Online Learning

After thoughtful and careful consideration, the Colburn School has determined that it will begin the 2020–21 school year online.

Though we have all hoped to see a speedy conclusion to the COVID-19 pandemic, local and global infection and transmission rates have unfortunately changed little since we closed the campus. In order to protect our community, the educational activities of the School will remain online until we determine it is safe to fully reopen. We will continue our careful monitoring of the COVID-19 situation and will keep the community updated as we know more.

Current Students

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Important Dates for Fall 2020

August 11–25: Online orientation
August 26: First day of classes
December 7: Last day of classes
December 8–11: Exams


The Colburn School is currently exploring new technology platforms that should enhance the teaching and learning experience for applied lessons, with lower latency, higher fidelity and minimal compression in the transfer of the audio. Details will be made available when it is decided that one of these new platforms is a preferred option for faculty and students to use for an improved lesson experience.

All Colburn Conservatory students will be supported in learning from home. Students will be assessed individually to determine their needs, whether it is a loan of equipment to assist with high quality audio for lessons or resources to enhance internet connectivity.


Online orientation activities will be scheduled during the time frame of August 11th through August 25. Exact dates will be determined within the next few weeks. Activities will include placement exams; webinars on home studio set up, use of the online Learning Management System, and other important topics; meetings with advisors; and activities designed to introduce students to each other, faculty and the administration.

Academic Classes

All classes will be managed through a learning management system called Canvas, which will allow students to have a singular, consistent virtual classroom setting. With flexible and highly individualized advisement, students will be carefully guided through this new online environment. In consultation with their applied teacher and academic advisor, degree students will participate in academic activities suitable to their individual situation, while maintaining a minimum class load appropriate to enrollment requirements and progress towards their degree. Classes will also be carefully scheduled to allow for participation across a variety of time zones.

Performance Classes

Currently, it is not possible to have ensembles take place virtually due to latency issues. The faculty are exploring options to have students engaged in various aspects of chamber music and orchestral training that might be successful in an online format. Similar consideration is being given to required recitals. Further information will be shared before the start of the semester.


The Comprehensive Fee will be reduced from $3,000 to $1,500 for the 2020–21 academic year. Health insurance will not be billed until students return to campus, and rates have not yet been set by our insurance company. Students who need Colburn insurance for the entire year will be able to opt-in; further information will be available in early July.


In order to continue to support the social and emotional development of our students, we will continue to provide resources and programming to sustain mental and physical health, as well as the human connection that is essential to our wellbeing:

  1. Free access to our two psychotherapists via phone or videoconferencing;
  2. Free consults with our physical therapist via TeleHealth;
  3. The Healthy Musician, a seminar class which provides essential information to support healthy practice and performance habits for musicians; and
  4. The creation of opportunities such as online discussion groups or meetings to connect with key members of the community who would normally have interactions with students if on campus, including but not limited to the President, Provost, Dean, and other key administrators and faculty.