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Explore the music industry abroad by interning at a local music school, festival, or other music organization in Barcelona. You will work at least 20 hours a week, and if you intern with a school, you will assist with their development and marketing of new products and services. Interns will also have the chance to assist with the daily operation of the school and developing new public relations strategies. Specially qualified applicants may have the chance to teach or assist a teacher in teaching classes. For summer festivals and other music organizations, interns will assist with a variety of tasks such as marketing, online promotion through social media, event planning, and working as a production assistant.
We work with a wide variety of music organizations, and handpick each specific placement based on your interests as captured in your application through your resume, cover letter, and a Skype interview with our on-site internship placement team. Performing Arts Abroad offers an internship capstone where we will fund you up to $100 to pursue a final project of your design.
For more specific information about our placements and a typical day on this program, please see the “A Day in the Life” tab.
“My summer trip to Barcelona, through PAA, was a life-changing experience for me. From the food, to the sites, to the people I met, I consider it to be one of the greatest cities I have ever visited. The PAA program went to great lengths to individualize a music internship for me at a fantastic music school that met both my professional and academic interests. While at my internship, I had the opportunity to work with a great mentor who went out of her way to guide me and make sure I gained a lot of hands-on experience. It was also a pleasure to work with the students and improve my Spanish along the way. I loved working at my internship so much that I am still currently working for them, as I am organizing all their piano music for the upcoming year. I also had the opportunity to live with a warm, caring Spanish family and their two boys, an experience that further enabled me to improve my Spanish speaking and comprehension skills. It also provided the opportunity for a cultural exchange experience. Lastly, I had the opportunity to travel to other parts of Spain including Valencia, Montserrat, and Madrid. The trip to Valencia was an organized excursion, which was very well run. Overall, the PAA program was very organized from my pre-departure to my return to the United States. There were always people available in Barcelona to answer any questions or troubleshoot any problems. Thanks to PAA for this great opportunity!”
Performing Arts Points of Interest
Sidecar Factory Club
Sidecar has hosted more than 4,000 concerts since it opened in 1982, with a small stage fit snugly into a beautifully lit, low-ceilinged cellar venue. It also hosts DJ sessions until the early hours, six nights a week, covering everything from ghetto funk to indie.
El Molino, founded in 1898, is a legendary music hall and the Barcelona counterpart of the famous cabaret Moulin Rouge in Paris. During the early 20th century, the façade of the building was decorated with huge mill flies like its French equivalent, and became a visual emblem of the Poble-Sec area. Nowadays, El Molino offers cabaret, flamenco, and other music programs dedicated to a wide variety of genres from pop to electronic.
El Gran Teatre Del Liceu
El Gran Teatre del Liceu is Barcelona’s world famous opera house, established in 1847. It hosts the most prestigious international ballets, symphonies, opera festivals, and concerts on grand stages. The exquisite interior design will leave you speechless, and regular guided tours are offered during the day where you can explore the entrance foyer with marble staircases and the Hall of Mirrors, which used to be a meeting point for the Catalan bourgeoisie.
PAA Home Base
Our office is located in the heart of the city, near Plaça Catalunya, and our team includes Spaniards, Catalans and international staff who are all passionate and knowledgeable about international education and life in Barcelona. Our office is a place you can come to talk with staff, hang out in the student and intern lounge, or print any needed documents. We are available to you at the office during work hours (9:00am-6:00pm M-Th, and 9:00am-5:00pm on Fridays), and via emergency phone 24 hours per day.
About the Location
Barcelona is one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan and historically cultural cities, and offers a diverse array of musical performances and groups. You will never be short on inspiration in this beautiful city, with unique Spanish architecture, sidewalk cafes, and delicious paella. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, which has its own culture and language, giving the city a unique vibrancy. Classical music groups are well-renowned, especially symphonic, choral, and opera performances. You can see lively international and local plays full of bright colors and interesting characters, and Barcelona’s dance scene offers everything from classic ballet to Flamenco. Art museums seem to be on every corner, paying tribute to Picasso’s legacy as well as showcasing contemporary stars. Just outside Barcelona, you’ll find beaches and mountain ranges that make the region worth exploring. Beyond that, the city is only hours by plane to destinations such as Paris, Rome, and Berlin.
Choose between living in an apartment or a home stay. All rooms are shared with other interns or students.
In an apartment, music interns will live with other interns and young professionals from Spain, the United States, and other countries. Interns who choose this option will experience multiple cultures while living in Spain, build relationships with other students and young professionals, and have independence when it comes to meals and laundry. Meals are not included and full kitchen and laundry facilities are available to use. You will be able to request your housing preferences and are highly likely to get your requested selection. In addition, if a music intern knows another program participant in Barcelona, participants can request to be placed in the same apartment.
