Special Reports

MA Top 30 Professional: John-Morgan Bush

December 5, 2023 | By John Fleming

Dean, Extension Division
The Juilliard School

John-Morgan Bush became dean of the Juilliard School’s continuing education division at the beginning of 2020, and it has grown impressively since then, with enrollment almost doubling to 1,100 students who take classes every year. Extension students are mostly adults ranging from their 20s and 30s all the way up to their 90s. They are drawn to the program by a menu of 111 courses in the performing arts, taught by Juilliard faculty.

Bush, a French horn player, educator, and entrepreneur, has embraced ideas of the creative aging movement in his job. “Creative aging, for me, involves the way the arts bring value and an increased quality of life as people grow older,” he said. “What we’re seeing is that nurturing creativity doesn’t have an age boundary. People are looking for ways to engage with the arts in a very robust, deep way.”

Popular Juilliard extension courses for adults are those on voice, ballet, guitar, and scene study for actors. “These are what I call group participation classes,” Bush said. “People want to learn how to do these things, to participate in art as well as appreciate it.” Music theory, composition, and music production are staples of the curriculum. Inaugurated during Bush’s tenure was an online workshop called Advancing an Anti-Racist Orchestra Model. In four sessions over two years, it was taken by more than 100 members of symphony orchestras around the U.S. and Canada to learn about issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

In June, Juilliard Extension launched a pilot program to offer on-site classes in music, dance, and theater, as well as performances, both live and streamed, to residents of the Sunrise Senior Living community on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “Sunrise is one of the largest senior living providers in the country,” Bush said. “Our goal is to deliver the program digitally live to a network of senior living communities, bringing it to thousands of people at once.”




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