusicology
- Philosophy of Music
- Music Pedagogy
- Music Genres
- Electronic Music
- Introduction to Church Music
- History of Armenian Music: Grades I-II
- Armenian Musical Modes
- Armenian Church Music
- Introduction to the Orff Method
- Introduction to Kodaly Method
- Strings Ensemble
- Wind Instruments Ensemble
- Armenian Folk Music
- Piano Tuning
- Music Publishing
- History of Opera
- Solfège VI