Homestays offer the chance to experience complete immersion in the culture and languages of Barcelona. Musicians who choose this option will receive breakfast and dinner each day and will be able to come and go as they please. Interns will live with a Barcelona family, married couple, or resident who lives alone. Because of meal inclusion the program price for the home stay is higher than if you choose to live in an apartment. Living in a home stay is a wonderful way to gain perspective of life for a Barcelona citizen and to have a day-to-day cultural interaction, as well as work on your Spanish and Catalan.
You will share your apartment or homestay with other interns and study abroad students. Upon acceptance, you will choose between a shared room (shared with one to three other program participants), or a private room. There are rarely more than six flatmates sharing the apartment or homestay.
Interns of all ages and experience levels participate in this program and we have arranged some exciting placements for high-level professionals, but the most common demographics are college students (undergraduate and graduate), and recent college graduates. In the fall and spring, PAA usually has 5-10 interns onsite at one time who join with a dozen or so interns from our partner study abroad companies, while the summer brings over a dozen PAA interns joining over a hundred other interns.
A Day in the Life
The Participant Experience
Past Performing Arts Abroad music interns in Barcelona have interned at a variety of music organizations, including schools, professional studios, education and outreach programs, festivals, and summer concert series. Below is a list of tasks completed by past interns:
- Giving instrumental lessons at a small music school
- Organizing and performing at a summer concert series on the rooftop patio of a Gaudi museum building
- Managing social media channels
- Promoting upcoming performances via visiting potential donors and delivering promotional materials
- Working the front desk of a music studio or school
- Creating a promotional film about the operations of a music organization
On this music internship abroad program, you will book a flight landing at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport (BCN) before noon on your arrival day. At the airport, members of our staff will greet you and other participants beginning the same day at a coffee shop in the arrivals area. Once everyone has arrived, we will take you to your accommodations to settle in and unpack. Later that afternoon, you will attend an orientation and welcome meal where details about your program and the city of Barcelona will be discussed in depth. During your first two days, you will be invited to neighborhood walking tours to get to know the diverse areas of the city. The first day at your internship is usually your second or third day on the program, and a member of our staff will accompany you to make introductions and be sure you know how to travel to your placement on your own. On the first day at your internship, you will finalize your schedule with your placement supervisor, which will be at least 20 hours per week.
A Typical Day
For the rest of your program, you will travel to your placement independently at the times agreed upon with your supervisor. During the second week of the program, you will begin one-on-one Spanish classes that will be arranged with a private tutor based on your specific internship schedule. For 6-week programs, this will be 5 hours of contact time over one week. For 8, 10, and 12-week programs, this will be 10 hours of contact time over two weeks.
During your time outside the internship placement, you are completely independent to explore the city and surrounding areas and countries at your leisure. We provide free weekly cultural activities and regular excursions that include music performances, which we highly recommend you attend! We also send a weekly “cultural agenda” highlighting exciting festivals and other events happening around Barcelona. Our staff are available during working hours to help with your independent travel plans or address any issues you may face, and are available 24 hours via an emergency phone for serious emergencies.
This is a customized music internship abroad. We work with several music organizations in Barcelona, and you will be placed based on your interests and background. When you apply, we will conduct a Skype interview with you in which you will describe what you are interested in and NOT interested in during your internship. We will then use that information to make our acceptance decision and place you with the company that best fits your goals and interests.
Many of our internship placements are at studios and schools that also offer classes for younger musicians. These placements often include the following components, and each intern balances these aspects based on your background and interests:
ADMINISTRATION: Assisting a music organization with the day to day tasks of running the business, promoting the company to the English-speaking world, managing social media and helping with marketing efforts, recruiting audience members for upcoming shows, sitting at the front desk to assist customers when they walk in, etc.
TEACHING: Assisting instructors with teaching classes, and giving one-on-one private lessons. You may also assist with music camps, especially during the summer months.
Founder and Executive Director
Reynolds graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with a degree in Theater and African and African American Studies. For an honors thesis Reynolds filmed, edited, and produced a full-length documentary in Kenya with Haba na Haba, a group using performance for education and social change in the slums of Nairobi. This project earned him the Forum on Education Abroad Undergraduate Research Award. A year later, Reynolds organized a trip to bring Haba na Haba to the United States for a tour of St. Louis and Washington University. Immediately after graduation, Reynolds worked in Rwanda as a filmmaker for Millennium Congregations, an interfaith organization connecting communities of faith in the United States with development projects in Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Reynolds then served two years with Teach for America, teaching in the South Bronx and receiving a Masters Degree in Education from Hunter College. He completed a second graduate degree in African Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, and his Masters thesis focused on the impact of donors on the creative process of Theatre for Development (TfD) groups in Kenya.
