Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How many years of private instruction should I have before applying to the Young Performers Program (ages nine to eighteen)?
We recommend that young musicians have at least three to four years of prior music study with a private teacher.

2. Is a live audition required?
No, for applicants unable to travel to an audition location, we make our final decision based on the submitted recordings, teacher recommendation(s), and written application materials. On occasion, we arrange Skype video auditions (Young Performers Program applicants only). In this instance, string players must provide their own accompanist.

3. I’m a pianist. May I include a collaborative work on my recordings?
You may include a collaborative piece in addition to the required solo repertoire.

4. When will applicants be notified if they are invited to a live audition?
We try to provide three to five days’ advance notice, but you should hold the dates on your calendar for auditions in your city until confirmed.

5. At the live audition, do I need to play the same thing that is on my audition recording?
Live auditions are typically fifteen minutes long. For both the Young Performers Program and the International Program, applicants should adhere to the requirements as outlined in the application information section of our website.

6. If I am a string player invited to a live audition, should I bring a pianist with me?
For the International Program, yes, if possible. If you are not able to do so, please bring piano scores with you to your audition. For the Young Performers Program, we will provide you with an accompanist.

7. What does the typical daily Institute schedule look like?
The day begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m., with three coaching/rehearsal sessions per day. In addition, each weekday includes either a master class or a Café Conversation (informal discussion session led by Music@Menlo’s artists and guests). Instruction takes place each day of the week except most Sundays. We encourage participants in both programs to attend as many evening concerts and Encounter lectures as possible (admission is free for Institute students).

8. When will I know if I have been accepted?
Audition results are generally sent to applicants by email, with the exception of those who have been accepted, who will receive notification by phone. International Program applicants will be notified of their status by March 1, 2017. Young Performers Program applicants will be notified by March 15, 2017. Invited applicants are typically given twenty-four hours to accept or decline an invitation for admission.

9. What is the average age of participants?
In 2016, we had thirty Young Performers Program students with an average age of sixteen. There were eleven International Program students with an average age of twenty-three.

If you have additional questions, please contact Marianne LaCrosse, General Manager and Education Programs Director, at 650-330-2131 or