Application, Auditions & Placements

Fall 2023 Application

The application for Fall 2023 at NEC Prep is now open, and we're thrilled to invite you to audition! As a top music program in Boston, our classes and ensembles fill up quickly, so apply now to secure your spot. For those who are not sure where to begin, please fill out a request for information form, and one of our staff members will assist you. 

    NEC Prep offers music programming for students of all ages, interests, levels, and aspirations, from early childhood to age 18. We recognize the impact that music education can have on a child's life, and strive to provide a nurturing environment for young musicians to grow. We invite you to explore our Fall 2023 Course Catalog to learn more about our program offerings.

    Our application process varies by

    1. Returning NEC Prep students who are not adding new activities
    2. Returning NEC Prep students who are adding new activities
    3. Brand new students to NEC Prep

    Returning NEC Prep Students Not Adding New Activities

    Who does this apply to?
    Students looking to re-enroll in current courses and do not plan to start any new activities or re-audition for a higher-level ensemble for Fall 2023.

    Examples of these students include:

    • Students who wish to continue lessons with current private instructor next year
    • Students who wish to stay in current orchestra/ensemble

    What do they need to do?
    These students or their parent/guardian will log into their existing ActiveNet accounts to register. Please note the following important dates:

    • April 15, 2023: Registration opens for Summer courses & Private Lessons
    • May 5, 2023: Registration opens for Fall 2023 private lessons, ensembles, and other Prep activities.


    Returning NEC Prep Students Adding New Activities

    Who does this apply to?
    Students looking to add new/different activities including enrolling in theory or composition classes for the first time, chamber music, audition for a higher level ensemble, or begin private lessons at NEC Prep.

    Examples of these students include:

    • Students who are currently in Preparatory String Orchestra (PSO) but wish to be considered for String Repertory Orchestra (SRO)
    • Students who wish to begin theory classes for the first time

    What do they need to do?
    Parent/guardians of these students must first create a Parent/Guardian Portal Account online. Once your Parent/Guardian Portal is active, you can add your student(s) information and fill out the NEC Prep application on behalf of your student(s). All application materials, including videos, are submitted via Slate (the platform in which you create your Parent/Guardian Portal Account).

    Application reviews will begin in mid-April and students will receive placements by early June. Once your placements are confirmed and you receive your admit letter, you will register for the course(s) you are placed in through ActiveNet accounts.

    Create Parent/Guardian Portal Account

    Where should you go if you already have a Parent/Guardian Portal Account?
    Parent/Guardian Portal Accounts only need to be set up one time. Click the button below to access your existing account.

    Existing Parent/Guardian Portal Account Login


    Brand New NEC Prep Students

    Who does this apply to?
    Students who are not currently enrolled at NEC Prep, including students who took lessons previously but are not currently enrolled in any programs or lessons.

    What do they need to do?
    Parent/guardians of these students must first create a Parent/Guardian Portal Account online. Once your Parent/Guardian Portal is active, you can add your student(s) information and fill out the NEC Prep application on behalf of your student(s). You will also be prompted to submit supporting materials, including supporting video, as part of the application process. All application materials, including videos, are submitted via Slate (the platform in which you create your Parent/Guardian Portal Account).

    Create Parent/Guardian Portal Account

    Existing Parent/Guardian Portal Account Login

    For students over 18, you can create your own account directly on our website, or you can have a parent/guardian create an account and link it with yours.

    Our programs include Early Childhood classes for ages 0-3, Suzuki program for ages four or five to begin learning a specific instrument with private lessons and group classes, private lessons, large ensembles, chamber groups, theory classes, and composition seminars to enhance their musical skills. Large ensembles include orchestras, wind ensembles, and choruses. Chamber music levels range from beginner to advanced, including our Chamber Intensive Performance Seminar (CHIPS). Jazz programming is also available for students interested in fully immersing themselves in the genre.

    The NEC Prep curriculum emphasizes performance, music theory, composition, and music history and our faculty are all professional musicians with a passion for teaching. We also offer specialized courses in jazz, chamber music, and the Suzuki method for young students who want to start learning a specific instrument.

    Priority placements for all Prep activities are available through May 17th. The Large Ensemble application will close on May 17th and results will be sent to students in June. CHIPS applications are due by May 20th. Students interested in general chamber music groups must register by August 30th, and will receive their placement by mid-September. The first Chamber music coachings begin September 23. NEC Prep activities resume during the first week of September.

    We look forward to receiving your application and hope to welcome you to NEC Prep soon! If you have any questions or want to learn more about a particular program, please contact our office at 617-585-1160 or


    We welcome students of all levels, ranging from absolute beginners to the highly advanced. Most classes and ensembles at NEC Prep require a placement interview or audition with a member of the faculty. This is an opportunity for families to meet with NEC Prep faculty and learn more about the program. The faculty use their wealth of experience and knowledge to make sure students are placed in the appropriate ensemble or class for their skill level or with an appropriate private lesson teacher who will help them grow.

    Students may enroll in any program of lessons, classes, and ensembles for which they qualify, determined by audition or placement. Although classes run year-long, we are currently offering openings for mid-year ensemble placements and private lessons.

    Students registered for 30 or 36 private lessons during the academic year are eligible for discounted rates on ensembles and classes, as well as participation in workshops, recitals, and masterclasses.

    Types of Auditions

    Choose from the following options to learn more about how to get involved!

    The Mass Ave bridge crossing the Charles

    Auditions Timeline

    Large Ensemble Auditions (May)

    Large ensemble auditions take place in May via video for the following academic year. NEC Prep large ensembles consist of our Orchestras & Wind EnsemblesYouth Jazz Orchestra (YJO), and Baroque Ensembles. The online application for these auditions is open now via the link below.  Placements are sent out in early June.

    Please note: students who are currently enrolled in our orchestra and chorus program and would like to advance to a higher level group must re-audition each year.  All students in Jr. MYWE, MYWE Concert Band, and Sr. MYWE must re-audition every year.  Please contact if you have questions regarding this requirement for your ensemble.

    Spring entrance auditions are followed by fall (September) seating/placement auditions to determine a student's placement within the accepted ensemble. 

    Placement Auditions (September)

    Students who have been accepted into a large ensemble from the spring auditions also take seating auditions for their specific ensembles in the fall.

    Mid-Year Auditions (November-January)

    Applications are available to join orchestra, wind ensemble, youth chorale, theory classes, chamber music ensembles, and private lessons in the Spring semester, at the mid-way point of the year. All courses, ensembles, and lesson packages are prorated for new students joining our programming or current students who are adding an additional class.  Contact if you have any questions.

    Please note: current students may not use this application to join a higher-level ensemble or to change their private teacher. 

    Rolling Auditions

    Private lessons can be started at any time throughout the year. Rolling admission to our other offerings, such as classes and ensembles, is at the discretion of the instructors. For more information about late enrollment, please contact the office directly.

    Panoramic skyline of Boston