Music and Performing Arts Professions Current Students

What Do You Need to Know?

Welcome to Music and Performing Arts Professions (MPAP) at NYU Steinhardt.



Q: How do I register for classes? When can I begin registration?

Freshmen are cleared for registration by Steinhardt in early June. When you first arrive at NYU, and during each subsequent semester, you will meet with your advisor in order to develop a long term plan, satisfying all requirements in your degree program of study; e.g. planning a four-year class schedule in the Music Business program allowing for prerequisites or preparing for internships as a junior/senior. Once your advisor has cleared you, you will be able to register for classes on Albert (

Q: How do I know what classes to sign up for?

There are some courses that every MPAP major must take, such as the New Student Seminar and Collegium and Program Seminar. Each program also has its own required courses in addition to NYU’s liberal arts requirements. All students must meet with their advisor prior to registration to determine their coursework for that semester. For music theory and aural comprehension courses, all incoming undergraduate music majors must take the music theory placement test; the results of the exam determine the appropriate level for registration.

Q: Do I have to take the music theory placement test?

The music theory placement test is required for all entering undergraduate music majors as part of the orientation process, and is now being administered online. You will receive details during orientation.

Q: What if my test results place me into the wrong level (the class is too easy or too hard)? Can I retake the placement test?

You cannot retake the placement test, but you can fill out the Music Theory/History Registration Request to request the appropriate-level course.

Q: Who is my advisor? How do I contact them?

Each program within the Music Department has its own advisors. Please refer to the list for your appropriate advisor:

String Studies: Stephanie Baer (
Music Theory and Composition: Tae Hong Park (
Music Education: Ira Shankman ( and Nancy Shankman (
Percussion: Jonathan Haas (
Woodwind Studies: Esther Lamneck (
Brass Studies: John Rojak (
Music Business: Samuel Howard-Spink (
Piano (Classical): Marilyn Nonken (
Music Technology: Langdon Crawford (, Ken Peacock (, and Agnieszka Roginska (
Jazz Studies: David Schroeder (, and David Pietro (
Educational Theater: Nancy Smithner ( and Joe Salvatore (
Vocal Performance (Music Theatre): John Simpkins (, Meg Bussert (
Vocal Performance (Classical Voice): Dianna Heldman (

Q: How many credits should I take? Can I take an overload?

Students typically take 16 credits per semester. If you are placed into Basic Musicianship, you must register for 18 credits that semester. The credits earned in Basic Musicianship will not be used toward your degree. There is no overloading allowed. Students can receive academic credits from Advanced Placement exams, but course exemptions after placement exams do not count towards a student’s credit requirements. For example, placing into an advanced music theory or aural comprehension class means that you must compensate for those classes exempted with music electives. Students are reminded to keep track of their credits to make sure that they will have enough credits to graduate.

Q: Can I double major?

Yes, but not as a freshman. Although MPAP students are not at all encouraged to double major, given the time-consuming nature of performance classes and rehearsals besides regular coursework, passionate and committed students may double major, pending a successful freshman year.

Q: Can I take electives in other NYU schools (Stern, Tisch, etc.)?

Yes. However, depending on the individual student’s circumstances and credit limits, some courses may be off-limits to Steinhardt students.

Here is one exception: School of Continuing and Professional Studies coursework cannot be used toward the degree.

Q: I'm trying to sign up for a class and I'm getting a message that says I need an access code or I haven't fulfilled a prerequisite. How do I resolve that?

First, make sure you are registering for the correct class. Students frequently encounter this problem when they try to register for the wrong section or level (for example, a non-major trying to register for a majors-only class). For music theory and music history classes, fill out the Music Theory/History Registration Request. For many other academic courses, you may contact the course instructor or your advisor to receive an access code. For private lessons, please see registration instructions below.

Q: How do I add/drop classes after the registration deadline?

First, you must fill out an add/drop form (Program Change Form) and obtain your advisor’s signature. Next, bring the form to Registration Services (2nd floor of Pless Hall) and obtain a signature from Andrea Fannelli, David Zapotocky, or Jeanne Bannon. Then submit the form to the Registrar’s office (25 West 4th Street).


Q: How do I register for private lessons?

Please discuss your specific degree requirements and degree completion plans with your advisor prior to requesting private lessons. Departmental majors will need to complete a private lesson request form online. Please review the majors private lesson information sheet for instructions and deadlines. You will be automatically registered on Albert after your form has been approved by the MPAP office. If you plan to take private lessons on two different instruments (i.e., different course number and/or instructor), you can only take one of them for 3 credits (primary lesson) and the other for 2 credits.

