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FACE THE MUSIC

Face the Music is Kaufman Music Center’s contemporary music education program for teens and the country’s only youth program dedicated to studying and performing music by living composers. Auditions will be considered on a rolling basis and are still encouraged for teens looking to join the 2022-23 Season. Interested musicians ages 12 -18 may apply here. Ensembles meet in person on Saturdays. Please see full program, timeline, tuition and audition information in the 2022-23 Program Brochure.

The New Face of 21st Century Music

Praised for “stunning performances” by the New York Times, Face the Music features a collection of ensembles including a chamber orchestra, a jazz big-band, an improvisation collective and small ensembles, all dedicated to studying and performing experimental, new-classical, new-jazz & avant-garde music written exclusively by living composers.

Face the Music members have unparalleled performance opportunities at venues across NYC and receive mentorship and support from its unparalleled network of professional contemporary musicians and organizations. Rehearsals are on Fridays and Saturdays at Kaufman Music Center.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is Face the Music online or in-person right now?
Who can participate in Face the Music?
How can I join Face the Music?
When and where are rehearsals and performances?
What kind of music does Face the Music play?
How can I join the composition program?
What is the tuition? Is financial aid available?
What room is my group in, and what should I bring to rehearsals?
Who do I contact if I am going to be late or need to miss a rehearsal?
How can I help if I am a Face the Music parent/family member and would like to volunteer?
Who should I contact if I have a cool idea for a project or if I have a miscellaneous question?

Q: Is Face the Music online or in-person right now?
A: Face the Music is operating with in-person rehearsals on Saturdays and a hybrid option for individual lessons. As we prioritize the wellbeing of our students, coaches, staff, guest artists and organization, our primary concern is for everyone’s health and safety. Due to the nature of frequently changing regulations and conditions, official Covid-19 measures will be shared directly with members and families.

Q: Who can participate in Face the Music?
A: Music students ages 12-18 who want to explore cool and exciting new music while creating and collaborating with performing and composing artists shaping today's contemporary music. For a good ensemble fit, prospective students should have at least 3 years of instrumental study, ensemble playing experience, basic sight-reading skills, and comfort with their major and minor scales. All players should be at least a NYSSMA level 3, with level 4 and up encouraged. String players should have completed Suzuki Book 5.

Q: How can I join Face the Music?
A: Apply to audition for Face the Music here! Students are placed within the program not only based on their audition, but on their interests, enthusiasm and commitment. Prospective students with questions may call 212 501 3360 or email facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org.

Q: When and where are rehearsals and performances?
A: Face the Music rehearsals are held at Kaufman Music Center’s main building (129 W. 67th St.) on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Ensembles rehearse weekly on Saturdays throughout the school year. Performances take place in venues across NYC in high-profile spaces like Merkin Hall, National Sawdust, Roulette, The Jazz Gallery and BAMcafé. 

Q: What kind of music does Face the Music play?
A: Face the Music plays experimental, new-classical, new-jazz and avant-garde music written exclusively by living composers. Past seasons have included works by Kamala Sankaram, Maria Schneider, Greg Saunier, John King, Rhiannon Giddens, Sean Friar, and Rudresh Mahanthappa. Face the Music also performs works by its own member-composers. Students participate in ensembles including a chamber orchestra, a jazz big-band, an improvisation collective, string quartets and mixed chamber ensembles.

Q: How can I join Composition, Songwriting, Conducting, or the Electronic Music programs at Face the Music?
A: Any teen musician who has auditioned for Face the Music may be eligible to sign up for lessons in Composition, Songwriting, Electronic Music or Conducting. Previous experience in any individual lesson area is not required. Face the Music encourages students to try something new!

Q: What is the tuition for the 2022-23 school year? Is financial aid available?

  • Large Ensemble Membership  $720
    This is the core Face the Music member experience. Students participate in a large ensemble throughout the school year, perform works by living artists, and have opportunities to meet and learn from guest artist performers and composers. Face the Music ensembles range from big band to chamber orchestra, and ensemble placement depends upon instrument, interest and skill. 
    Special Music School High School students receive a 25% discount.

  • Small Ensembles  $1100
    This is an intensive program of Face the Music that provides each student individualized performance training and intimate ensemble experience within a small chamber group, such as a string quartet. Students receive more attention from coaches and gain insights into the essential musical, interpersonal and creative skills required in the modern musical landscape of professional new music. Small ensembles meet for 2 hours of rehearsal weekly on Face the Music days. Students may choose to participate in a large ensemble in addition to their small ensemble for the duration of a year or for a specific performance opportunity at no additional cost.
    Special Music School High School students receive a 25% discount.

  • Individual Lessons Program  Starts at $860 per semester
    Any teen musician who has auditioned for Face the Music may be eligible to sign up for lessons in Composition, Songwriting, Electronic Music or Conducting. Individual Lessons are offered in the fall and spring. Students receive fifteen 30-minute private lessons across two semesters. Additionally, each semester includes an opening group class as well as a concluding showcase event. Previous experience in an individual lesson area is not required!

  • Workshops – $300 per Workshop for Members
    Face the Music Workshops are open to musical teens with no formal audition required. Common Workshops include Songwriting, Electronic Music, Improvisation or Conducting. Workshop information will be announced throughout the school year and will run based on student interest and enrollment. Workshops include a minimum of 5 sessions, are 1.25 hours in length, and meet weekly on Face the Music days.

    For financial aid information, call 212 501 3360 or email facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org.

Q: Who do I contact if I am going to be late or need to miss a rehearsal?
A: Contact Face the Music by emailing facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org, or call 212 501 3360. Students are permitted no more than 5 excused absences to expend at rehearsals for the entire season. Absences for conflicting events (non-emergent) should be reported at least 1 week in advance. Attendance is always expected at: performances; rehearsals with a visiting guest artist; and dress rehearsals (the final rehearsal day before a concert).

Q: How can I help if I am a Face the Music parent/family member and would like to volunteer?
A: Volunteers are needed for transporting equipment to and from performances, helping with check-in at venues, assisting with recruitment efforts, and reaching out to potential venues, artists and collaborators. To discuss opportunities, please email facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org or call 212 501 3360. Volunteers working with students will need to have a background check as per Kaufman Music Center policy.

Q: Who should I contact if I have a cool idea for a project or if I have a miscellaneous question?
A: Please email Face the Music at facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org with miscellaneous questions. If you have an idea for a project, awesome! Share it with us! We’re totally open to new ideas and trying new things, and we want to make this experience as exciting for you as possible.
 


DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT
The Barbara Bell Cumming Charitable Trust has offered to match all gifts made to Face the Music this season, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000. This special matching grant opportunity will provide meaningful support for our coaches and students, including expanded scholarship opportunities for those experiencing financial need. Gifts of all sizes make a huge difference. Make yours today! Donate Now