The main goal of an extended residency is to allow students to nurture a working relationship with a performing artist over the course of several days. The time period allows for interaction well beyond what is possible in a one-time workshop or master class. The residency often (but not always) takes place in preparation before student performances or specific courses of study.

Residencies can include many facets: master classes, private instruction, performances, youth outreach programs. Discussions about music and the music business are a viable option. A residency often brings exposure to student musicians within the community, outside of their school setting. Ensembles receive several private coachings, and often collaborate with the visiting artist in performance. Instrumentalists and singers benefit from days of lessons and master classes as part of their preparation for performances or auditions.

An ideal residency lasts from 2-5 days, with an appropriate amount of time set aside for rehearsals, master classes, and other interactive programming. There are no age restrictions, and the number of students involved can vary from several to numbering in the hundreds.