From ancient Ambrosian chants to cutting-edge multi-media installations, Italy has always been at the forefront of musical innovation. As a music student in Milan, you have the opportunity to work with world-class musicians, soak up the local music scene, perform at a variety of venues, and attend a wide range of performances.
What You'll Study
Whether you’re fluent in Italian or you can only say ciao, you are welcomed with open arms by the IES Abroad Milan Center staff. At the Center, there is a full range of opportunities for instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, and performance majors, and partnerships with the Civica Scuola di Musica, the Conservatorio G. Verdi, the Milano Classica Chamber Orchestra (spring only), and La Verdi Symphonic Choir and Orchestra.
In Milan, you get an education tailored specifically to your musical needs and interests. Enjoy being surrounded by some of the world’s top musicians and educators—including the Center Director who is an active composer and music scholar whose pieces are performed worldwide!
Milan will be your classroom. Envision yourself catching an opera at La Scala or working as an apprentice with some of the top musicians in the world. You can work with an instructor who can help you hone and develop your area of study, immerse yourself in the operatic tradition, play in an ensemble, and take courses in music theory or history at one of IES Abroad’s partner institutions. From visiting the spectacular infrastructure created for the World Expo of 2015, hosted in Milan, to surveying Italian art and music culture, you'll explore the innovative nature of this city.
We also help you with instrument rentals and studio time arrangements in Milan. You are invited to attend performances on a regular basis, from productions at La Scala to smaller concerts at intimate venues throughout the city. You can even enroll in a music-related internship, which includes time spent working at your placement in addition to an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.
We want you to feel at home in Milan, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
While in Milan, you are placed in classes and ensembles to enhance not just what you learn, but how you learn it and provide you with new perspectives each day in class. Milan features many highly-qualified local instructors for both voice and instrumental performance, composition, and theory, to enrich your learning experience.
Also, you may use concert venues for recitals, and attend concerts and rehearsals of professional performance organizations such as La Scala, Milano Classica, La Verdi Symphonic Choir & Orchestra, and Italian musical productions. In addition, we help you with instrument rentals and studio time arrangements—all rental costs will be covered by IES Abroad.
You must take 15–19 credits per semester and most courses are worth 3 credits. Language courses are taught in Italian, and all other courses are taught in English or Italian.
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
- English-taught IES Abroad music courses (required, 3 credits)
- IES Abroad Italian language course (required, 4 or 6 credits)
- Private instruction in English or Italian (credits vary)
- English- or Italian-taught electives at local music institutions (optional, credits vary)
- Internship and Seminar (optional, 3 credits)
- String Orchestra Assistantship (optional, 3 credits, spring only)
- IES Abroad Italy Today or Business Studies Programs elective courses (optional, 3 credits each)
The cost of all music-related lessons and partner institution courses is included in the program fee. Please notes that some courses have prerequisites.
In recent years, our music students have worked with more than 60 top Milanese faculty and ensembles. This program offers a full range of high-level music options including:
- Acting for Singers (Arte Scenica)
- Choir options in Gregorian, A Cappella, Chamber, Gospel or Symphonic Choir
- Individual instruction with qualified local instructors
- Vocal Coaching
- Staging Opera
Instrumental Performance: (All Instruments)
- Individual Instruction in Classical/Jazz with qualified local instructors
- Individual Tutoring in Advanced Musicianship & ear training
- Music Performance Workshop
- Student orchestra at the Civica Scuola di Musica
- Orchestra Assistantship and Introduction to Baroque performance practice with the professional Milano Classica Chamber Orchestra (strings only)
Music Theory and Composition
- All levels of theory courses (in Italian) and/or tailor-made projects on theory studies (in English)
- Composition seminar and/or individual composition lessons
- Contemporary Composition in Italian Music and Literature
- History of European Vocal Music
- History of Italian Opera
Private Instrument and Voice Instruction
- Past students have studied with the following faculty/ensembles
- Bassoon - Valentino Zucchiatti, Professor, Accademia de La Scala
- Cello - Silvio Righini, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica
- Clarinet - Maurizio Longoni, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Luigi Magistrelli, Professor, Conservatorio “G. Verdi”, Milan; Fabrizio Meloni, First Clarinet, La Scala Philarmonic Orchestra
- Double Bass - Lutz Schumacher, La Scala and Lugano Radio Orchestras, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Paolo Rizzi, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica
- Flute - Paola Fre, Professor, Istituto Musicale “Vittadini”, Pavia
- French Horn - Hermes Pecchinini, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica, Conservatorio “V. Bellini”, Palermo
