Middle School Jazz Academy How to Participate

MSJA is no longer accepting applications for 2016-17 season.
If you would like to be added to our waiting list, please email msja@jazz.org.

Sixty (60) middle school musicians are awarded full scholarships providing group classes and private lessons throughout the school year in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.  Students are selected based on their interest in jazz, exceptional dedication to music, desire to work in an ensemble of their peers and an ability to commit to this rigorous and rewarding jazz immersion experience.  Students learn from outstanding faculty and guest musicians, including members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and receive tickets to performances and educational events at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Program goals

  • Provide students with an opportunity to thrive in a supportive and challenging jazz environment
  • Reach talented students who may not otherwise be able to afford private music instruction
  • Instill a love of jazz, a respect for self and an appreciation of community
  • Awaken and enhance listening skills, creativity, imagination and discipline


Students must:

  • Have played an instrument for a minimum of one year
  • Demonstrate fluency on at least three major scales
  • Be entering grades 6, 7 or 8 for the 2016-17 school year
  • Live and/or attend school in one of the five New York City boroughs
  • Be willing to commit to practicing at least forty five minutes a day and listening to jazz at least one hour a day, five days a week
  • Be eager to learn more about jazz

Full scholarships are given to students from families of limited means.

Accepted students are eligible to participate in the program for a maximum of two years and are required to reapply each year


Saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone), trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, drums, percussion, guitar, flute clarinet, tuba/euphonium, violin

“Jazz is music to my soul. It is a very sweet melody that puts you in the mood to realize and think how great life is.” Brenda Letang, MSJA Parent

“Jazz is the rhythm, the soul, the beat. It evolves around me. There’s jazz everywhere I go. Jazz is the music I fell in love with. Jazz is me.” Terson Modeste, MSJA student