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SMS High School About & FAQs

Auditions for the 2018-19 School Year: Aug 22, 10 am-12 noon.
To sign up, call 212 501 3395 or email

Special Music School is New York City's only K-12 school that teaches music as a core subject.

SMS High School's first two graduating classes, the classes of 2017 and 2018, are unique among New York City public schools in having 100% graduation and college acceptance rates.

SMS High School’s music curriculum emphasizes the development of the student as a musician for the 21st century, updating the traditional model of classical music education in order to prepare students for the multifaceted and diverse opportunities available to music makers today. A small and individually focused learning environment, SMS High School ‘s unique approach gives talented young musicians the opportunity to pursue serious, pre-professional, performance-focused music studies along with a rigorous, Regents-based, academic curriculum – all during the school day. Music courses explore music theory, history, technology, entrepreneurship, as well as other emergent topics.

In addition to helping students build strong core skills as musicians, SMS High School prepares them to comfortably improvise and compose, to understand and utilize music technologies, to collaborate with other musicians, and to celebrate and perform the music of living composer. An internationally recognized music faculty works  one-on-one, in small groups, and in ensemble rehearsals with students, helping them grow, learn and excel.

Founded in 1996, Special Music School represents a unique public/private partnership between Kaufman Music Center, which is responsible for the music program and provides each student with a full, merit-based scholarship and the New York City Department of Education, which provides the academic program and materials. The music program is fully funded by Kaufman Music Center through private contributions. As with all public schools, tuition is free to residents of the residents of the five boroughs of New York City.

One of the highest achieving public schools in New York City, Special Music School is a diverse community drawing students from all five boroughs. The high school admits 50 students per grade, for a total enrollment of 200 students.The High School is located at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Complex on Amsterdam Ave. at 65th St.