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About SMS High School

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

We are proud of achieving 100% graduation and college acceptance rates in 2017 and 2018! College acceptances include Barnard College, Columbia University, The Juilliard School, McGill University, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr College, Colgate University, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, Washington University, Wellesley College and many others.

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. 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. Music courses explore music theory, history, technology and 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 provides the music program and faculty, and the New York City Department of Education, which provides the academic curriculum. The music program is funded by Kaufman Music Center through private contributions.

Distinguished by its rigorous academic program and exceptional music offerings, 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.