Dear Friends,

Taking into account the uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, and from an abundance of caution and concern for our students’ and faculty’s welfare, we have decided to offer a streamlined online curriculum for the 2020-2021 school year. We plan to offer our 2-year full-time certificate program beginning in the fall of 2021.

In the meantime, for this year, we welcome students anywhere in the world to participate in a smaller but deeply enriching selection of weekly seminars related to the art, craft, and philosophy of creating musical theater.

Scroll down or click for basic information, course offerings, pricing, and FAQs. Scroll down further or click for info on our fulltime certificate program starting in 2021.

If you are considering attending the full-time program in fall 2021, you will find our curriculum this year to be a valuable foundation. And, if you are not in a position to move to NYC for our full-time program next year, this year’s offerings will be a great way to develop your work and understanding of the form from wherever you are. To apply for this year’s program, fill out the form at the bottom of this page (applications for the 2021 certificate program will be available in October).

Our remarkable faculty is ready to make the leap to online teaching this fall. We are eager to begin building a special community of creators to keep you inspired and supported as you find and amplify your voice in musical theater.

Sam Carner

OUR 2020-21 PLAN

Our fall term courses will run 12 weeks from September 14 through December 10, 2020. Our spring term courses will run 12 weeks from February 1 through April 29, 2021. All courses will take place in the evening (Eastern time) and run 2-3 hours. All courses will take place online.

You can take up to five different courses. See below for course descriptions/faculty and pricing.


For those attending the full-time in-person Creators program beginning in 2021, all of your tuition this year will see that amount applied to next year’s tuition (i.e. a student spending $2,500 in tuition this year will get $2,500 credited toward next year’s tuition).

IAMT Creators Online Courses

FALL (September 14 - December 10)


Course: The Core
Instructors: Sam Carner with Anna K. Jacobs, Marlo Hunter, Derek Gregor, Andy Collopy, Aaron Galligan-Stierle, and many special guests.
Day/Time: Mondays 6:30-9:30
Description:  The foundation of our program, equal parts workshop and master class. This course brings our diverse faculty of industry experts together with our passionate student writers to forge a new virtual community of creators. You will be paired with new collaborators regularly to write and revise in response to prompts, while, in tandem, getting the chance to present your outside work for discussion and critique by your faculty and fellow students. Throughout, you will have access to IAMT Performance Program singers and accompanists who can help as you develop and share your work. This is your chance to explore new collaborations, learn from the best, inspire and be inspired by your peers, and be part of a unique and vibrant community.

Course: Musical Theater Lyric Writing I
Instructor: Adam Gwon
Day/Time: Tuesdays 6:30-8:30
Description: This 12-week class will cover the foundations of lyric writing—including song structure, scansion, and rhyme—and how to apply your storytelling impulses most effectively to the lyric medium. You’ll examine classic musical theater song forms; analyze great lyrics and what makes them successful; and explore how music, book, and collaborators can be considered in the lyric writing process. Through a series of writing assignments, you’ll gain a solid foundation in lyrical storytelling and the tools to be a stronger dramatist and collaborator.

Course: Freelance Artist’s Ma
nifesto and the Business of Musical Theatre

Instructor: Marlo Hunter

Day/Time: Wednesdays 6:00-8:00

Description: An indispensable source of education and inspiration for students poised to pursue their passion, this course provides you with mental and practical tools for mastering life as a freelancer and navigating the business of musical theater. This workshop takes the mystery and fear out of life as an artist, helps students address mental blocks, learn how to utilize their multiple assets, and avoid the most common pitfalls that hinder artists and create unnecessary doubt. In the first half of the term, students are armed with logistical knowledge, laying a firm foundation for networking, creating a healthier relationship with self-promotion, simplifying freelance-budgeting, credit, health care options, filing taxes as an artist, and the most efficient search for supplemental income. The second half will equip students with an understanding of the non-profit and for-profit theater scene, licensing, the taxonomy of any professional production and assembling the right team, what exactly a producer does and how to approach them, grant writing, and more. It’s the stuff no one takes the time to tell you, that you absolutely need to know!   

