A community of spirited young people.

Plus superb conservatory faculty, and as many approaches to meaningful musical education as there are students — that’s NEC Prep.

Every week, over 1600 students from across New England — absolute beginners to the most advanced young musicians — participate in lessons, classes, and ensembles. NEC Prep is one of the largest programs of its kind in the nation.

What do you want to do?
NEC Prep School Horn section rehearses

I want to play

At NEC, young musicians can explore all kinds of instruments, from early childhood on.

Prep Singer with Youth Jazz Orchestra

I want to sing

Young singers at NEC get a very special kind of training with lots of variety—voice lessons, choruses, jazz, musical theatre, rock, world music, and more!

Prep Piano lesson

I want to compose

Every musician is a composer. Students as young as eight can start learning to hear and create the elements of music.

Prep Eurhythmics Class

I want to explore

Foundation classes like chorus, music theory, composition, and the art of practice and performance are for every musician at NEC, whatever the level or instrument!

We invite you to explore the many opportunities for your child here. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’d love your family to join our family and make NEC Prep your musical home.

Featured Events

Hear us play!

I just felt like it was home.
Prep Student

All levels

The NEC Difference: a place for every player

Kids can enter at any level of training and move at their own pace.

Prep Youth Philharmonic Orchestra

À la carte offerings

The NEC Difference: flexibility

À la carte offerings mean you have the flexibility to shape the musical education that best fits your child. Enroll in just one activity (ensembles, lessons, classes) or any combination thereof.

in the N E C Prep Harp studio


The NEC Difference: faculty

Our faculty is world-class and wonderful, full of teachers and performers committed to nurturing young musicians.

An N E C Prep piano lesson

Certificate Program

The NEC Difference: challenge

We also offer a range of certificate programs for the committed student looking for an ambitious, advanced placement-like path.

Already enrolled?

Find current student resources quickly and easily.

Resources for Prep Students & Families
Recent News
Fri, October 30
Contemporary Improvisation faculty member Mike Block has launched Play for the Vote, which now includes hundreds of musicians in 40 states and the District of Columbia, but began with a simple idea: "“[I thought], ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I went down to the polling station and just played music all day for everyone who was voting?’ ”
Tue, October 27
In today's recap, four distinguished Black alumni share their vision of what NEC looks and feels like when it has lived up to its commitment of cultural equity and belonging. Our panelists are Carmen Johnson-Pájaro ’18 MM Violin Performance, deVon Russell Gray ’01 Composition, Darynn Dean ’18 Jazz Studies, and John Alexander Garner ’06 Vocal Performance.
Mon, October 26
Cheryl Susheel Bibbs ’70 MM discusses the social and political turmoil that led to the cancelation of the 1970 graduation ceremony, and shares her ideas and suggestions in support of breaking down "otherness" and increasing inclusion and diversity at NEC.
Fri, October 23
In today's recap, we revisit the third NEC Perspectives Forum, in which Stanford Thompson sat down for a conversation with alumnus Dr. Darryl Harper '08 DMA, examining the history of NEC in the larger context of Black Studies and Jazz Studies programs across the United States.
Thu, October 22
In today's recap, we examine the beginnings of Jazz Studies at NEC through conversation with founding chair Carl Atkins, current chair Ken Schaphorst, and alumna Susan Calkins ’83 MM, whose doctoral dissertation and book focuses on the history of Gunther Schuller and jazz at NEC.