Q: Is there a fee for private lessons? What if I have private lessons on two different instruments?

Yes. There is a registration fee of $105 (billed to your student account) for all private lessons. If you have private lessons on two different instruments, you will be billed for $210.

Q: What do you offer private lessons in?

We offer private lessons for majors in Composition, Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, Percussion (only for classical percussion performance majors), Piano, Voice, and Jazz.

Q: When and where will my private lessons take place?

That is arranged on an individual basis between the student and the instructor.

Q: How do I know who my private instructor is? How do I contact them?

For music performance majors, your instructor will be selected when you meet with your advisor. For non-performance majors, you can either request a specific instructor or have one assigned to you. For all MPAP majors, if you already know who you want to study with, you can indicate your choice on your Private Lesson Request Form. After you have been registered for private lessons, your instructor should contact you no later than the first week of classes. If you need to contact them, you can find their email address by visiting the MPAP office or by simply typing their name in the recipient line of an email using your NYU Gmail account.

Q: What's the difference between private lessons and group lessons?

In private lessons, the student receives one-on-one instruction with an instructor, and the student can be at any playing level. Group lessons are typically for non-music majors (music majors should only encounter this with the Keyboard Skills class), and the students tend to be beginners on the instrument.


Q: How do I sign up to audition for an ensemble (orchestra, band, choir)?

You can register here.

Q: What should I prepare for ensemble auditions? What should I wear?

Audition requirements are listed here, and should be updated by early- to mid-August. For your audition, wearing all black is not necessary, although we do ask that you dress nicely (collared shirt and nice jeans/slacks for men, day dress or a blouse and skirt/slacks for women), as your attire will be seen as a reflection of your attitude.

Q: When and where are the ensemble auditions? 

Audition dates and locations are listed here. If you forget when your audition is, you can go to the audition location at the beginning of the audition period to confirm your time.

Q: I auditioned for an ensemble but never heard back. What do I do? 

You can email the appropriate ensemble director to check the results of your audition, preferably before rehearsals begin. Audition results are typically sent out within two days of the last audition for that ensemble.

Q: How do I register for a chamber ensemble? Can I be in multiple chamber ensembles?

You can register for your appropriate chamber music section on Albert after receiving your chamber ensemble assignment and class number from your advisor. Students can be in multiple chamber ensembles, although they will need to register for each ensemble on Albert, as each ensemble is a different section.

Q: Can I request specific people (players and coaches) for my chamber ensemble?

Yes. You can talk to your program director or advisor and ask to be assigned to a specific group or coach, although you are not guaranteed to be assigned to that group (pending availability, etc).

Q: Is participation in ensembles required every semester?

For Classical Instrumental Performance (Strings, Winds/Brass, Piano, Percussion) and Jazz Performance majors, yes. Classical Instrumental Performance majors will take a total of 8-12 ensemble credits, through a combination of orchestra and chamber ensemble credits. Strings and Brass majors must register for orchestra every semester, and may have a varying number of chamber ensemble credits. Jazz Performance majors must register for one credit of ensemble in each semester, for a total of 8 credits of ensemble participation. Classical Voice majors must participate in ensembles for 6 semesters and Music Theatre majors must participate for 4 semesters.

Q: Can I participate in ensembles even if I’m not a performance major?

Yes, most ensembles allow anyone at NYU to audition and participate. However, string, piano, and percussion chamber ensembles are reserved for Instrumental Performance majors only.

Q: Is it possible to receive a failing grade for private lessons or ensembles?

Yes. Although they are not typical academic courses, students, especially music majors, are still expected to take their private lessons and ensembles seriously. That is, students are expected to practice, be on time to lessons/rehearsals and concerts, and be respectful of the instructor.


Q: Where can I practice?

There are practice rooms on the 3rd and 9th floors of the Education Building (35 W. 4th Street), the 6th floor of the Kimmel Center, and in the concourse (C level) of the Global Center. Piano Performance and Jazz Studies majors can also use the practice rooms in the concourse (C level) of Third North.
Q: Where do I get a practice room sticker?

You can get a sticker for your ID card in the main MPAP office on the 10th floor of Steinhardt. Please note that these stickers are for music performance majors only.

Q: How do I reserve rooms in the Education Building?

You must fill out the MPAP Space/Equipment Request Form. After your request has been processed, you will receive a confirmation from our space coordinator, Luis Mercado ( Your reservation will be considered official only if you receive a confirmation.

Q: How do I reserve practice rooms in Kimmel or the Global Center?