Course: Musical Theater Book Writing, Structure, and Aesthetics I
Instructor: Sam Carner
Day/Time: Wednesdays 8:30-10:30 (Section A) / Fridays 6:30-8:30 (Section B)
Description: How are musicals different from plays or movies? How does adaptation work? What is the real function of songs in a musical? Are there any non-negotiable plot points? Why is romance such a common theme in musicals? Through reading and discussion of classic musical theater libretti and analytical texts, alongside regular assignments in outlining and song placement, we will examine how musicals really work and interrogate common (mis)conceptions about the form. Without seeking any magic bullets, we will identify trends in musical theater’s history and present, asking ourselves what an audience expects when attending a musical and how to find room for something new. 

Course: Music Composition I
Instructor: Anna K. Jacobs
Day/Time: Thursdays 6:30-8:30
Description: Over the course of twelve online classes, students will explore how music is its own language, with the power to develop stories and characters, imbue the abstract with meaning, and enrich the representational with abstractness. At the same time, students will also build skills in music notation, digital composition, form and scansion, and arranging. Students will synthesize their learning in weekly creative assignments, and the course will culminate in the creation and sharing of a group project.

Course: Music Composition for Words People
Instructor: Andy Collopy & Derek Gregor
Day/Time: Thursdays 6:30-8:30
Description: Are you lyricist or librettist who also has musical ideas you want to develop? This course will help provide a technical foundation to get you from voice memo to lead sheet and lead sheet to score. Train your ear, build music theory knowledge, and develop your personal aesthetic so that you can communicate your ideas with greater clarity to the world and yourself. This course will not only help you get your musical ideas down; it will also give you a deeper understanding of the composers you work with, making you a better and more confident collaborator.

SPRING (February 1 - April 29)


Course: The Core II
Instructors: Sam Carner with Anna K. Jacobs, Marlo Hunter, Derek Gregor, Andy Collopy, Aaron Galligan-Stierle, and many special guests.
Day/Time: Mondays 6:30-9:30
Description: A continuation of the work and collaborations begun in The Core.

Course: Musical Theater Lyric Writing I
Instructor: Adam Gwon
Day/Time: TBD
Description: This 12-week class will cover the foundations of lyric writing—including song structure, scansion, and rhyme—and how to apply your storytelling impulses most effectively to the lyric medium. You’ll examine classic musical theater song forms; analyze great lyrics and what makes them successful; and explore how music, book, and collaborators can be considered in the lyric writing process. Through a series of writing assignments, you’ll gain a solid foundation in lyrical storytelling and the tools to be a stronger dramatist and collaborator.

Course: Musical Theater Lyric Writing II
Instructor: Sam Carner
Day/Time: TBD
Description: Building on the foundations laid out in Musical Theater Lyric Writing I, this course will dig into lyrical genre and style, prosody and sound, and economy and specificity in lyrics. Through a continued analysis of great lyrics, weekly writing prompts and discussion, and an exploration of poetry, you will expand your strategies for building songs, finding inspiration, revising your work, and expressing your ideas with greater clarity and power.

Course: Musical Theater Composition II
Instructor: Anna K. Jacobs
Day/Time: TBD

Course: Musical Theater Book Writing, Structure, and Aesthetics II
Sam Carner
Day/Time: TBD
Description: A continuation of the ideas explored in MT Book Writing, Structure, and Aesthetics I.

Course: TBD
Instructors: TBD
Day/Time: TBD

IAMT Creators Online Pricing

We’re offering a tiered pricing structure, outlined below.

1st course ~ $750 / semester
2nd course ~ $500 / semester ($1,250 total for 2 courses)
3rd course ~ $450 / semester ($1,700 total for 3 courses)
4th course ~ $400 / semester ($2,100 total for 4 courses)
5th course ~ $350 / semester ($2,450 total for 5 courses)



*Members of MainStage Academy are eligible to receive a $50 discount per course.

Can I sign up for just the fall term or just the spring term?

