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Bang on a Can Media Workshop at MASS MoCA

An exploration of contemporary music criticism and journalism

Info for Applicants

Application Deadline: Thu, Apr 4, 2024, 5:00pm EDT

Program Dates: July 27–Aug 4, 2024

Questions? Contact [Please enable javascript to see the email address]


This summer marks our fifth annual workshop for music critics and journalists! Bang on a Can, our special guest faculty, John Schaefer and Terrance McKnight, and 6 writers in the early stages of their careers will gather at MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA) to explore the role of criticism and journalism in today's dynamic contemporary music scene. Our aim is to help writers generate a vocabulary, syntax, and context that is most useful for readers/ listeners and to make modern music and criticism more accessible, welcoming, and exciting to all audiences.

The workshop will take place during the final week of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA -- a residency and festival for composers and performers -- and will include daily meetings with faculty and daily writing assignments. Additionally, participants will be "embedded" in the festival activities, attending rehearsals, workshops, and performances, enabling more insights into the process of bringing music to the stage.

Testimonials and articles from the previous workshops are here:

Participants in the workshop will:

  • meet with luminaries of the contemporary music field: Bang on a Can's artistic directors, our performance faculty.
  • witness the process of building new works from composition, to rehearsal, to performance.
  • have access to "primary source material" i.e. the performers and composers.
  • learn tools for a successful interview.
  • be a part of a community of peers at a similar career stage.
  • be embedded in the festival experience to observe rehearsals and performances, do interviews, and write about them daily for New Sounds, as well as generate a final piece (feature) about their experience.
  • learn strategies for a good pitch.
  • generate an “audio story” through recorded interviews with festival participants.


The 2024 Bang on a Can Media Workshop at MASS MoCA will take place from July 27–Aug 4, 2024. We welcome applicants from all over the globe who are at least 21 years old as of July 27, 2024.

Application deadline — Thu, Apr 4, 2024, 5:00pm EDT.

All applicants will be notified of the decisions by e-mail on or before May 8, 2024.

The tuition fee for the 2024 Bang on a Can Media Workshop of is eighteen hundred dollars ($1,800 USD) and this includes room and board. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due within two weeks upon notification of acceptance. Payment in full is due by June 28, 2024.

Room and Board (included in tuition) — Accommodations for the Festival are within walking distance to the museum. Rooms are double occupancy.

Lunch and dinner are provided Mon-Fri at the museum. Workshop participants are responsible for their own breakfast and weekend meals. There are several local inexpensive eateries near the museum.

All participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from MASS MoCA. Information about transportation will be provided upon acceptance to the festival.

If you have any questions regarding the information on this sheet or general questions about the festival, please send an email to Philippa Thompson, Festival Manager: [Please enable javascript to see the email address].


  • You will be asked to provide three writing or radio/audio samples. Please submit writing samples as PDF files. SoundCloud, YouTube or other website link is preferred for audio samples. You may also upload an MP3 file.
  • You will be asked to upload a CV or Résumé that includes information about your education and work experience in PDF format.
  • You will be asked to provide a short personal statement about your current projects and why you would like to attend.

Note: All materials will be kept private, to be viewed only by Bang on a Can faculty and administration.


For more information about the media workshop, please visit