You must create an account on KimmelOneStop. After creating your account, it may take up to 48 for your account to be officially activated. With your account, you may reserve rooms in Kimmel or the Global Center for up to two hours a day. For more, visit Room 605 in the Kimmel Center, or contact Kimmel Operations at 212-998-4900 or

Q: When are the practice rooms open?

The practice rooms on the 9th floor of the Education Building are open as long as the building is open (generally 7:00 am-midnight every day). The practice rooms in Kimmel and the Global Center are open during the school year from 9:00 am-10:00 pm Mon-Sat and 1:00-7:00 pm on Sundays (Global Center practice rooms are closed on the weekend).

Q: Who Is allowed to use the practice rooms in Third North? What if I'm not a piano or jazz major but I live in or near Third North and it's more convenient?

Only Piano and Jazz Studies majors can access the practice rooms in Third North, regardless of where you live.


Q: How do I get a locker for my instrument? Can vocalists or pianists get lockers?

There will be a signup sheet on the bulletin board near the front staircase on the 10th floor of the Education Building at the beginning of the semester. Lockers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. After you sign up, if there are lockers available, you will receive an email from Marisol Ascona ( with your locker assignment. If you are unable to secure a locker in the Education Building, the Kimmel Center and the Global Center have lockers available for a small rental fee.

Q: Where can I get my instrument repaired?

There are many shops and instrument makers around Manhattan. The MPAP office keeps a partial list that students can refer to.

Q: Are there school instruments I can use if I don't want to carry my own instrument around?

For the most part, no. Most practice rooms have upright pianos for students to use, and the percussion program has instruments for percussion majors only. However, all other instrumental majors (including bass and harp) will need to bring their own instruments. After receiving your locker assignment, you can keep your instrument in your locker (or in the harp room for harpists).

Q: Can I borrow/rent equipment from the school (recording equipment, percussion instruments, etc.)?

Yes, depending on availability, but you are generally not permitted to take equipment out of the building. For equipment requests, fill out the MPAP Space/Equipment Request Form


Q: What’s the difference between Steinhardt MPAP and the Music Department in CAS?

The Department of Music in the College of Arts and Science focuses on ethnomusicology and musicology, with little to no praxis. CAS Music majors usually integrate their music studies with another area in CAS, such as Philosophy or History, giving them more of a liberal arts experience. Steinhardt’s Music and Performing Arts department focuses on real-world applications of performing arts study, whether in performance, education, business, music technology, or administration.

Q: Are there Music and Performing Arts department scholarships?

Yes. These are awarded as part of your financial aid package when you are admitted. There is no separate application for MPAP department scholarships.

Q: Are there work-study opportunities in the MPAP department?

Yes. In addition to student assistant positions in the main MPAP office, many of the programs will also hire students to work in their own program offices. Students can also work in the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, although Skirball is not a part of the MPAP department.

Q: What performance opportunities are there?

Besides the MPAP ensembles, students can perform in student recitals, Vocal Performance program productions (as a member of the cast or pit orchestra), or with various NYU student clubs. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of being in New York City and seek performance opportunities off-campus. Our students regularly play with local bands in venues such as Joe’s Pub and (Le) Poisson Rouge, at Carnegie Hall and on Broadway, and have performed on TV shows including Saturday Night Live and Celebrity Apprentice.

Q: How do I find a performing arts job or internship off-campus? Is there a career placement center that helps MPAP students find jobs?
Students are encouraged to visit NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development and register for their CareerNet system. You can also network with other students or faculty or use outside resources such as the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Q: Can I study abroad?

Yes. Although MPAP majors are allowed to study abroad for a semester anywhere they choose, NYU Prague offers several music courses during the fall semester specifically tailored for Music Performance majors. However, students should plan for their study-abroad experience well in advance, and should speak with their advisor before submitting a study-abroad application. If you are planning to go abroad in the fall, you should speak with your advisor no later than the beginning of February. Please note that your final semester as an NYU student must be on campus, and students generally go abroad during their sophomore or junior year.

Q: Is there a staff accompanist I can rehearse or perform with?
Each program has an accompanist for the students to rehearse or perform with. Consult with your advisor for specifics.

Q: Where is the Music and Performing Arts Professions office?

Our main office is located at

35 West 4th Street (Education Building)
Suite 1077
New York, NY 10012

And our phone number is 212-998-5424.

Your experience at NYU is highly self-determined. Why? Because you are unique, but you will need to demonstrate initiative and leadership. Avail yourself of every opportunity that comes along, for example, positions in student government or school clubs, or visiting the Health Center and NYU sports centers.