Paris, France

Summer Contemporary Music Creation + Critique

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This program has been suspended for summer 2021.

Explore our other active study abroad programs for summer 2021, or check out our travel assurances and updated health and safety guidelines.

If you’ve got a passion for composition, this four-week Parisian adventure will be music to your ears. Learn from the experts at the world-famous IRCAM at the Centre Pompidou, recognized for experimental composition and research, with a unique three-step curriculum sure to take your skills to the next level. Top it off with celebrated musical festival and travel to Brittany.

Unique Experiences

  • Learn from and collaborate

    with IRCAM students, composers, researchers, scholars, and visiting performers.

  • Master cutting-edge electronic

    composition software – then enjoy a year of access to IRCAM’s software database back home.

  • Connect with celebrated artists

    and composers at the IRCAM ManiFESTE music festival.

  • annual visitors to the Notre Dame cathedral

  • monuments throughout the city

  • trees line Parisian streets


Location & Culture

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If you’re looking to spend time in one of the world’s most prominent centers of culture, finance, and commerce, you’ll find it in Paris. The capital of France – and the country’s most populous city – Paris is a top tourist destination and will make you fall in love with its historic landmarks, exquisite dining, and charming architecture. Paris has hosted two Summer Olympics and two FIFA World Cups, and each year the city hosts the final stage of the Tour de France bicycle race.

The Culture


  • Attend concerts, conferences, exhibitions, and happenings around multi-media and new music technology and composition, during IRCAM’s ManiFESTE festival.
  • Enjoy two-day trips to explore musically relevant cities and culturally rich towns outside of Paris.
  • Savor time in the studio, patching, sound sculpting, composing, and more.

Daily Life

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    Shared Apartments: Most students live in shared apartments in Paris with other CIEE students. Student apartments are located throughout the city but will be within a 45-minute commute of the Global Institute.

    Homestay: A limited number of homestays may be available, with preference given to those whose universities require living with a local family.


    Shared Apartments: Meals are not provided for students staying in apartments. Each apartment has its own kitchen where students may prepare their meals.

    Homestays: Students who live with homestay families receive breakfast daily plus five additional meals per week.

Paris, France

Where You'll Study

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    Next to the Centre Pompidou in the Marais district in central Paris.


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This unique summer program takes place at the world-renowned Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). Founded in 1977, IRCAM is devoted to research and experimentation in music composition, acoustic performance, and technological modification of sound.

IRCAM conducts ground-breaking research in acoustic and computer technology. Promoting new works and new composers under the aegis of the Centre Pompidou, IRCAM also provides intensive instruction to a select handful of graduate students.

All classes in this program take place at IRCAM, and students have full access to all facilities, including the library and mediathèque, as well as all ManiFESTE activities. Students participate in three components:

  • First Steps: An intensive two-week course focusing on the MAX/MSP music application that helps students create patch sound samples and voice modulation; Audiosculpt and OpenMusic are also introduced.
  • Culture of Music Creation: Connect the art and critique of sound with concerts and events at the ManiFESTE festival at IRCAM.
  • Académie: A two-week training to learn other IRCAM composition software and an exploration of how renowned visiting composers use it.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

  • Completion of or proof of enrollment in an introductory level course in electronic music that touches on Max/MSP.
  • Fluency in Macintosh OS X environments.
  • Familiarity with a sequencer program such as Pro Tools or Logic Audio.
  • Familiarity with a sound editor like Peak. A letter of motivation.

Program Requirements

All students must take MUSI 3001 CMCC: Contemporary Music Creation and Critique

Program Credit

Total credit: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits

Course Credit

CIEE course: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 76 contact hours

Academic Culture

MAX/MSP and overview classes blend theory and practice. Students are gathered in small groups for exercises and “patches” designed to bring together topics covered in sessions. With the simultaneous ManiFESTE and Académie concert series, and opportunities to interact with other composers, IRCAM provides a unique forum for new music composers.

Class Format

Most classes include only CIEE students. Master classes and some Académie classes include both CIEE students and other international students.


Students are graded based on composition exercises and a final evaluation for the composition software phases of the program. Written work in Culture and Critique of Composition section is averaged into composition exercises and final work.

Language of Instruction



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Course Information

Course Notes
All work completed during training sessions, program exercises, Académie, and IRCAM are required components of the program and factor into the final grade for the course.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.

What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
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    Apply Now
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    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

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    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.