Hi, @Snowynyc! — Yes, my son is currently a Peabody student. He specifically chose it because of the combination of the musical opportunities and the awesome faculty in his department combined with the academic quality of Johns Hopkins and the opportunity to take classes at the Homewood campus. In fact, he only applied to universities with good-to-great academic reputations (as opposed to pure conservatories like NEC, Juilliard, MSM, Colburn, or SFC).
I’ll start by saying Homewood classes are available to whomever wants them. They requires extra effort (registering, getting to and from Homewood, and academics) and most Peabody students aren’t interested for one reason or another. Frankly, the majority of Peabody students seem to view the academic courses as things to endure and survive (at best) that keeps them from studying, practicing, and performing as opposed to something they embrace or search out. (In fairness, I think you can say the same thing about most college students and the required core classes outside their major).
Peabody requires four core humanities courses; while it’s theoretically possible to fulfill these requirements via Homewood classes, most take them at Peabody. The focus of the subject matter changes from semester to semester and even within the same semester between the various instructors, but in general, always tie in to music and/or the arts. For some examples, check out the profile and courses taught by Dr. Oliver Thorndike, a particularly awesome humanities professor (and I say that based on my son’s feedback as well as my own observations surreptitiously sitting in one of my son’s Zoom classes): https://peabody.jhu.edu/faculty/oliver-thorndike/
Certain majors have different humanities requirements (e.g. voice performance majors have to take foreign language courses in Italian, German, etc).
There are also upper division humanities electives as well as open electives, all of which can be taken at Peabody if preferred or at Homewood if interested.
My son was eager to take a lower division class at Homewood and took one which he found interesting, rewarding, and challenging. He was the only Peabody student in the class and was treated well by the students who thought it was cool to interact with an actual music major. The professor was very welcoming and encouraging. The class didn’t have a prerequisite so my son was eligible; however, it was typically taken by the Homewood students in that major as their 2nd or 3rd class of a sequence, which made for a steeper learning curve for my son. He was up for the challenge, but it was definitely a challenge. That said, he was excited to meet and engage with students of other majors and enjoyed the diverse points of view.
He definitely plans to take more Homewood classes but wants to wait until classes are back to being in-person so he can get more of a complete “Homewood experience “ vs just another Zoom-based class.
Registering for Homewood classes was relatively easy, but it did require a few extra steps: Peabody has to give you permission (no issue), the professor has to be willing to have you enroll (which my son handled deftly by proactively reaching out to the professors and expressing his excitement for the class and asking for their support), and Homewood’s registrar has to approve. He picked three classes, ranked them, and gave them to the Homewood registrar. His first choice was filled by Homewood students (it was a very in demand class by students in that major), so he got his second choice which he was thrilled for. And honestly, he would’ve been very happy with his 3rd choice too.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Happy to DM about it if you’d prefer, and I can get into more specifics; if you need me to initiate the DMs, just LMK.
Hope this helps