K-8 Admissions

Application Process for the 2023-24 School Year

All families applying for kindergarten are required to apply through the NYC Department of Education’s kindergarten application at ( The deadline is January 20, 2023. Kindergarten will be aligned with the admissions cycle of the Department of Education. Questions about the kindergarten application process should be directed to or by calling 212 935 2009.

All families applying for 1st grade should complete this form
1st grade application deadline: January 3, 2023

All families applying for 2nd-8th grade should complete this form. In addition to completing the KMC application, all 6th grade middle school applicants must fill out a middle school application through the DOE at

All 6th grade applicants should visit this DOE website for application and audition details:

6th grade applicants should follow the guidance there; all 6th graders must upload 2 videos for a virtual first round of auditions. Special Music School will contact 6th grade applicants who advance to a second round of live, in-person auditions on February 8, 2023.

6th Grade video application deadline: December 11, 2022
2nd-5th grade, 7th, and 8th grade application deadline: March 1, 2023

Questions about the 1st-8th grade application process should be directed to

All Kindergarten and 1st grade applicants will receive their assessment time and dates beginning early January 2023, with assessments beginning late January 2023 at Special Music School.

Auditions for admission to SMS grades 2-8 will take place on the following dates:

  • December 11, 2022 - 6th Grade Video Deadline. 6th Grade Applicants advanced to a live, in-person audition will be scheduled for February 8.
  • March 28 - 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th & 8th Grade Applicant Auditions

We do not accept auditions in voice, guitar, ukulele, percussion/drums, saxophone, composition or harp. We offer the following instrument majors within K-8: violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon.

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 2-8
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 4-8 may be asked to take a diagnostic theory placement exam, which will have no bearing on deciding admissions decisions.

Audition Requirements
Sample Repertoire List