The Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi, founded in 1808, has more than 1,700 students, over 240 teachers, and 20 majors. It is Italy's largest university of music. Thanks to its outstanding standard of education, the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi is considered to be one of the most prestigious music institutions in Europe. The list of prominent alumns includes Alberto Mozzati, Paolo Borciani, Luciano Berio, Franco Donatoni, Niccolò Castiglioni, Claudio Abbado, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Bruno Canino, Antonio Ballista, Maurizio Pollini, Rocco Filippini, Riccardo Muti, Paolo Bordoni, Ivan Fedele, Luca Francesconi, Barbara Frittoli, Daniele Gatti, and many others. The Conservatorio is part of the AFAM-system (Arts & Music Higher Education System), parallel to University. Located right in the heart of the city, it gives the chance to be in touch both with the artistic and social life of Milan, which is considered the Italian capital of music, fashion, and finance. Although the number of exchange students is limited, it is a cosmopolitan environment, considering the increasing number of foreign students who are earning their degree at the Conservatory.
History of our exchange
The Milan exchange is The Cali School of Music's newest institutional partnership. The relationship was made official in 2009.
Many of the instructors speak English. Our research has shown that in the past, Erasmus students paired with Italian professors who did not speak English still were able to have successful experiences, despite the language limitations. The Conservatory offers Italian language instruction (90 min/2x week). Currently there are two language level classes offered. These offerings could be expanded if needed.
A neighboring institution, Universita Cattolica, also offers more intensive language instruction with several levels of instruction (6 hrs/wk). The cost for these classes is 375 euros/50 hrs or 275 euros/40 hrs.
Conservatorio School Year
First term: Beginning of November - Late February
Second term: Beginning of March - Mid June
Because of the overlap of semesters between the American and Italian system after the winter holidays, it is advised that Cali School students plan to go during the spring term rather than the fall.
Scope of Program (Music & Academic):
Access is with a high-school diploma, after audition. The Conservatorio offers 67 specialized programs, leading to an under- or postgraduate degree.
- Instrumental performance: includes all orchestral instruments, piano, harpsichord, and organ
- Voice performance
- Piano, Vocal & Strings Pedagogy [lectures, observations and seminars in the Italian system of Music Education from primary up to high level]
- Choral Conducting
- Musicology - lectures in music history, and individual tutoring on specific projects
- Italian language [two 90-minute sessions per week]
- Italian Culture or Italian Music History
- One additional class to be determined [Chamber Music Ensemble, Accompanying, Ear Training]
The Conservatory uses the European ECTS system [European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System]. This differs in significant ways from MSU's credit system. However, the ECTS does issue a copy of a transcript that states the numbers of hours/week that students attend various classes and ensembles. Upon return from Milan you will need to consult with MSU Office of the Registrar for finalizing credit transfer.
Accommodations and Meals
The Conservatorio can arrange housing in a dormitory a short tram ride from the school. Currently there are 15 spaces but there will be more in the future. There are also rooms in family homes. In some cases, practicing is allowed in the private homes.
Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore also provides two types of housing, dormitories and private apartments.
- Dormitories (these accommodations have a 11pm curfew).
- Private apartments are approximately 20 minutes from the Conservatorio. These accommodations are slightly more expensive than those offered by the Conservatorio. They include Wi-fi, washer, bi-monthly cleaning service. Space in these accommodations must be reserved 3-months in advance.
Through the exchange agreement, MSU students who are accepted to study in Milan will pay MSU tuition and fees to MSU directly while attending the program. Additional costs to the student include room, board, insurance, airfare and other transportation, visa and incidentals. Students will also pay the study abroad application fee of $350. In most cases, students may use their financial aid.
All music students applying for any study abroad program must first be approved by the International Committee of the John J. Cali School of Music.
Your official study abroad request should include three (3) music department references; one each from
- Your studio teacher
- Your area coordinator or academic adviser
- Your major ensemble director
Start by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page to create your account. Supply a copy of the Global Education Reference form (which will be available through your on-line account) to each of the faculty members listed above in sufficient time for them to complete it (at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline as a courtesy). Completed references should be sent by faculty to the Chair of the International Committee by October 1st (for spring programs) or March 1st (for summer or following fall programs). The committee will review the references and make a recommendation to the Global Education Center.
John J. Cali International Committee
Lori McCann, chair