In June 1927, Talma returned to the Conservatoire Américain for three months of study. This time she was registered as a composition student in the studio of Nadia Boulanger. The Conservatoire, just six years old, had already gained a reputation for teaching America’s best young musicians, and American composers in particular flocked to study with Boulanger. The Conservatoire provided European training and polish during a time when it was not politically appropriate or practical to study in Germany, as previous generations of American musicians had done.1 Women were especially encouraged to attend the Conservatoire, which had been founded on goals including gender parity in its educational mission. They did not find it easy, however. Despite accepting women into her classes and lessons, Boulanger was harsh with the vast majority of them. A common complaint from female students was that Boulanger repeatedly recommended that instead of wasting time on musical careers that Boulanger believed would never be successful, the students marry talented men and produce talented sons as a way of contributing to musical culture.2 Ultimately, many women left Boulanger’s classes and studio. The few who remained her pupils appear to have survived due to some common characteristics: they had a solid musical education in harmony and theory prior to entering Boulanger’s classes, making them less susceptible to being first ignored and then harassed in class for their shortcomings; they were willing to accept the sometimes devastating critique Boulanger offered in both private lessons and, often humiliatingly, in classes and public masterclasses; they were open to adopting Boulanger’s own severe and driven lifestyle, focused solely on music; and they were willing to believe in the cult of personality Boulanger developed around herself starting in the late 1920s and early 1930s.3