Yes. Signing up for fall courses does not obligate you to continue into the spring. And we will be offering various introductory sections in the spring as well.

Do I have to sign up for the full curriculum, or can I take just 1 or 2 courses?

The whole program is a la carte, allowing you to take as few or as many courses as you want. The more courses you take, the lower the per-course tuition, but we encourage you only to take the classes you can fully engage in.

What degrees, prerequisites, and prior experience do I need to take these courses?

IAMT Creators does not require any degrees, prerequisites, or specific experience--just a passion for creating musical theater. A basic understanding of musical theater will be essential. Some experience as a musical theater writer may be helpful, but we welcome artists with diverse prior experiences. For the Composition seminar, strong notation skills will be expected.

Can I audit courses?

Yes. Auditors will still pay course tuition, but will not be expected to submit work. These courses will not be graded or offer credit, so you may not find a tremendous difference between the auditing experience and the full-participation experience. But, if you prefer feeling no obligation to submit work, you are welcome to join any course as an auditor.

I want to apply for the full-time certificate program in 2021.

Should I still take classes this year?

Yes. Our curriculum this year will be a valuable foundation to themes we will explore in even greater depth next year. And you will get to be part of an engaging community of collaborators and mentors right now. Musical theater creation is an intricate, multifaceted pursuit that takes a lifetime to master, so we encourage you to join us now and build your skill set. And to the extent that we cover certain areas and skills again next year, we will make sure to do it without redundancy. ALSO, if you end up as part of the certificate program in 2021, any tuition from this year will be credited to next year’s tuition.

Wait, if I take IAMT courses online this year and then attend the full-time program next year, I get a tuition rebate? Is that for real?

Yes. Although we need to cover our costs this year, we also want to make sure that our students don’t pay more than they normally would in non-pandemic circumstances. So all of your tuition for this year will be deducted from next year’s bill.

How do I present my Core material online?

You can present your material in a variety of ways. We will have a central email address where you can send scripts, scores, and lyrics for dissemination to your fellow students and faculty. Beyond that, you can play and sing material yourself, bring in an outside performer or performers to sing to a pre-recorded track that you create, share a full demo recording, or take advantage of the IAMT accompanists and performers to share your work in real time at our Core meetings.

I have an outside collaborator. May I bring them to Core meetings?

If you are presenting material from an outside project at a Core meeting and want to bring your collaborator(s) on that material, we welcome their presence at that meeting. That said, if they wish to attend additional Core meetings in which their work is not being presented, they would be expected to register and pay tuition like the rest of our students. Additionally, if you are engaging an outside singer or singers to share your work, those performers are also welcome to attend that meeting in full.

How will working with IAMT performance students work?

At the beginning of the term, IAMT performance students who want to develop your work will submit short audition videos, which you can use to “cast” them in your projects. Submit your casting requests to us, and we’ll put you in touch directly with the performers and accompanists. From there, it will be up to you to schedule rehearsals and work sessions.

Do you have a registration deadline?

Although we encourage you to sign up for classes early to guarantee space, you may sign up for classes (space permitting) right up until the day before their first meeting.

When and how do I pay tuition?

Upon registering for courses, you will be sent a confirmation or invoice and asked to pay half of your tuition. This will serve to hold your spot in the course. Tuition is due in full on or before September 14th (the first day of class), and tuition for the spring term is due on or before February 1st. You can use the “Make a Payment” tab on the website to pay your tuition instantly or pay by check.

Can I pay my tuition monthly instead of in one upfront payment?

Yes. Financing at zero-to-low interest rates is available with an additional (and simple) contract. Email us for more information about financing options.

Can I take these courses while in college?

Certainly, we don’t have specific prerequisites or required degrees for any of these courses. Be advised that some of these courses will require outside reading and/or writing exercises, so budget your time accordingly!

I guess my question isn’t “frequently asked,” because I don’t see it here.

What do I do now?

Email us any other questions at

Are you an aspiring or early-career musical theater creator? IAMT is proud to offer the country’s first Musical Theatre Creation certificate program, an innovative 2-year intensive experience for composers, lyricists, librettists, and directors of musical theater.

