For the past five years, Joe Montcalmo,director of learning innovation and Peabody’s first employee in the instructional design field, and his tech-savvy department have been developing innovative online courses.
When the pandemic hit, their work illuminated a path toward new graduate program possibilities. “During the pandemic, we realized that Peabody has extraordinary digital teaching expertise,” says Abra Bush, senior associate dean of institute studies.
Leveraging these strengths, Peabody will launch three new master’s degree programs in June 2022 — in Guitar, Composition, and Computer Music — in a hybrid format. Master’s students in these low-residency programs will spend four weeks on campus before transitioning to fully remote learning during the fall and spring semesters. Then they will return to Baltimore the following June for a month of lessons, concerts, and master classes, for what Bush envisions as a summer festival atmosphere.
With three graduate programs in residence for the month, and both cohorts in each program collaborating with faculty members, the campus will come alive during what is typically a quiet month. For students, these programs offer a chance for people living around the world — and in many cases, pursuing a career— to complete a graduate degree at Peabody on a compressed timeline and at a cost less than a two-year in-person program.
“Ultimately,” Bush says, “I see this area as an opportunity to expand Peabody’s footprint around the world and enrich the student body with those who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to study on site during a standard-length academic program.”
“These low-residency programs allow us to leverage the teams we’ve built and success we’ve had in online/hybrid learning at Peabody over the last five years,” Montcalmo says. “This totally new learning experience is built on that solid foundation. These students will earn a Peabody degree in a way unlike any other Peabody student before.”