The Nashville Symphony's Accelerando initiative is an intensive music education program designed to prepare gifted young students of diverse ethnic backgrounds for pursuing music at the collegiate level and beyond. Accelerando seeks to create professional opportunities for musicians from ethnic communities underrepresented in today's orchestras by providing them with instruction, mentorship, performance experiences and assistance with applying to music schools. With access to the resources of a major American orchestra, these students will be able to realize their full potential and will form the next generation of orchestra musicians. 

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Before Accelerando, aspiring to be a professional musician was a mere fantasy – I knew I wanted to go into music, but I had absolutely no idea where to start or how I could ever achieve that goal. As soon as I was accepted into the program, I knew I was in the capable and trustworthy hands of everyone on the Accelerando team. 

As musicians from underrepresented cultures, it is our duty and our community’s duty to expand the realm of classical music to meet people from all walks of life. With differing backgrounds, musicians are able to bring their own unique experiences and interpretations.... After all, music is a language we can all understand, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion.

– Aalia Hanif, Accelerando Student  

About the Program

The Accelerando Program is designed for serious music students who have a high musical aptitude and the motivation to pursue a professional music career on a standard orchestral instrument.

  • Students in grades 4-9 may audition in the spring
  • When fully implemented, Accelerando will serve students in grades 5-12
  • Participants receive year-round instruction from a Nashville Symphony musician or highly qualified local instructor
  • Students and families receive complimentary tickets for Nashville Symphony Classical Series concerts
  • Solo recital and chamber performance opportunities
  • Students are required to participate in school band or orchestra and/or local youth orchestras
  • Technical and performance juries each year
  • Summer activities including workshops, camps, lessons and/or classes
  • Supplementary music instruction at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music in music theory and music history
  • College and career counseling provided to students and families
  • Financial and logistical assistance applying for music school (transportation and room costs, scheduling, etc.)

Eligible instruments include:


Viola Cello








Percussion Harp  

This program is open only to orchestral instrumentalists. Applications for piano, saxophone, guitar and voice will not be accepted.

Questions? Click the links below, or email

Eligibility Requirements  Instrument Requirements

Brochure   Frequently Asked Questions

Community Partners

Thank you to the following organizations for helping to make Accelerando available to the Middle Tennessee community.