Instrumental Performance (MM)

Department Website

Program Description

The MM program in instrumental performance enables students to gain the intensive performance training needed to launch their career as a professional musician by combining numerous performance opportunities with related academic study.


Students may specialize in the following areas:

Applied Instrumental Studies

(Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion)

In addition to numerous string, brass, percussion, and wind ensembles as well as chamber ensembles and the NYU Orchestras, students can participate in the NYU Broadway Orchestra and NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble, which have numerous New York City appearances during the season. In addition, students who focus on new music performance are participants in the Interactive Computer Music Series and the NYU New Music Ensemble.

Students are invited to perform for the Composers’ Forum and to work with student composers as well as to record solo and ensemble CDs by music technology majors. Students have excellent opportunities to gain experience in as many diversified areas of performance as possible. Depending on the level of study, each student must present one or two formal public recitals.

Jazz Studies

This area of study emphasizes performance studies covering the full range of today’s jazz music scene. Private instruction for performers and coursework in composition and theory provide a solid foundation.

NYU’s Greenwich Village location brings students to the center of jazz activities. Landmark jazz venues such as the Village Vanguard and the Blue Note Jazz Club are within walking distance. At these clubs, students experience jazz luminaries in performance on a regular basis.

Students also sit in at the numerous open jam sessions around the community. The NYU Jazz Orchestra appears at the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and Birdland in midtown.

Many of our other NYU jazz ensembles appear in various jazz clubs and concert halls throughout New York City.

All students in Jazz Studies also study composition. Each student must present a completed CD project adjudicated by a jazz artist within the field.

Performance experience in ensemble and improvisation is designed to prepare students for the highly competitive demands of a professional career in jazz. The department houses over 40 diverse ensembles providing opportunities to explore a wide variety of genres and offering composers opportunities to have their music rehearsed and evaluated.


Admission to graduate programs in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

See NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Admissions website for additional information on school-wide admission. Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to the following areas: