The NEC Preparatory School offers chamber ensembles for string, wind, brass, and piano players ages 8-18, in both classical and jazz. Chamber music at NEC connects young musicians together based on the common interest of their love of music, and is an excellent complement to instrumental education alongiside private lessons and large ensembles.

NEC Prep chamber music is a place where students join in learning some of the most powerful pieces in the repertoire. It demands a high level of artistic exploration, creativity, and expression from each member. Students have the opportunity to:

  • Share musical opinions and ways to interpret their scores. Motivated by their peers, they mature into deeper levels of musicianship.
  • Develop sensitive listening while playing
  • Develop practice and rehearsal techniques
  • Gain independence

Playing chamber music is a great way to meet new friends and fellow musicians. Some of our NEC Prep chamber groups play together for years. Their friendships grow and it is a huge part of their lives.

Each group is coached by a highly experienced teacher and performer who has a passion for chamber music and loves to work with young musicians.

Groups receive 28 coaching sessions and may have the opportunity to play in and attend master classes given by distinguished chamber music faculty from the NEC college and other outstanding visiting chamber music artists.

String & Piano Chamber Music

Laura Blustein, String & Piano Chamber Music Department Chair

Aimee Tsuchiya, Assistant Chair

The NEC Preparatory School offers chamber music coaching to ensembles of various levels and ages. Groups will be determined by age, ability, and instrumentation. Each will receive 28 coaching sessions and two end-of-semester workshops. Students are expected to participate in festival concerts each semester.

Due to the large number of pianists who audition for the chamber music program, we cannot guarantee placement in an ensemble. Priority in placement is given to those students who must fulfill a chamber music requirement for the NEC certificate program. We recommend that pianists apply for both String & Piano Chamber Music and Piano Duo.

Piano Duo

Open by audition to pianists who wish to learn through collaboration, these coached duos study four-hand or duo-piano repertoire. Students are paired by age and ability. Each duo receives 28 coaching sessions and two workshops. Piano duo students participate in the chamber music festival concerts each semester.

Sonata-Duo Class

Maria Benotti, Instructor

Saturdays, 1:00 - 2:00 PM

Violinist-pianist partners study specific works from the violin-sonata literature. Two duos share a one-hour lesson in workshop format. Each pair performs for their colleagues and in turn observes the others’ instruction, scores in hand. Intensive study of technical as well as interpretive aspects of each sonata is the focus. Performance presence and refinement of ensemble playing, discussion and hearing of concepts are encouraged. Open to upper-intermediate to advanced players.


Auditions for String & Piano Chamber Music and Piano Duo class take place each September. For more information about how to audition, please click here.

Please note that the NEC Prep Chamber Music audition committee tries their best to place all students who audition into chamber groups. However, appropriate chamber groups are only formed if other students of similar age, skill level, and Saturday time availability audition.