The Music Conservatory

Music is a calling, and a desire. However, the pursuit of life in music requires an unwavering commitment to achieve mastery in one’s musical skills. Music majors arrive on the CCPA campus with artistic desire, and leave with the skills and knowledge to begin life with music. Studio lessons, recitals, chamber music, operas, and jazz combos form the nucleus of a performer’s training at CCPA.

Led by Dean Linda Berna, the Music Conservatory faculty includes more than 25 members of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Orchestras, Metropolitan and Lyric Opera stars, Grammy award-winning jazz artists, and other internationally-recognized professionals. Our teacher-artists provide their students with one-on-one instruction, technical expertise, and an inspiring love of music.


The students of CCPA study in the midst of Chicago’s invigorating arts scene, and acquire additional experience through internships with nationally known music companies. They watch world-renowned conductors lead the Chicago Symphony, enjoy outdoor performances at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, witness premieres of new works in Chicago’s thriving contemporary music scene, and see American legends performing at the famous Jazz Showcase. Studying in the heart of one of the nation’s greatest cities gives our students a leg up on creating a strong network of professional contacts and a head start on the career they envision.

The alumni of CCPA’s Music Conservatory are part of a lively continuum of achievements. From performing with major ensembles to finding success as educators, conductors, composers, and critics, possibilities of a musical life is endless. Among our alumni are trombonist Jay Friedman, the great opera bass Donald Gramm, concert pianist Jeffrey Siegel, and the first African-American male soloist at the Metropolitan Opera, Robert McFerrin.