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K-8 Admissions

How to Apply

See SMS's 2018-19 DOE School Quality Snapshot for grades K-8

Application Process for the 2021-22 School Year

All families applying for kindergarten are required to apply through the NYC Department of Education’s kindergarten application ( After the kindergarten application has closed on January 19, Special Music School will reach out to individual families in late January/February to schedule a music assessment appointment. Additional questions about the application process should be directed to or by calling 212 935 2009. 

All families applying for 1st and 2nd grade must first complete the Music Background Form by February 1. After completing the form, you will be contacted in early March by Special Music School with further information about the assessment process.

Auditions for admission to SMS grades 2-5 will be held in person on April 21. For students applying to grades 3-5, please fill out the Music Background Form by March 15 if you would like to receive updates about the auditions. (The Music Background Form for 2nd grade applicants was due in February.) Students who complete the Music Background Form will be contacted in early April by Special Music School with further information details about the 2nd-5th grade audition on April 21.  

For questions regarding auditions for 2nd to 5th grade, please email

There will be no auditions scheduled for grades 6-8.

Assessment and Audition Information

Grades K-1
Researchers, expert practitioners in early childhood education, and master musicians have worked to develop a reliable and valid measure of musical aptitude for use by Special Music School. This assessment includes hands-on, interactive musical tasks that focus on the child’s perception and performance. This assessment attempts to avoid cultural bias and is not dependent on prior music training. Through direct, systematic observation, data will be collected that will help us to evaluate your child’s musical potential, and his or her ability and desire to participate in an intensive musical program.

Grades 2-5
The audition will include prepared pieces, scales, and may include sight reading and a brief ear training test. Students who do exceptionally well on the audition may be invited to interview for the school. Students in grades 4 and 5 will take a diagnostic theory placement exam, which will have no bearing on deciding admissions decisions.

Audition Requirements
Sample Repertoire List