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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 2022-23 School Year

All families applying for kindergarten are required to apply through the NYC Department of Education’s kindergarten application (myschools.nyc). Kindergarten will be aligned with the admissions cycle of the Department of Education. Questions about the kindergarten application process should be directed to esenrollment@schools.nyc.gov or by calling 212 935 2009.

All families applying for 1st grade should complete this form. Questions about the 1st grade application process should be directed to admissions@specialmusicschool.org.

All Kindergarten and 1st grade applicants will receive their assessment time and date the week of January 18, 2022. Assessments will begin January 24, 2022 at Special Music School.

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

  • February 16, 2022 - 6th Grade Applicant Auditions
  • April 6, 2022 - 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th & 8th Grade Applicant Auditions

We do not accept auditions in voice, guitar, saxophone, composition or harp. Applications will be posted two months before the auditions. 

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