Barthelmes Conservatory Program

A place where serious music students participate in a vigorous and elite training program, preparing them for their pursuit of a career in the music field.

In 2004, the Conservatory adopted the refined and prestigious, century-old Russian “Music Schola” known for its rigorous and comprehensive training. The students learn the technical and musical skills needed to make any instrument a vehicle for self-expression and enjoyment. In addition, the Russian model not only encourages progressive mastery of technical skills, but also the conventions governing the expression of emotions in performance through work privately and in ensembles.

The Conservatory is a competitive and scholarship-based program for young students with a commitment to perform and excel on piano, cello, violin, viola, bass, and flute. Conservatory students have more involvement in the music community through the Conservatory’s cooperative efforts, such as its collaborations with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Opera, Chamber Music Tulsa, Tulsa Ballet, Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, Tulsa Children’s Chorus, and the German-American Society of Tulsa, among others. Along with our students, the greater Tulsa community is served with opportunities to attend free public concerts at Conservatory’s Open Concerts, and Faculty and Student Recitals.


All children ages 8 – 14 years old are eligible to apply to the Conservatory and apply for a scholarship. No prior experience or training in music is necessary to audition. The students are not always asked to play an instrument or to demonstrate initial skills/training in music. The auditions are designed to identify students with innate aptitudes in pitch perception, rhythm, and physical coordination.

Scholarships for the Conservatory division are awarded based on a sliding scale.


The Conservatory requires an entrance audition and interview from each student and his or her parent(s). The audition process for admission to the Conservatory is designed to identify students best suited for the Conservatory curriculum. While students need not have any prior experience or training in music, the auditions are designed to identify students with innate aptitudes in pitch perception, rhythm, and physical coordination, all of which are intrinsic to musical giftedness.

While musical aptitude is an extremely important component of the audition process, decisions to admit students to the Conservatory go beyond the simple assessment of musical giftedness.  The audition process also weighs other factors, including the student’s overall attitude, motivation, willingness to practice and desire to enroll in the Conservatory, and the parent or guardian’s ability to provide adequate supervision and moral support for the student’s musical growth.

Students who successfully pass the audition become candidates for needs-based scholarships.

Instrument Placement

At the initial audition, each student states his or her instrument preference. The final determination for instrument placement, however, is made after considering the faculty recommendations and scholarship availability on a particular instrument.


Prospective Conservatory parents and students are encouraged to visit the BART Center for Music, meet with the Director and the staff, request observations of classes/lessons, attend rehearsals and concerts, and meet with current parents and students to gain an understanding of the program expectations and requirements. All prospective students are then asked to audition and begin the application process.


The Conservatory offers a well-rounded curriculum comprised of bi-weekly individual instrument lessons, music theory, music history and ensemble/orchestra classes, concert attendance, and portfolio documentation. The Director and the Conservatory Faculty collaboratively design the curriculum and set the requirements and expectations for each level in the Conservatory. This Handbook outlines important information and course requirements for all subjects taught at the Conservatory.

  • Instrument Instruction
  • Music Theory
  • Music History (2nd year and up)
  • Ensemble (3rd  year and up; depending on progress)
  • Concert Attendance
  • Portfolio documentation

For more information about the Barthelmes Conservatory please download a copy of our handbook.


  • A Student making music experiences "simultaneous engagement of senses, muscles, and intellect. Brain scans taken during musical performances show that virtually the entire cerebral cortex is active while musicians are playing."

    – Source: Educational Leadership, November 1998 Retrieved August 16, 2011 from the Americans for the Arts Web site