• Every student at Mannes Prep is encouraged to participate in formal and informal performances.

    Performance Ensembles


    Philharmonic provides some of the most thorough orchestral training available to pre-college musicians in the New York metropolitan area. Students work with coaches from such renowned ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, performing masterworks of the literature while they learn and refine the fundamental skills needed to play in both large and small ensembles. Philharmonic performs two times during the school year: in December and in May. Instrumentalists wishing to play in Philharmonic must audition for admission and seating in September. Applicants are given excerpts to prepare, must also prepare a solo of their choice, and should expect to sight-read. Soloists are chosen through the Concerto Competition to appear with the orchestra in the spring. 

    Chamber Orchestra
    The Chamber Orchestra is a high-level training orchestra. Students in the Chamber Orchestra perform works from a variety of periods and styles throughout the year. Students are placed into the Chamber Orchestra after an ensemble placement in September.

    String Orchestra and Concert Orchestra
    The youngest string players will benefit from these first ensemble experiences. Reading skills are required, and placement is at the conductor's discretion. Young wind players may join the Concert Orchestra at the discretion of the Preparatory Division director and the conductor of the orchestra.

    Senior Chorus
    Participation in Senior Chorus is required of all older students not in Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra, or Rhythms of Brazil. Vocalists, pianists, and guitarists apply skills learned in their Techniques of Music classes to a wide repertoire and experience the joy of participating in a large musical ensemble. The Senior Chorus performs throughout the year.

    Junior and Intermediate Choruses (grades 2–8)
    Drawing on a diverse repertoire of classical, world, and contemporary music, the Junior and Intermediate Choruses are an exciting opportunity for younger students to perform in a large ensemble. The choruses perform throughout the year.

    Timbalooloo (PVY)
    In Timbalooloo, children learn to create music by making their instruments come alive and "speak." This unique approach is inspired by children’s natural ability to learn languages intuitively and enables them to express themselves in a playful way that reflects the full spectrum of emotions children experience. It also encourages young students to envision music as a dialogue between instruments. By connecting spoken language and instrumental music, children are able to quickly internalize highly complex rhythms. Specialized movement games help them develop a strong melodic sense. Repertoire includes music of great composers from diverse musical traditions, ranging from Mozart to Antônio Carlos Jobim, Bedřich Smetana to Herbie Hancock, all presented through a story-based approach.

    Growing Glockenspiel (Grade 1)
    Growing Glockenspiel gives students the opportunity to learn to play what is often a child's first instrument. They also learn to read and write music through a gradual process that makes reading music intuitive. A glockenspiel is a xylophone-like instrument that is laid out like a piano, with black and white keys. At the start of the class, the glockenspiel has only the note middle C on it and is “one note old." Each time the children learn how to write a note on the music paper and play a song with it, they get a new note, and their glockenspiel "grows up." Each song is introduced through an engaging story that gives historical and cultural context and develops familiarity with the great composers of different cultures.

    Exploring the Rhythms of Brazil (Grades 7-12)

    Students focus on different rhythmic aspects of Brazilian music through the exploration of different percussion instruments as well as listening to examples to fully understand how these rhythms are the foundation of the Brazilian musical language.


    Workshops, a unique feature of the preparatory program, are scheduled several times every month. In these informal hour-long classes, small groups of students play for and learn from one another. A wide variety of musical topics are explored. Usually, workshops are led by a faculty member other than the student's own teacher. Workshop participation is required for performance in a monthly recital, but all students are encouraged to attend weekly workshops, whether or not they are performing that month.


    Formal recitals, to which family and friends are invited, are held monthly. Individual students and ensembles may perform as often as they are ready, schedule permitting. Students are signed up for recitals by their major teacher or coach.

  • Contact Mannes Prep

    55 West 13th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    [email protected]

    Caroline Sonett-Assor, Director of Mannes Prep: [email protected]

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To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

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To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


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