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What is the AVPA-Music program?

The AVPA-Music program is one of the seven programs at the Bergen County Academies. Students in this program study an academic, honors-level college preparatory curriculum with a focus in music. Students have core academic courses (usually at the honors level) as well as core music courses! The program is for musicians who possess a combination of musical talent, passion and activism. In addition to the regular BCA admission process, candidates must also undergo a music audition. More information is available online:

9th graders begin the program by enhancing their keyboard/piano skills in Digital Keyboarding. They also take Musicianship, a methods course where they learn to play woodwind, brass, string and percussion instruments. The course ends with a special project in music technology.

In 10th grade, students take a rigorous AP Music Theory course and may earn college credit. They study college-level music theory, which includes harmonic analysis, counterpoint, voice leading and ear training. An exhibition of students' digital compositions is also part of the curriculum.

In 11th grade, students go beyond the AP theory curriculum in Advanced Problems in Music Theory & Technology. Here, students delve into augmented sixth and Neapolitan chords, fugal composition techniques, and analysis of twentieth-century music. They also take Conducting where they acquire techniques needed to lead and direct ensembles. The AVPA-M program ensures a rounded arts education with part 1 of Music & Society: a course that teaches the evolution of musical style with corresponding art and socio-political trends. The year ends with Digital Recording Lab where students learn how to make professional-quality recordings of themselves and their peers while exploring music production.

In 12th grade, Seniors learn current technological and composition techniques in Electronic Music Synthesis where they work with state-of-the-art software, such as Finale. The course culminates with each student completing a formal composition. They also complete part 2 of Music & Society. The 12th grade capstone course is Senior Music Seminar, where they each build a guitar, and take it home at the end of the course! As part of the course, seniors also produce and present their AVPA-Music Senior Recital - a state-mandated graduation requirement assessed by professionals in the music field.

Each AVPA-M student is required to participate in performing music electives each year (band, orchestra, choir, ensemble).

You can learn more about the AVPA-Music program by attending one of our concerts or admissions open house in the fall. Please note that the AVPA-M program is not a conservatory or a full-time performing arts program. We offer a college preparatory, academic honors program, with a focus in music.

What kind of student do you accept into the AVPA-Music Program?

Academically talented students prepared for a challenging, college preparatory honors-level, academic curriculum. Students who have an outstanding ability in music- students we accept are some of the strongest musicians in their communities and participate in honors level ensemble and/or pre-college programs.

- Individuals who have demonstrated academic achievement

- Talented musicians who have achieved musical excellence (competition finalists, pre-college, awards, etc.)

- Students planning to study music in college.

- "Music is my life"

- Students with years of private music study continuing throughout high school.

What kind of student do you produce?

College bound students prepared to succeed in college music programs. BCA graduates have gone on to study music at Berklee College of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, Juilliard, Peabody Conservatory, Westminster Choir College. Many of our alumni are now touring musicians, music teachers, music business professionals, or avocational musicians working in other fields.