Led by Kleban-Award-winning lyricist-librettist Sam Carner, this program will offer you mentorship by some of New York’s top musical theatre developers. And it will introduce you to other passionate, talented writers, composers, directors (and hyphenates), a community of collaborators with whom to enter the business. With a direct affiliation to the IAMT performance program, you’ll also work closely and regularly with a diverse group of talented young performers who can help give expression and voice to your work--both within the program and beyond.

The program balances a dedication to treating you as your own unique artist with a commitment to providing you with a solid framework in the history and present of musical theatre structure and style. 

Over the course of the two-year program, you’ll be involved in the creation and development of many musical theatre songs and scenes, all culminating in your own complete musical. Through varied collaborations and intimate fundamental training, you’ll develop your technical tool-kit, enrich your understanding of the musical theatre form as a whole, learn important practical and bankable skills for making a living in the business, and hone your own distinct creative voice.

Musical theatre is one of the world’s most collaborative art-forms, demanding that artists with widely different specialties develop a common language. So, while we give you tools and time to specialize in the specific aspect of musical theatre that most excites you, we’ll also give you training in far-reaching aspects of the form, giving you the knowledge you need to work meaningfully with your fellow creators.

FAQs (2021 Certificate Program)

Who will my teachers be?

Alongside Sam Carner, our esteemed faculty will include composer-lyricist Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days, Scotland PA), composer-lyricist Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop, Teeth), composer Anna K. Jacobs (Pop, Teeth), Lonny Price (A Class Act, Best Worst Thing That Could Ever Have Happened, Company, Sweeney Todd), composer Derek Gregor (Unlock’d, Island Song), musical supervisor Brad Haak (Mary Poppins, Daddy Long Legs), director Marlo Hunter (American Reject, Saved By the Bell: the Musical), musical director Andy Collopy (Lightning Thief), and other Broadway professionals still being confirmed.

What classes will you offer?

The full array of classes and units are still being determined—and will continue to develop over the course of the 2 years, but they will include:

-Musical Theater Creation Workshop (a weekly collaborative lab)

-Principles of Musical Theater Structure and Aesthetics

-Lyric Writing

-Musical Theater Composition

-Comedy Writing

-Pop Writing

-Opera Musicology

-Music Theory

-Musical Direction

-Working With Performers

-Logistics and Approaches to Creative Development

-Music Business

Additional attention will be paid to more philosophical and political questions of being a creative artist in our current moment as well as other fundamentals of musical theater.


What will the academic calendar be?

This 2-year program will be comprised of four 15-week semesters, commensurate with traditional academic calendars (fall semester running from August 31 through December 17, spring semester running from January 25 through May 21). The second-year may extend into late spring, depending on the presentation details of final projects.


What will the class schedule be?

The class schedule is subject to slight changes every week, as the experience will be a combination of full-semester classes and shorter units. Generally speaking, the classes would be held Monday nights (5:30-10 or 11), Tuesday nights (5:30-10 or 11), some Wednesday evenings (5:30-7 or 8), Thursday nights (5:30-10 or 11), and Sunday daytimes (10-4 or 5).

What sort of portfolio will I come out of the program with?

You can expect to leave the program with a 2nd draft of a full-length musical (created collaboratively in a 2-3-person team), a collaborative 20-30-minute one-act musical, and a number of “trunk songs” from various assignments, some of which could stand alone for cabarets and concerts. You can also expect to have a handful of partially-developed material from exercises that can be developed into more complete material in your own time.

What degree does the program offer?

The program currently offers a certificate of completion.


How much does the program cost?

Annual tuition is $18,000 per year.


Is financial aid/scholarships available?

IAMT can offer student loans/tuition with financing options directly through the Institute. We also offer a limited number of partial scholarships based on need and merit. 

Where will classes be held?

Classes will be held at the Institute for American Musical Theatre, 3835 Broadway 2nd Floor @ 160th St. in Washington Heights.


Is housing available?

IAMT has a relationship with Bohemia Realty who can help you to find nearby apartments at significantly reduced brokers fees. Students often end up spending $700-800 per month for apartments that are shared with fellow IAMT creator students or students from the Musical Theatre program and they are all within walking distance of the school.

What will the workload be?

Some individual classes will have moderate reading, listening, and small exercises, amounting to as much as 2-3 hours of work per class per week (often much less). The most significant work will be collaborative assignments, which will be presented each week. The time commitment for each of these assignments is quite variable, but it would be wise to budget 15-25 hours in time for collaboration, individual work, and rehearsal/preparation.

Can I have a job while in the program?

It would certainly be possible to have a part-time job while in the program, and you will not have class during weekday daytimes, Fridays, or Saturdays. However, given the combination of 20+ hours of weekly class time and 20+ hours of out-of-class work, maintaining a full-time job will be a real challenge.

Is there an application fee?

We charge a $50 application fee to help cover the cost of review by a 3-person panel of industry professionals.

When is the application deadline?

We have a rolling admissions policy, and spots will fill up, so we recommend getting your application in early. That said, our final application deadline will be July 15, 2020 (for the class entering that September.

Do I need musical theatre experience to apply to the program?

You do not need to have written musicals or to have performed in musicals to complete this program, so long as you have a significant interest in creating the form and understand that musical theatre does involve a number of conventions that you will be expected to master over the course of the 2-year experience.

Am I expected to attend all classes? Can I take this program remotely?

Given the collaborative nature of much of the work, you will be expected to be in town and available in person for all classes and projects. We certainly understand that emergencies and important opportunities come up and can accommodate a very limited number of absences, but these will need to be approved and negotiated. Frequent absences will result in dismissal from the program.

What will the academic calendar be?

This 2-year program will be comprised of four 15-week semesters, commensurate with traditional academic calendars. The second-year may extend into late spring, depending on the presentation details of final projects.


When is the application deadline?

We have a rolling admissions policy, and spots will fill up, so we recommend getting your application in early. That said, our final application deadline will be July 15, 2021 (for the class entering in September 2021.

Top-Level Industry Faculty on the Cutting Edge of the Business

Our teachers have won all the top awards in musical theatre writing and are all working at the highest level of the business, both on and off-Broadway. They care deeply about musical theater and creating what’s next in the field--and they’re doing it right now. But they also care passionately about teaching and their students. IAMT Creators provides faculty with a unique combination of creative genius, analytical skills, and passion for paying it forward.

Unique Affiliation With the IAMT Performing Program

Our program allows a weekly opportunity to work with the next generation of musical theatre performers—students at the IAMT performance program—to develop your work. Not only do you get the chance to hear and understand your work through the instruments of talented young singers, but you’ll also be making connections with Broadway’s next generation and developing your own skills in working with singers.

Affordable Full-Time Program

Other musical theater writing programs charge more than twice what we do for tuition or provide a once-a-week experience. We want to set you up for success now, and in the future; we are dedicated to providing our students a full immersion in the field while not saddling you with years of debt.

Ideal Program Size

Designed for a group of 12-20 students, we can give you all the hands-on personal attention you need while providing you with a large enough community of colleagues that you can find the collaborators you vibe best with. You won’t get lost in the shuffle, and you won’t be trapped on a “desert island.” 

Collaboration Between Directors and Writers

Musical theatre creation is a collaboration that transcends words and music. The director adds an important guidance and vision, yet many directors in the business haven’t learned how to be part of the process. We’re working (a) to train the next generation of musical theater directors about how to collaborate with writers and (b) build connections now between writers and directors who can enrich the work.

Bankable, Practical, and Critical Thinking Skills

Although the program’s primary focus is to training you as a musical theater creator, we’ll also provide you with tools to make a living in the business and navigate life as a creative—and we’ll also foster analytical and critical thinking skills that will enrich all aspects of your life and career.




Course Listings

FAQs (Online Program)


Certificate Program (2021)

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City Outline

Why IAMT Creators?

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The IAMT Studios
3835 BROADWAY, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10032
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Tel: (347) 266-4048
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