- Guitar - Simone Fontanelli, Professor, University of Mozarteum, Salzburg (Classical); Marco Pisoni, Professor and Director, Accademica Musicale di Brera, Milan (Classical); Riccardo Bianchi, Professor, Civici Corsi di Jazz (Jazz); Walter Muto, Student Services, IES Abroad Milano (Folk)
- Harp - Mara Galassi, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica (Baroque); Luisa Prandina, First Harp, La Scala Philarmonic Orchestra (Modern)
- Oboe - Guido Toschi, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica
- Percussion - Andrea Dulbecco, Professor, Conservatorio “G. Verdi”, Milan
- Piano - Mariagrazia Bellocchio, Professor, Istituto Superiore “G. Donizetti”, Bergamo; Silva Costanzo, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Angela Lazzaroni, Co-Director, Accademia Ambrosiana, Milan; Victoria Terekiev, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Lorenzo De Finti, Professor, Scuola Svizzera, Milan; Editor, Radio Svizzera Italiana (Jazz)
- Saxophone - Ausonio Calò, Professor, Conservatorio “N. Piccinni”, Bari; Mario Marzi, La Scala Philarmonic Orchestra, Professor, Conservatorio “G. Verdi”, Milan; Giulio Visibelli, Professor, Civici Corsi di Jazz (Jazz)
- Trombone - Fulvio Clementi, Professor, Conservatorio “G. Verdi”, Como
- Trumpet - Gabriele Cassone, Professor, Conservatorio “G. Cantelli”, Novara; Andrea Giuffredi, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Francesco Tamiati, First Trumpet, La Scala Philarmonic Orchestra
- Tuba - Fulvio Clementi, Professor, Conservatorio “G. Verdi”, Como
- Viola - Mauro Righini, Professor, Conservatorio “G. Verdi”, Turin
- Violin - Carlo Lazzaroni, First Part, “Il Giardino Armonico” Consory, Founder, Accademia Ambrosiana, Milan; Carlo Feige, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Francesco Parrino, Soloist and Private Instructor
- Vocal Coaching - Maurizio Carnelli, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Giovanni Fornasieri, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musical; Angela Lazzaroni, Co-Director, Accademia Ambrosiana, Milan
- Voice - Patrizia Zanardi, Professor, Conservatorio "G. Frescobaldi" Ferrara; Vincenzo Manno, La Scala Chorus, Milan; Janet Perry, Professor, Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland
- Acting for Singers - Antonello Madau-Diaz, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica
Composition, Music Theory and Technology
Past students have studied with the following faculty/ensembles
- Composition: Roberto Andreoni, Director, IES Abroad Milano; Professor, Conservatorio “N. Piccinni”, Bari; Filippo Del Corno, President, Fondazione Milan; Professor, Conservatorio, “G. Tartini”, Trieste; Simone Fontanelli, Professor, University of Mozarteum, Salzburg; Luca Francesconi, Professor, Musikhögskolan, Malmö, Sweden; Carlo Pessina, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Giovanni Verrando, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica, Conservatory of Lugano; Michele Tadini, Professor, Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique, Lyon
- Music Theory: Roberto Andreoni, Director, IES Abroad Milano; Professor, Conservatorio “N. Piccinni”, Bari; Andrea Melis, Professor and Director, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica; Yoichi Sugiyama, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica
- Conducting: Renato Rivolta, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica
- Computer Music, Music Technology: Michele Tadini, Professor, Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique, Lyon; AGON Ard Magnetica (Massimo Marchi, dir.); Kernel Studios (Massimo Avantaggiato, dir.)
- Ear Training: Yoichi Sugiyama, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica
- Musicianship: Marco Pisoni, Professor and Director, Accademica Musicale di Brera, Milan; Yoichi Sugiyama, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica
- Past students have studied with the following faculty/ensembles
- Diego Fratelli, Professor, Milano Civica Scuola di Musica (Middle Ages, Renaissance)
- Gianluca Capuano, Conductor and Researcher (Renaissance, Baroque)
- Marco Pisoni, Professor and Director, Accademica Musicale di Brera, Milan (General)
- Francesco Maria Colombo, Conductor (Opera, 18th and 19th centuries)
- Enrico Girardi, Professor, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan (Opera, 20th century)
Ensembles and Choirs
Past students have studied with the following faculty/ensembles
- A Cappella Choir Coro CLU (Pippo Molino, cond.)
- Baroque String Consort Orchestra Milano Classica (Gianluca Capuano, cond.)
- Ensemble Workshop Simone Fontanelli
- Gospel Choir Civici Corsi di Jazz (Giorgio Ubaldi, cond.)
- Jazz Band, Jazz Theory Fabio Jegher
- Strings Assistantship Orchestra Milano Classica
- Symphonic Choir I Civici Cori (Mario Valsecchi, cond.), Nuova Polifonica Ambrosiana (Fabio Locatelli, cond.)
- Symphony Orchestra La Verdi per Tutti (Jader Bignamini, cond.)
- Wind Ensemble Silvano Scanziani
This is a full list of courses offered in Milan. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings for your term in your MyIESabroad account. The final course list for each term will depend on faculty availability, students interested in each course, and discipline diversity.
Interning while in Milan gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will:
- Gain a better understanding of the real-life, everyday culture of your host country
- Add global work experience and skills to your resume or your application for graduate school
- Improve your confidence
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to find the ideal internship placement that fulfills your academic and career goals. We've placed students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses. If we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search for a placement that's right for you.
Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.
- Music Education
- Music Management & Marketing
- Music Production/Studio
- Music Therapy
Field Trips & Events
Even though your adventure starts in Milan, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:
3 Days | Fall
Experience the cradle of Western Civilization, the home of Magna Grecia, a unique place full of art, archaeology, myth, history, folklore, and breathtaking scenery. Visit baroque Catania; Europe’s highest active volcano, Etna; and the magical mountaintop town of Taormina.
3 Days | Fall
Tour the Tuscany countryside and visit the medieval towns of Pisa, Siena, and Montalcino. Hear the Gregorian chant of the monks of Sant’Antimo Abbey and savor unique wine and cheese while admiring the Tuscan countryside.
Alps Ski Trip
3 Days | Spring
A charming town in the Alps is your destination for skiing in Europe’s highest mountain range.
Culture & Cuisine of Northern Italy
3 Days | Spring
Dive into the music, culture, and cuisine of Northern Italy with guided tours of Cremona and its violin makers, Parma and its parmesan cheese factory, and a family-run agriturismo for dinner.
Secrets of Hidden Lombardy
1 Day | Spring
Explore the Romanesque and Gothic heritage of Lombardy by visiting abbeys and castles located in the Lombardy region.
IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.
We organize course-related trips that complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a better understanding of the Italian culture and society. Possible course-related trips may include:
- Attending concerts and rehearsals of professional performance organizations, such as La Scala, La Verdi, and Milano Classica.
- A lecture by Daniel Barenboim on “Die Walküre”
- Lectures and performances on topics such as folk music, composition awards, and installations
- Attending Mito Festival
- Visiting La Verdi
Part of making you feel at home in Milan is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that prepares you, housing that is well- located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with a short orientation to help you become familiar with the IES Abroad Milan staff, your fellow students, and the city of Milan. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during orientation.
After orientation, you participate in a three-week intensive language program designed to help you gain practical language skills and to acclimate you to the local environment. IES Abroad schedules several excursions and tours to introduce you to the history, culture, and districts of Milan.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Milan, it will feel like home.
Placements are available in Milanese homes throughout the city. This is a priceless opportunity to learn about Italian families first-hand and engage directly with Italian culture.
You have a private or shared room at your homestay and receive breakfast and dinner daily. Enjoy your other meals at university cafeterias bars, or restaurants. Commuting time from a typical homestay to the IES Abroad Milan Center can range from five to 40 minutes.
Share a furnished apartment located in a safe and lively district with three to six IES Abroad students. These apartments are single-sex, and you generally share a bedroom with another student. Single rooms in an apartment carry an additional fee.
Some apartments are also shared with a live-in Italian roommate called a Community Assistant (CA). These assistants can help you improve your Italian language skills, get to know the city of Milan, and integrate more fully into the local culture. The Italian CAs also spend time at the IES Abroad Center answering questions and working for the program. If improving your Italian is your priority, you may request to live in an Italian-language only apartment.
Meals are not included, so you normally eat lunch at a local café or a university cafeteria, and prepare your own breakfast and dinner at home. Located on main public transportation routes near the Center, apartments offer fully-equipped kitchens, Internet access, a dishwasher, and a washing machine.
Collegio di Milano - Residence Hall
This residence for Italian and international honors students offers single rooms with private bathrooms and balconies. The facilities include a computer room, library, small gym, cafeteria, private park, security system, kitchenette, and an auditorium for special cultural programs.
Breakfast and dinner are provided daily and lunch is available on weekends. Space is limited and students are chosen by the Collegio based on academic merit. Because of the extra amenities, this option carries an additional fee.
Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events
Redefine the way you live and learn in Milan through cultural events, such as:
- Attending music performances at the Teatro Alla Scalla Opera House
- Enjoying music sessions with your fellow classmates
- Going to soccer games
- Visiting museums, sporting events, and local fairs sponsored by Italian peers
- Participating in a language exchange with native Italian speakers
- Taking cooking lessons
Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.
Scholarships & Aid
Dr. William Louis Gaines Need-Based History or International Relations Scholarship
Up to $1,875; awarded to 4-6 students each year.
This scholarship is named in honor of Dr. William Louis Gaines, President of IES Abroad from 1974-1992. Dr. Gaines was dedicated to strengthening IES Abroad's academic framework, broadening the scope of IES Abroad locations, and securing the financial foundation of the organization.
Open to students majoring in History or International Relations.
Adelyn Dougherty Leander Need-Based Urban Issues Scholarship
Up to $3,000; awarded to 4-6 students each year.
Open to students who have an interest in urban studies (a major in urban studies is not required).
The IES Abroad Milan Center is located in the city’s bustling historic center, within walking distance of the Duomo, DaVinci's "Last Supper" and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.
- High-quality multimedia classrooms
- Music practice rooms
- Student lounge
- Digital photo facility
- Video editing lab
- Library and reading rooms
- WiFi Internet access
- Student computer lab and printers
About the School
Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More