master class at school of jewish music

Cantor-Educator Program

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Students in the School of Jewish Music may choose from two cantorial ordination tracks:

A five-year, full-time program that combines musical studies with education courses in the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education. Graduates earn a Master of Jewish Education in tandem with ordination and qualify to fill roles such as Hebrew school principal, community-life director and teacher.

A four- or five-year, full-time program that gives students the opportunity to choose courses in their areas of interest, including focused study of Jewish texts and liturgy. Graduates earn a Master of Arts in Jewish Studies, with a concentration in Jewish sacred music, in tandem with cantorial ordination.

All ordination programs begin with a year of Mekorot. Under the supervision of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, cantorial students join with beginning rabbinical students to immerse in the study of Jewish life and practice, Hebrew language and texts, both classical and modern. Students who enter the ordination programs with advanced standing may qualify to complete their course of study within a shorter time frame.

Course of Study

cantor brian mayer

Cantorial coursework includes classes in the history of Jewish music, choral conducting, musicianship, liturgy and the prayer book, vocal performance, nusach (prayer-song), cantillation (vocalization of sacred texts), song-leading, contemporary liturgical music and composition, as well as professional training in religious leadership and pastoral counseling.

The program includes voice lessons and coaching by Boston’s finest teachers, as well as an opportunity to participate in Kol Arev, the Hebrew College choir; Koleinu, Boston’s Jewish community choir; and the renowned Zamir Chorale of Boston, artists-in-residence at Hebrew College.

A Musical Learning Community

Each week, you will join for a community meeting to experience guest lectures, master classes and performances, as well as to participate in group discussions on topics of student interest and in shared problem-solving. During shacharit and mincha prayer services, you will gain experience leading prayer and reading Torah.


As part of your course of study, you will observe and assist a professional cantor in a synagogue or other appropriate setting. In the fall semester, you will spend most of your time shadowing your mentor. During the spring semester, you will have time on the pulpit and be observed by and receive feedback from your cantor-mentor.

Learn More

Join us for our pre-recorded informational webinar. In less than 30 minutes, you will learn about our program requirements, "meet" our dynamic faculty and learn about our admissions process. 


Aliza Berger
Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator