Music Curriculum, Student Activism, and the New England Conservatory: 1967–1977

Society for American Music; March 12, 2016


The purpose of my paper is to determine whether or not student activism at the New England Conservatory (NEC)—an elite music conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts—helped change the conservatory’s curriculum. Specifically, I will focus on the era between 1967 and 1977 when Gunther Schuller acted as the conservatory’s president. In my paper, I will discuss the reasons for successes (or failures) in changing NEC curriculum, and ultimately contribute to the larger discussion of student activism during the 1960s and 1970s.