At JTS’s H. L. Miller Cantorial School, we welcome applicants from a broad range of Jewish and musical backgrounds. We also work closely with prospective students to guide them in acquiring the skills necessary to begin their cantorial studies.
Applicants to H. L. Miller Cantorial School should have:
- A bachelor’s degree
- A pleasing, expressive voice
- A minimum of one year of formal study of music theory and musicianship
- Some proficiency on the piano or guitar
- Performance experience
At the time of application, we expect candidates to demonstrate that they follow, or are growing into, a life of traditional Jewish observance. It’s not uncommon for our students to be moving increasingly in this direction when they arrive at JTS and to continue on that journey while here. As you consider entering the Cantorial School, we will certainly discuss our religious norms and expectations with you.
It is extremely valuable for entering students to have familiarity and experience with tefillah as it is conducted in Conservative or traditional egalitarian congregations.
Entering students require a minimum of two years of university-level Hebrew or its equivalent. We are happy to work with candidates to determine where their Hebrew knowledge stands and to guide them to any further study they may need to begin the program. Admitted students who need a boost can contact us for a comprehensive list of our Hebrew Study Resources. Other options are to study at JTS for a summer or consider an ulpan in Israel.
Time for Degree Completion
Earning cantorial ordination requires between three and five years of full-time study, depending on the range of training, skill, and experience students have when they begin.