Reynolds has traveled extensively in Africa, spending time in Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also studied acting, voice, and movement at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Reynolds is a two-time Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the inaugural recipient of the Dred and Harriet Scott Award for the Advancement of Human Rights, and the winner of two research fellowships. He was also a Dialogue Fellow for the Xenia Institute, has twice served as the co-director for the Roosevelt Institution’s International Diplomacy Center (Washington University branch), and was president of the Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) at Indiana University.
Reynolds lives in Northampton, MA with his wife Julia who is a professional costume designer and his daughter Lily who is a cute baby. In his free time Reynolds likes to play his guitar, go hiking, act in local productions, hit the karaoke bars, sing with his dog Captain (the best doggy singer in the universe), and play various yard games such as KanJam, cornhole, “cups”, and Kubb.
Spain Site Director
Rich supports all participants on our Spain programs. He oversees a team that coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, facilitates internship placements, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Rich Kurtzman has been living in and loving Barcelona since 2002. Originally from Chicago, Rich took his passion for Spanish language, study abroad and all things Spain to Barcelona to work with students and hasn’t looked back since.
Rich studied abroad twice in college – in St. Petersburg, Russia and Madrid, Spain – and participated in an internship in a study abroad office in Milan. He has a variety of experience working in international education from advising students in the U.S. to teaching Spanish Culture and Intercultural Communication courses, to Director of his own organization.
While he does not have much Performing Arts experience (unless you consider playing the Rabbi in his high school production of Fiddler on the Roof, or a couple years in show choir), Rich has a huge admiration for the Arts and loves working with the students in Barcelona whether they are on stage, behind the scenes, singing, dancing or similar.
He looks forward to working with all the future Performing Arts Abroad participants who plan to come to Barcelona and following in the footsteps of other Barcelona alumni who have been able to do solo performances, and worked to make productions big and small come to life.
Spain Internship Placement Coordinator
Roser arranges internships on our program in Barcelona. She matches our interns with performing arts organizations based on their profiles and interviews, works with the placement companies to create training plans and tasks for the internships, identifies new dance studios, theaters, music schools, film companies, and other potential internship placements, coordinates performing arts-focused excursions during the program, and acts as the main point of contact for interns during their time in Barcelona.
Currently based in Barcelona, Roser was born in Torroella de Montgrí (Costa Brava) but moved to Barcelona with her family when she was 8 years-old.
She finished her performing arts studies in Drama in 2003 and worked as an actress in TV and Cinema and also did some modelling for advertisings. She was also part of an amateur theatre company until 2009. After that, she developed her second career as a Health & Safety technician and moved to Andorra and then Bolivia, where she had the chance to experience a different culture and worked alongside an international team (Bolivian, Spanish, French, Austrian and Swiss). She moved back to Barcelona in 2016 and started to work in Study & Internship Abroad Programs, focused in the Performing Arts fields. She is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in Cultural Management and taking classes in Cabaret and Modern Method Acting.
Roser’s passions include anything to do with the performing arts, and also enjoys traveling, hiking, reading and, above all, meeting new people.
I really loved this program! The staff was great. I would definitely go for a homestay the whole time, next time. I loved getting acquainted with the culture and practicing my castellano everyday. I made many friends and got to see a lot of Europe!
I had a great time during my dance internship placement in Barcelona. I have learnt so much about the cultural differences and similarities in dance studios in Spain and the U.K. I really enjoyed the professional dance classes and feel that my dance technique has improved.
“The program was a great experience! It opened a lot of doors for me, culturally as well as professionally.”
From the blog
I am working at a music internship in Barcelona, Spain. I was placed at La Sala Escola Musica, which is a developing music school in Poble Sec, Barcelona. I am working with Monica Trueba, who is the head director of…
Matt Kaplan is currently a Music Intern in Spain. This is a first in a series of blog posts he’ll be writing for us while there. Hola a todos, My name is Matt Kaplan and as of now, it has…
Bón Día from Barcelona. My name is Allyson and I am a dance intern in Barcelona, Spain with Performing Arts Abroad. This blog post is a part of my internship capstone project. Apples. Laundry. High heels. Stones. On Tuesday, July 7, I went…
How it Works
The information on this page provides details for a sample group program. Note that every group is different, and we will work with you to cater the experience to your group. To connect with us and begin organizing a program for your group, please follow the “Get Started’ button below and submit an initial questionnaire. We will then contact you to set up a discovery call where we can go into more detail about your group’s needs and what we can offer.