The Prep Community



NEC Prep is a community K-12 music school conveniently located in one of our nation's top conservatories. We meet mostly on Saturdays, but have a few offerings that take place throughout the week. We welcome students of all levels, ranging from beginner to the extremely advanced. Early childhood studies involve children as young as 4 years old in Eurhythmics classes and private lessons. Older and more advanced students can choose from a full range of music theory, jazz, composition, large ensembles and private studies.

Our community celebrates music making of all kinds—we are inspired by each other’s unique artistry, and celebrate each individual’s musical journey. The NEC family wouldn’t be complete without our students from the College, the Preparatory School, and the School of Continuing Education, who bring talent, energy, and joy to our campus every day.

We’d love to have you join us!

What is unique about NEC Prep?

Every week, NEC Prep draws more than 1,500 students from all over New England, each exploring their own unique musical path. At NEC Prep, you’re encouraged to pursue whatever inspires you, and pursue it to the fullest—from classical to jazz, world music and contemporary improvisation to musical theatre. Walk down our halls on any given Saturday, and here are just some of the things that you’ll see: composers gathered around pianos, young children doing Eurhythmics, full orchestras, string orchestras, piano seminars, choruses, brass ensembles and trombone choirs, Baroque ensembles, improvisation classes, dozens of chamber groups, music history, and theory classes, and hundreds of private lessons. Our faculty consists of over 250 committed, experienced musicians with extensive teaching and performance careers, including several members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and members of the college faculty.

As a member of the NEC family, you are welcome to the many wonderful resources that our community has to offer. With your NEC ID, you can use the library, attend any and all concerts that interest you, and receive mailings and invitations to special events. Not only that, but you will be surrounded and inspired by 750 college and graduate students, many of whom will become your mentors and your friends. Getting to know these phenomenal artists is a wonderful opportunity for any young musician!

NEC Prep offers the rigor of a conservatory with the openness of a community music school. Some students pursue professional careers, but most go on to become enthusiastic lifelong musicians who carry the NEC experience with them wherever they go.

Is NEC Prep a competitive environment?


Our students are incredibly supportive of each other. They attend each others' concerts, hang out before and after rehearsals, and cheer each other on, both musically and personally. Many of our students forge deep, lifelong friendships through NEC Prep—and so do their parents! And because we have such a wide range of levels and interests under one roof, everyone has a peer group that they can relate to. Our students come to NEC to learn, to make music, and to make friends.

All Preparatory School students are part of a unique musical community. Peer support and the sharing of ideas and talents are encouraged by many features of the program. It is the goal of the Preparatory School to provide each student a stimulating environment best suited to their age and education level.