Welcome to the Middle School Ensembles (MSE) program at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music!

The CU Boulder MSE program is an inclusive, collaborative experience for middle school music students, high school musicians considering a career in music teaching and music education majors at the College of Music. This program provides both a supplemental musical experience to school-based music programs for 6th- through 8th-grade students in the Boulder Valley School District and other districts—across all socioeconomic backgrounds—and strengthens opportunities for future music educators. CU Boulder music students gain experience in providing instruction and administration for nearly all facets of the program.

The program includes full group rehearsals, sectional instruction by instrument and elements of comprehensive musicianship (e.g., music theory, improvisation and composition). All program activities are led by college students, supervised by faculty directors and graduate assistants with experience in music education. A select group of high school students are nominated by their music teachers to participate as co-teachers as they consider music teaching as a career option.

View the 2023 brochure

Beyond providing opportunities for band and orchestral ensemble experience and individualized instruction, the MSE program is expanding partnerships with middle school music teachers to set goals to compensate for pandemic-related learning losses.

Registration for middle school students begins in November of each year. Rehearsals begin in January and run one night a week, concluding with a concert in late April. The program fee remains accessible (half of what it otherwise would be).

The MSE program is made possible in part through the support of the Hoover Fund for Music Education, as well as grants from CU Boulder Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the Office for Outreach and Engagement. The program is also supported through the efforts of the CU Boulder collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).